10/5 stars: machiavelli, to me, was one of the most important writers of the science of war and politics. his views of war vary from both clausewitz and sun tzu and he has written some interesting political views as well. the art of war was considered to be his magnum opus, in part because it, of the two was published during his lifetime while the prince was not. however, i consider the prince to be far more influential and helpful in everyday life. this is a must-read for anyone interested in political science or even if you own or run a business or company. the prince contains useful information on how to obtain a kingdom, and how to keep and maintain it; even how a prince should conduct himself to maintain either respect or fear in the hearts of the people. the book is short (about 81 pages) but very direct and precise, each sentence is worth very careful consideration. one useful reading tip: unless you're a world historian, i strongly suggest reading this book next to an active internet connection for some quick history lessons. there's no lack of historic references of famous people such as cyrus, duke valentino, and alexander iii of macedon (alexander the great) throughout this book to emphasize machiavelli's points and observations on the science of politics.