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The Prince

By Machiavelli

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This book has 7 recommendations

Ryan Holiday (Founder/Brass Check)

Of course, this is a must read. Machiavelli is one of those figures and writers who is tragically overrated and underrated at the same time. Unfortunately that means that many people who read him miss the point and other people avoid him and miss out altogether. Take Machiavelli slow, and really read him. Also understand the man behind the book–not just as a masterful writer but a man who withstood heinous torture and exile with barely a whimper.

Machiavelli is a glimpse into a time when power was literal and out for public viewing–when he talks about making an example of someone, he doesn’t mean calling them out, he means putting their head on a pike. Don’t let that scare you because we’re not as far from that world as we’d like to think. Deny that at your own peril.

Stephen Schwarzman (CEO/Blackstone Group)

Mr. Schwarzman certainly has no dearth of books at his disposal. His name graces the New York Public Library. But what are his literary loves?

Without further ado, here are his five most influential books:

  • “The Prince,” by Niccolò Machiavelli.
  • “We Were Soldiers Once… and Young,” by Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway
  • “The Interpretation of Dreams,” by Sigmund Freud
  • “Childhood and Society,” by Erik H. Erikson
  • “The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power,” by Daniel Yergin

Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysicist, Author & Science Communicator)

Which books should be read by every single intelligent person on planet? [...] The Prince (Machiavelli) [to learn that people not in power will do all they can to acquire it, and people in power will do all they can to keep it]. If you read all of the above works you will glean profound insight into most of what has driven the history of the western world.

Bill Liao (General Partner/RebelBio,

The human world occurs in language so best get good at it!

Ella Zheng (Partner & Art Director/The Workbench)

I saw a documentary about it and was intrigued. I also took the MACH-IV: Machiavellianism Test and scored a pretty high mark in it so I thought no harm in buying the book to read. The book is known to be controversial as it has principles that might go against religious beliefs. However, many politicians and business owners have taken many lessons away from this book hence I would like to gain some knowledge and insight from the chapters as well.

Stephane Grand (Managing Partner/S.J. Grand Financial and Tax Advisory)

When a look back at my career path, it is the one of an entrepreneur. I have built various businesses, from accounting and financial advisory firms to tech and security businesses. I have also spent most of my adult life in China, a country that is quite hostile to foreigners and very unfair. I have accepted to suffer the hardships of building my business without any investment from anybody, and stick very firmly to my values. I would recommend young people to read about adventure, hardships, and moral choices. Of course, it would be important to also read about the drivers of our humanity, hence the motley list below:


  • The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli.

Bogdan Savonea (CEO / TPS Engage)

Kissinger's "Diplomacy", Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" and Machiavelli's "The Prince". They pretty much shaped the first part of my life, defined my University choice and career path up until my late 20s.

Amazon description

The Prince is a classic book that explores the attainment, maintenance, and utilization of political power in the western world. Machiavelli wrote The Prince to demonstrate his skill in the art of the state, presenting advice on how a prince might acquire.

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Ryan Holiday, Stephen Schwarzman, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Liao, Ella Zheng, Stephane Grand, Bogdan Savonea

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