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Used Both Hardball By Chris Matthews And The Prince By Niccolo Machiavelli

3451 words - 14 pages

Good government is defined by the competing values of efficiency and effectiveness and is dependent on quality leadership. Niccolo Machiavelli's treatise, The Prince and Hardball: How Politics Is Played Told By One Who Knows the Game, written by journalist and commentator, Chris Matthews are two books that explain the art of leadership from a political perspective. The Prince was initially published posthumously in 1531-1532. While working for the Soderini government, Machiavelli began to analyze his experiences and observations. His analysis was based on his thoughts on human behavior, leadership, and foreign policy which later laid the foundation for The Prince. The Prince was written after Machiavelli had spent approximately six months imprisoned for conspiracy against the Medici government. The final chapter of The Prince concludes with Machiavelli's appeal to the Medici government to supply Italy with a new and ideal prince. The Prince was never extensively read during Machiavelli's lifetime, but rather after his death in 1527. Matthews is well known for his syndicated column in the San Francisco Chronicle, numerous best selling books, and the television show titled Hardball with Chris Matthews, which is currently televised on MSNBC daily.In the introduction of The Prince, Machiavelli dedicates the treatise to Lorenzo "the Magnificent" de' Medici as evidence of his devotion and states that he possess nothing more valuable than his knowledge of government and hopes it is enough to please him. Without mentioning his hopes of regaining a diplomatic position for the Medici government, Machiavelli states that from his observations he is able to reveal the methods of becoming both an effective and well-respected ruler in order to aid the Medici government. Machiavelli's analysis in The Prince describes characteristics he recommends for the ideal Prince. Matthews defines Hardball: How Politics Is Played Told By One Who Knows the Game as a book about clean, aggressive Machiavellian politics (Matthews 13). Hardball is the discipline of gaining and holding power, useful to any profession or undertaking, but practiced most openly and unashamedly in the world of public affairs (13). Both Machiavelli and Matthews agree that political power is something that is limited and is unable to be shared.Machiavelli begins the first chapter of his treatise with a discussion describing how to govern two types of governments: republics and principalities. Although Machiavelli worked in a republic government his entire political career, he declines to discuss republics, but rather only the ways in which principalities are governed and maintained. Principalities are either inherited or acquired new through the arms of others or with the Prince's own forces, either by fortune or prowess (Machiavelli 7).According to Machiavelli, hereditary principalities, which are ruled by a Prince's family, are easier to maintain because the monarchy's traditions keep the Prince's...

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