Typically when someone mentions they’re reading the Art of War, the famous book by Sun Tzu comes to mind. Niccolo Machiavelli however, more notoriously known for his work The Prince, wrote another by this same name. Written toward the later part of his life in Florence and published during the August of 1521, when it became apparent that he would not be returning to a life of public service, Machiavelli made the decision to write about warfare. Styled after Plato’s Republic, the book is based on discussions he had with scholars and friends on whether the practices and tactics of the ancients were superior to those employed in their day. Unfortunately a great part of the book delves into the proper armaments and ordering necessary to field a victorious army, making large tracts rather boring. Of course that said, there are some interesting insights on human nature, that any good general must take heed of should they wish to field a successful campaign, drawing upon historical anecdotes over a range of periods, including the fifteenth century that was increasingly relying upon the use of artillery. But in the end it is Rome that holds his praise; which is rather romanticized throughout Machiavelli’s Art of War.

Definitely something I would only recommend to readers interested in warfare tactics, or looking to expand upon their Machiavelli readings.