• Home

Young Writers Society

E - Everyone

Machiavelli's "The Art Of War" - an essay on it.

by TheProviant

First part of a essay on Niccolò Machiavelli's "The Art Of War".

 Now, when I was sitting on my Lay-Z boy, flipping through the channels, I couldn't find anything on the TV. So then I had a brilliant idea. "What if I started book one of "The Art Of War"?" See, I had been given the book as a gift from my father when I had started to play lots of chess. He had read the book a while back and said it helped his game playing abilities. I didn't know how that worked, I mean, its not like it was magic or something, right? So, I had that book sitting on my dresser for about half a year now. I wasn't into chess as much as I was back then, sure I played a few games here or there, but I was more concerned about paying for a new computer and playing No-Limit Texas hold em' than playing chess with friends or online. And, for a little more backstory, my computer had white screened and started to smoke, and wouldn't turn on, so I couldn't play my favorite video games. I grabbed the book off of my dresser and went back to the recliner, and sat down preparing myself for how I usually read a book - with nothing, just me, my book, and a light source.

 I finished the introduction after about an hour, which was written by the most recent author, Neal Wood. Well Neal, while I understand that you are much better than I in all aspects of writing, and you could probably make a argument that would send my mind to the moon, I personally found the introduction barley worth mentioning and talking about compared to the skill of writing by the great Niccolò Machiavelli. Now, if I wasn't comparing to Machiavelli's work then I would have a different view on the matter, but the introduction didn't seem to live up to the original book that the intro was made to introduce me to. It seems a third of the entire book was "wasted" in the introduction, and I put that in quotes because it was a good introduction, but when that third could have been used to expand and explain certain parts of the book, it made the introduction a lot less gratifying. A glossary, on the other hand, providing explanations of words not commonly used in today's language, such as virtù and vilify, is something that I would have found very useful in reading just the first few pages.

 Now don't get me wrong - I deeply appreciate all that Neal's done for the book and, after review, I made my criticisms less harsh, going to show that I ended up liking his work more than I originally thought - and if he hadn't reprinted the book I would have never been able to read it, or write this essay in the first place. I'm glad that he took the time to write the introduction, as it shows that he cared enough about the work to add at least his say, and not just a simple copy paste, change a few words and be done with it. My father once said to me, as many fathers, scholars, and prophets have said before, "son, the best work, whether it be music, art, or literature never fades out." Neal, one of the three translators of "The Art Of War" proves this point, and so does the work of great people such as Van Gogh, Augusta Rosin (if you don't know, he sculpted "the thinker"), Leonardo Da Vinci, and Saul Hudson. But, on to the point, this is what I think of the original book, "The Art Of War"

If you like this, tell me.

Once I get enough points I will release a part 2, reviewing the parts written by Machiavelli.

Is this a review?



User avatar
293 Reviews

Points: 17344
Reviews: 293

Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:19 pm
BrumalHunter wrote a review...

Fiery Salutations

I knew that Sun Tzu had written the Art of War, but Machiavelli? This should be interesting...

...Or not. How ironic is it not that just as you had complained about Neal Wood's introduction, the same seems to apply to your writing. As was his case, it is not poorly written, but it is not very interesting or informative either.

You say you do not know how reading the Art of War can improve one's skill in playing chess, but you forget one important detail: chess is a game of war (and, coincedentally, many consider it an art as well). Chess is all about strategy and tactics - the quintessence of war. If the Art of War teaches you to manipulate, deceive and trick your opponent, then that knowledge will prove to be highly beneficial in a game like chess.

Well Neal, while I understand...

There should be a comma following your Well.

I also understand what you mean by Neal Wood's introduction seeming to be unbefitting of being a prelude to Machiavelli's Art of War. It works that way in everything. A simple analogy would be if you scored 75% for your mathematics. You might have the highest marks in your class, but in your grade you are tenth best, so suddenly your achievement seems less glamorous. The key in cases such as those are not to be prejudiced.

I am nevertheless intrigued and want to read your next article, so in that sense (that is, getting your readers to continue being your readers) you have most definitely succeeded.

This review was brought to you
by Team Rocket.

User avatar
151 Reviews

Points: 388
Reviews: 151

Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:30 pm
Pinkiegirl13 wrote a review...

Hi, TheProviant. This is Pinkie here for a review. Excuse me as I put on my glasses. *puts on my pink glasses*

First off, this didn't seem like an essay to me. An essay has many paragraphs, and this one has just one paragraph. Maybe you need to make two or more paragraphs to make it better for the readers to read it.

Anyway, let's talk about the whole essay.

I like this essay. The beginning of this essay is funny. I actually giggle at the part about the Neal's intro that you don't like. However, this essay didn't talk about Machiavelii. I would like to know about him which I want to read this essay. This masterpiece doesn't make sense to me. Okay, I will stop doing this part or I will hurt your feelings.

Overall, You have some potential in this essay. I granted you good luck on your essay and don't think I am rude person. Well, have a nice day!

Nice Job and Keep on writing! :D


Your reviewer, Pinkiegirl13

TheProviant says...

Dear pinkie, thanks for the review!

Now, the reason its only 1 paragraph (3 now, I edited it.) is because it was only supposed to be a part one of it - I haven't written part 2 yet, I plan to do so tonight. I will be writing about Machiavelli's part of the book in part 2.

Don't worry about hurting my feelings, your a reviewer over the internet. If you said alot of bad stuff about me and talked negative to me I wouldn't care.
Not saying you should do that, but still.



User avatar
179 Reviews

Points: 15489
Reviews: 179

Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:09 pm
r4p17 wrote a review...

Knight r4 here for a review TheProviant. I certainly hope this helps you. Welcome to YWS. Now first I would like to address, the nit-picks so we can get over with them. Here goes!

Well, since the title of this work is the first thing someone reads I will address that first. This was not really an essay. It was more of a set up for how you decided to read it and then I rant about how you hated the introduction. Now while there is nothing wrong with tilling us why you started reading the introduction, that is rather out of place for an essay. You also tore into Neal for the introduction. To be honest with you, most books of that nature have long boring intros; therefore you should expect something like that.

The second thing I wanted to tell you is that there are things called paragraphs. Pretty much the whole half essay was one long paragraph. You could have easily had two or three paragraphs (even if you would have taken out the none essay part of this). Most essays are several paragraphs long.

I guess my rant will be over now. I just thought that the whole thing needs a lot of work. I think that the main point of a essay should be to positively critique the text of the book. To me it looked like you pretty much just tore up the introduction of the book. Btw was the intro really a third of the book. I have a hard time believe that it was that much of the book if it was only an hour long. Happy writing!!! :D

TheProviant says...

Thanks for the review!
I'm think I'm going to to edit it and change it into paragraphs.
By the way, yes. It was a third of the book. Also, its a smaller side book, I guess Machiavelli though quality was over quantity.

User avatar
1224 Reviews

Points: 146924
Reviews: 1224

Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:55 am
View Likes
alliyah wrote a review...

Where's the essay...? Welcome to YWS by the way.

I find it really ironic that this was basically a rant on Neal's intro that you disliked and then you just posted a huge intro with no Machiavelli!

I found the casual tone of your intro very easy to read and even interesting and funny.
I've done a little bit of studying Philosophy myself and have read a few (Kant, Rawls, Aristotle) so I for one would be very interested to see a Machiaveli essay.

I'm not sure what else to say about this intro though, since so far it doesn't have much content.

There were a few places you overused commas so you might want to look it over for that. And it might be a good idea to split even the intro into paragraphs to be more manageable for reviewers and readers alike. Good luck in future writing and editing!


TheProviant says...

Thanks for my first review!
The introduction was supposed to include part of Machiavelli's work, but I wrote so much on Neal's that it would be way to long, I mean, even writing about the first few pages would be to much, because I have about a billion things to say about that first segment of book 1.

Thanks again for the help!

alliyah says...

You're very welcome, I'll be interested to read the rest.

User avatar
5 Reviews

Points: 497
Reviews: 5

Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:00 am
TheProviant says...

If your going to review this, I think it would be funny if you found the little Easter Eggs I put in this and put it in your review.

Well, if I can't get this chapter to work....at least I will have exercised my fingers.
— Kaia