Reading Machiavelli

John P. McCormick

£18.99

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Princeton University Press
3 November 2020
ISBN: 9780691211541
Paperback

From the publisher

A new reading of Machiavelli's major works that demonstrates how he has been previously misread

To what extent was Niccolo Machiavelli a "Machiavellian"? Was he an amoral adviser of tyranny or a stalwart partisan of liberty? A neutral technician of power politics or a devout Italian patriot? A reviver of pagan virtue or initiator of modern nihilism? Reading Machiavelli answers these questions through original interpretations of Machiavelli's three major political works-The Prince, Discourses, and Florentine Histories-and demonstrates that a radically democratic populism seeded the Florentine's scandalous writings. John McCormick challenges the misguided understandings of Machiavelli set forth by prominent thinkers, including Jean-Jacques Rousseau and representatives of the Straussian and Cambridge schools, and he emphasizes the fundamental, often unacknowledged elements of a vibrant Machiavellian politics. Advancing fresh readings of Machiavelli's work, this book presents a new outlook on how politics should be conceptualized and practiced.