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An Unlikely Prince: The Life and Times of Niccolo Machiavelli

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In this compelling new biography, historian Niccolò Capponi frees Machiavelli (1469–1527) from centuries of misinterpretation. Exploring the Renaissance city of Florence, where Machiavelli lived, Capponi reveals the man behind the legend. A complex portrait of Machiavelli emerges—at once a brilliantly skillful diplomat and a woefully inept liar; a sharp thinker and an impractical dreamer; a hardnosed powerbroker and a risk-taking gambler; a calculating propagandist and an ...
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Cambridge, MA 2010 Hard cover New. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 334 p. Contains: Illustrations, black & white. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping ... from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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An Unlikely Prince: The Life and Times of Machiavelli

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Overview


In this compelling new biography, historian Niccolò Capponi frees Machiavelli (1469–1527) from centuries of misinterpretation. Exploring the Renaissance city of Florence, where Machiavelli lived, Capponi reveals the man behind the legend. A complex portrait of Machiavelli emerges—at once a brilliantly skillful diplomat and a woefully inept liar; a sharp thinker and an impractical dreamer; a hardnosed powerbroker and a risk-taking gambler; a calculating propagandist and an imprudent jokester.

Capponi’s intimate portrait of Machiavelli reveals his behavior as utterly un-Machiavellian, his vision of the world as limited by his very provincial outlook. In the end, Machiavelli was frustrated by his own political failures and utterly baffled by the success of his book The Prince.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Niccolò Machiavelli is renowned for being one of the most famous writers of his time. While subsequent scribes have decried him as a cynic, a soulless proponent of tyranny, and a political genius, few have looked closely at his life in an attempt to contextualize his philosophies. Capponi wants readers to understand where Machiavelli was coming from, what his intentions were, and how he was regarded by his contemporaries. He completes this daunting task by relying on exhaustive biographical data, a deep understanding of Florentine culture and history, and a personal investment in the text: he's a direct descendant of Machiavelli. Capponi guides readers through Machiavelli's entire life, pointing out where the writer's political aspirations failed and what made The Prince a desperate bid for favor from the Medici administration. History buffs will appreciate Capponi's enthusiasm and comprehensive research, but readers looking for a new interpretation of The Prince should look elsewhere. As a biography, however, it's fantastic.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher

Publishers Weekly, 8/16/10
fantastic...history buffs will appreciate Capponi's enthusiasm and comprehensive research.”

Forward This Week, 9/2/10
“Capponi, renowned historian and descendant of Niccolo Machiavelli, dispels misconceptions and establishes historical context in this biography.”
 

Times Literary Supplement, 10/15/10
“Detailed and engaging.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306817564
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 6/29/2010
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 9.32 (w) x 6.60 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author


Niccolò Capponi is the author of the highly acclaimed Victory of the West and former fellow of the Medici Project. A direct descendant of Machiavelli, he lives in Florence, Italy.
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