Taming the Prince

Overview

In a masterful survey of Western political thought ranging from Aristotle to The Federalist Papers, Harvey Mansfield shows for the first time how the doctrine of executive power arose and how it has developed to the present day. Although there were various "proto-executives," from Roman dictators to Christian kings, the modern executive first appears with Machiavelli's The Prince. Yet Machiavelli's strong -- even cruel -- leader undermines republican theory. Subsequent philosophers, Mansfield argues, seized upon ...
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Overview

In a masterful survey of Western political thought ranging from Aristotle to The Federalist Papers, Harvey Mansfield shows for the first time how the doctrine of executive power arose and how it has developed to the present day. Although there were various "proto-executives," from Roman dictators to Christian kings, the modern executive first appears with Machiavelli's The Prince. Yet Machiavelli's strong -- even cruel -- leader undermines republican theory. Subsequent philosophers, Mansfield argues, seized upon the Prince and transformed him by deft manipulations into the American president. Liberalized by Locke, constitutionalized by Montesquieu, Machiavelli's bloodthirsty executive was finally "tamed" by channeling his antinomian energies into a uniquely flexible constitutional framework.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Reprint of the 1989 Free Press work on executive power. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780029199800
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 9/14/1989
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 358
  • Sales rank: 1,412,335
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii
Preface to the Paperback Edition xv
Preface xix
1. Introduction: The Ambivalence of Executive Power 1
I The Prehistory of Executive Power
2. Aristotle: The Executive as Kingship 23
3. Aristotle: The Absent Executive in the Mixed Regime 45
4. Proto-Executives 73
5. The Theologico-Political Executive 91
II The Discovery of Executive Power
6. Machiavelli and the Modern Executive 121
7. Hobbes and the Political Science of Power 151
III The Constitutional Executive
8. Constitutionalizing the Executive 181
9. Moderating the Executive 213
10. Republicanizing the Executive 247
11. Conclusion: The Form and the End 279
Notes 299
Bibliography of Secondary Works 337
Index 347
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