Machiavelli taught that political leaders must be prepared to do evil that good may come of it. Offering the first brief introduction to Machiavelli's thought to appear in twenty-five years, Skinner focuses on his three major works, The Prince, Discourses, and The History of Florence. He discusses the influence of Roman moral thought on Machiavelli, concentrating on the extent to which Machiavelli's teachings represent a reaction against this tradition. Placing Machiavelli in the proper social and intellectual context, Skinner reveals the extraordinary originality of his attack on the prevailing moral and political assumptions of his age.
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Table of Contents
Introduction; 1. The Diplomat; 2. The Adviser to Princes; 3. The Philosopher of Liberty; 4. The Historian of Florence.
What People are Saying About This
An exceptionally lucid biographical sketch and analysis of Machiavelli's ideology. For beginning students of this subject, I have never found anything better.
(James E. McGoldrick, Cedarville College)
[An] excellent brief study, incorporating much recent research effectively without losing the author's own distinctive viewpoint. Lucidly written. A fine contribution.
(Marcia L. Colish, Oberlin College)
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