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9780374528003

Niccolo's Smile A Biography of Machiavelli

  • ISBN 13:

    9780374528003

  • ISBN 10:

    0374528004

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 01/09/2002
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang

Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.)

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Summary

A vivid portrayal of the great Italian philosopher - now in paperback In Niccolograve;'s Smile, Maurizio Viroli brings to life the fascinating writer who was the founder of modern political thought. Niccolograve; Machiavelli's works on the theory and practice of statecraft are classics, but Viroli sugggests that his greatest accomplishment is his robust philosophy of life -- his deep beliefs about how one should conduct oneself as a modern citizen in a republic, as a responsible family member, as a good person. On these subjects Machiavelli wrote no books: the text of his philosophy is his life itself, a life that was filled with paradox, uncertainty, and tragic drama. Maurizio Virolihas written many works on political philosophy, most notablyMachiavelli. A professor of politics at Princeton University, he lives in Princeton, New Jersey, and Forli, Italy. InNiccolograve;'s Smile, Maurizio Viroli brings to life the writer who was the founder of modern political thought. Niccolograve; Machiavelli's works on the theory and practice of statecraft are great classics, but, Viroli suggests, his greatest accomplishment is his robust philosophy of lifehis deep beliefs about how one should conduct oneself as the modern citizen of a republic, as a responsible family member, as a good person. On these subjects Machiavelli wrote no books: the text of his philosophy is his life itself, a life that was filled with complexity, uncertainty, and drama. Here is a man in all his complexity and brilliancea narrative of Machiavelli's loves and friendships, the perils and rewards of being an adviser to princes, his travels and adventures, the challenges and dangers of both his youth and old age. Machiavelli was a charming and powerful figure, and he is revealed here for the first time, not as an intimidating icon of European political thought, but as the subtle, modern, charming and sagacious man. "Elegant and accessible . . . Viroli provides [a straightforward chronological account of events] in the pellucid Italian original, whose gracefulness has not been lost in Antony Shugaar's excellent translation . . . The dramatic events of Italian political life and Machiavelli's participation in them . . . determine the rhythm of his story."Mark Lilla,The Washington Post Book World "A welcome antidote to the clicheacute;d image of self-interested knavery for which [Machiavelli] has become known . . . Viroli succeeds . . . in offering a fascinating portrait."Alexander Stille,The New York Times Book Review "In this edifying portrayal of one of history's most misunderstood individuals . . . [Viroli] resurrects a different Machiavelli, whom he says scholars have adamantly refused to acknowledge. He draws an intimate portrait of a charming individual . . . whose smile enthralled princes and disarmed foes . . . In dynamic language, Viroli provides a detailed, historical background for Machiavelli's personal triumphs and woes. But the strength of this work lies in his ceaseless concentration on Machiavelli the man, who comes alive on each page."Publishers Weekly(starred review) "Machiavellian is a pejorative term suggesting serpentine scheming and use of immoral, ruthless means to achieve desired ends; those ends usually include the maintenance of power at all costs. Inevitably, it is often assumed that Machiavelli himself must have reflected and practiced these methods in his personal and public life. Viroli, a professor of politics at Princeton, effectively refutes that notion in this absorbing and surprising survey of a full, eventful life. Machiavelli was cursed to live in interesting but chaotic and violent times. In Viroli's view, his longing for a powerful ruler was not merely based on a cynical wish to see power exercised; rather, Machiavelli hop

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