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Niccolo Machiavelli: An Intellectual Biography

by Corrado Vivanti Princeton University Press
Pub Date:
10/2019
ISBN:
9780691196893
Format:
Pbk 280 pages
Price:
AU$49.99 NZ$52.17
Product Status: In Stock Now
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A colorful, comprehensive, and authoritative account of Machiavelli's life and thought


 


This is a colorful, comprehensive, and authoritative introduction to the life and work of the author of The Prince--Florentine statesman, writer, and political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527). Corrado Vivanti, who was one of the world's leading Machiavelli scholars, provides an unparalleled intellectual biography that demonstrates the close connections between Machiavelli's thought and his changing fortunes during the tumultuous Florentine republic and his subsequent exile. Vivanti's concise account covers not only Machiavelli's most famous works--The Prince, The Discourses, The Florentine Histories, and The Art of War--but also his letters, poetry, and comic dramas. While setting Machiavelli's life against a dramatic backdrop of war, crisis, and diplomatic intrigue, the book also paints a vivid human portrait of the man.


 


Vivanti's narrative breaks Machiavelli's life into three parts: his career in a variety of government and diplomatic posts in the Florentine republic between 1494 and 1512, when the Medici returned from exile, seized power, and removed Machiavelli from office; the pivotal first part of his subsequent exile, when he formulated his most influential ideas and wrote The Prince; and the final decade of his life, when, having returned to Florence, he wrote The Art of War, The Florentine Histories, the satirical play The Mandrake, and other works. Along the way, the biography presents unmatched accounts of many intensely debated topics, including the precise nature of Machiavelli's cultural and intellectual background, his republicanism, his political and personal relationship to the Medici, and his ideas about religion.


 


 


 
"Sensible and useful. . . . [Vivanti] sets forth the greatness of Machiavelli, not as a figure of his time, the Renaissance, but as a founder of modernity." - Harvey C. Mansfield, Wall Street Journal


 


"A fascinating, concise guide to Machiavelli's life and work." - Joanna Kavenna, The Spectator


 


"[A] learned intellectual biography." - Michael Ignatieff, The Atlantic


 


"Excellent, and accessible to anyone interested in finding out more about Machiavelli." - Jonathan Powell, Prospect


 


"Informative and . . . level-headed." - Keith Miller, The Telegraph
Corrado Vivanti (1928–2012) taught history at the universities of Rome, Turin, and Perugia, and was the editor of the standard edition of the complete works of Machiavelli.