Machiavelli: Philosopher of Power

Machiavelli: Philosopher of Power

by Ross King


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The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli's handbook on power—how to get it and how to keep it—has been enormously influential in the centuries since it was written, garnering a heady mixture of admiration, fear, and contempt. Its author, born to an established middle-class family, was no prince himself. Machiavelli (1469–1527) worked as a courtier and diplomat for the Republic of Florence and enjoyed some small fame in his time as the author of bawdy plays and poems. Upon the Medici's return to power, however, he found himself summarily dismissed from the government he had served for decades and exiled from the city where he was born.

In this discerning new biography, Ross King rescues Machiavelli's legacy from caricature, detailing the vibrant political and social context that influenced his thought and underscoring the humanity of one of history's finest political thinkers. Ross King's Machiavelli visits fortune-tellers, produces wine on his Tuscan estate, travels Europe tirelessly on horseback as a diplomatic envoy, and is a passionate scholar of antiquity—but above all, a keen observer of human nature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060817176
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/29/2007
Series: Eminent Lives
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.12(h) x 0.96(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Ross King is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling and Brunelleschi's Dome as well as several novels. Born and raised in Canada, he lives outside Oxford, England.

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Machiavelli: Philosopher of Power (Eminent Lives Series) 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
datrappert on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Starts slow with Machiavelli's rise to an important position in Florence and his various missions as sort of a roving emissary and troubleshooter, picks up in the middle with the intrigues as the Medici family comes back into power in Florence, then slows down again a bit at the end. Machiavelli deserves credit for keeping his head when so many others lost theirs. The descriptions of his other writings, such as some rather vulgar humorous plays, are interesting and King does a good job creating a sense of the turmoil of 16th century Italy with its constant wars and intrigues. Even the Pope was leading an army. On the other hand, King reports contemporary legends as fact, such as monster children being born and seen as a bad portent, when obviously things like that couldn't actually have happened. Not as interesting or compelling as his Brunelleschi's Dome, but it does make me want to go back and read the Prince again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago