On Niccolò Machiavelli
The Bonds of Politics
by Gabriele Pedullà
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Pub Date 17 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 24 Jan 2024
Five hundred years after his death, Niccolò Machiavelli still draws an astonishing range of contradictory characterizations. Was he a friend of tyrants? An ardent republican loyal to Florence’s free institutions? The father of political realism? A revolutionary populist? A calculating rationalist? A Renaissance humanist? A prophet of Italian unification? A theorist of mixed government? A forerunner to authoritarianism? The master of the dark arts of intrigue?
This book provides a vivid and engaging introduction to Machiavelli’s life and works that sheds new light on his originality and relevance. Gabriele Pedullà—a leading Italian expert and acclaimed writer—offers fresh readings of the Florentine thinker’s most famous writings, The Prince and the Discourses on Livy, as well as lesser-known texts. A new and often surprising Machiavelli emerges: one closer to his time but also better suited to inform our own. Pedullà’s portrait of Machiavelli highlights his close attention to social and emotional bonds, staunch opposition to oligarchy, keen awareness of the economic side of power dynamics, and strong preference for history over philosophy as a guide for leaders.
This book recovers the excitement Machiavelli roused in his first readers for a twenty-first-century audience, capturing his capacity to provoke, both then and now, with unconventional ideas and startling insights.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gabriele Pedullà is professor of Italian literature at the University of Roma Tre. His English-language books include In Broad Daylight: Movies and Spectators After the Cinema (2012) and Machiavelli in Tumult: The Discourses on Livy and the Origins of Political Conflictualism (2018). His publications in Italian include award-winning fiction as well as an annotated edition of The Prince.
"Pedullà's On Niccolo Machiavelli will stand as the single most important introductory study of Machiavelli in any language. Covering biographical details and historical context as well as offering concise and astute analyses of Machiavelli's major writings, it is a work of great insight, depth, and originality."
--John P. McCormick, author of Reading Machiavelli: Scandalous Books, Suspect Engagements, and the Virtue of Populist Politics