Unlikely Prince: The Life and Times of Machiavelli

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Unlikely Prince: The Life and Times of Machiavelli Renaissance
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Product Description

Historians often characterize Machiavelli as a ruthless leader or an early 'modern' philosopher; however, in 'An Unlikely Prince,' author Niccolo Capponi presents a comprehensive account of Machiavelli as a totally un-Machiavellian man. Using Machiavelli's own city of Florence as a cultural reference point, Capponi examines Machiavelli's choices and motivations as he grows from obscurity to a world-renowned thinker. A complex portait of Machiavelli emerges- a man with grounded ambitions who was also a dreamer; a serious power-broker who was also a jokester and gambler. 'An Unlikely Prince' is the story of a one-of-a-kind man who can only be understood in the context of his home city.

Editorial Reviews

Niccolò Machiavelli is renowned for being one of the most famous writers of his time. While subsequent scribes have decried him as a cynic, a soulless proponent of tyranny, and a political genius, few have looked closely at his life in an attempt to contextualize his philosophies. Capponi wants readers to understand where Machiavelli was coming from, what his intentions were, and how he was regarded by his contemporaries. He completes this daunting task by relying on exhaustive biographical data, a deep understanding of Florentine culture and history, and a personal investment in the text: he's a direct descendant of Machiavelli. Capponi guides readers through Machiavelli's entire life, pointing out where the writer's political aspirations failed and what made The Prince a desperate bid for favor from the Medici administration. History buffs will appreciate Capponi's enthusiasm and comprehensive research, but readers looking for a new interpretation of The Prince should look elsewhere. As a biography, however, it's fantastic. (July)

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