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  • ISBN: 9780226503684
  • ISBN10: 0226503682

Machiavelli's Virtue

by Harvey C. Mansfield

  • List Price: $56.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 02/01/1996
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Machiavelli's Virtue is a comprehensive statement on the founder of modern politics. Harvey C. Mansfield begins by analyzing Machiavelli's radical notion of virtue, which culminates in his own personal virtue. Machiavelli shows that princes need a new morality that only he has supplied. Mansfield argues that Machiavelli intended to rule the world through his thought; though a prince without a state, his subjects were the princes who would follow his writings on founding and ruling. This new "perpetual republic" is Machiavelli's own sect - and a remedy for the failures of all previous republics. Mansfield reveals the role of sects in Machiavelli's politics, his advice on how to rule indirectly, and the ultimately partisan character of his project. Following the method of Leo Strauss, he takes up Machiavelli's individual works as wholes and shows him to be the founder of modern institutions that came later, such as the impersonal state and the energetic executive. Mansfield thus makes the case that Machiavelli is alive for us and full of the wisdom we need. His thought cannot be dismissed as quaint and obsolete; it is disturbingly relevant for our delusions and our complacency.
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