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Niccolo's Smile: a Biography of Machiavelli

by Viroli, Maurizio

  • ISBN: 9780374221874
  • ISBN10: 0374221871

Niccolo's Smile: a Biography of Machiavelli

by Viroli, Maurizio

  • List Price: $25.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
  • Publish date: 12/01/2008
  • ISBN: 9780374221874
  • ISBN10: 0374221871
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Description: In Niccolo's Smile, Maurizio Viroli brings to life the fascinating writer who was the founder of modern political thought. Niccolo Machiavelli's works on the theory and practice of statecraft are classics, but Viroli suggests that his greatest accomplishment is his robust philosophy of life -- his deep beliefs about how one should conduct oneself as a modern citizen in a republic, as a responsible family member, as a good person. On these subjects Machiavelli wrote no books: the text of his philosophy is his life itself, a life that was filled with paradox, uncertainty, and tragic drama.

Here is an extraordinary man in all his complexity and brilliance -- a vivid narrative of Machiavelli's loves and friendships, the rewards and perils of being an adviser to princes, his travels and adventures, and the challenges and dangers of both his youth and his old age. Machiavelli was a charming figure who was both famous and powerless, both loved and reviled; we see him here for the first time not as an intimidating, cynical icon of European political thought but as a subtle, modern, and sagacious man whose smile captivated his friends, disarmed his foes -- and preserved his inviolable personal freedom.

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