'Men are infamous and detestable who are destroyers of religion, squanderers of kingdoms and republics, and enemies of the virtues'. Niccolo Machiavelli (1459-1527) is one of the most influential modern political thinkers. His works, above all The Prince , The Discourses on Livy , The Florentine Histories and The Art of War , are still passionately discussed in the intellectual community and continue to suscitate new visions of political action. Against the trite commonplace that Machiavelli was a teacher of evil who justified political immorality, Maurizio Viroli shows, on the basis of a rigorous study of his texts, that Machiavaelli taught instead the best way to attain true glory through political action and that his works were inspired by a profound love of republican liberty. Extracts are taken from the whole corpus of Machiavelli's works, including his personal letters.
Maurizio Viroli is Professor of Politics at Princeton University. His many books include Jean Jacques Rousseau and the 'Well-Ordered Society', Machiavelli and Niccolo's Smile. He is the editor of Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, and co-editor of Machiavelli and Republicanism.