Summary: Machiavelli's famous portrait of the prince still 'retains its power to fascinate, frighten and to instruct'. Rejecting the traditional values of political theory, Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) drew upon his own experiences of office under the turbulent Florentine republic when he wrote his celebrated treatise on statecraft. While Machiavelli was only one of the many Florentine 'prophets of force', he differed from the ruling elite in recognizing the complex ...show moreity and fluidity of political life. As Anthony Grafton discusses in his new Introduction, in insisting that each political situation must be judged individually, Machiavelli became 'the political teacher of Europe'.
Machiavelli may be remembered through 'Machiavell' the intriguer of Jacobean tragedies, but he also provided 'the core of the doctrines of "reason of state" that became the basic political education of modern Europe'. The tough realities of Machiavelli's Italian are well preserved in the clear, unambiguous English of George Bull's revised translation.