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Reading Machiavelli$
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John P. McCormick

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691183503

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691183503.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 21 January 2020

Vulgarity and Virtuosity

Vulgarity and Virtuosity

Machiavelli’s Elusive “Effectual Truth”

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction Vulgarity and Virtuosity
Source:
Reading Machiavelli
Author(s):

John P. McCormick

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691183503.003.0001

This introductory chapter presents an overview of the crucial themes within Machiavelli's three major political writings: The Prince, the Discourses and the Florentine Histories. It challenges what is considered to be misguided interpretive efforts offered by three illustrious, widely influential appraisals of the Florentine's work. Furthermore, the chapter substantiates Machiavelli's consistent advocacy for a new form of muscular, populist politics conveyed across his three greatest works. It also details how and why major interpretive schools of Machiavelli's political thought have either missed or deliberately obscured the radical extent of the Florentine's decidedly democratic form of republicanism. The chapter tackles suspect engagements with Machiavelli's political thought undertaken by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Leo Strauss, and scholars affiliated with the Cambridge School.

Keywords:   Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, Discourses, Florentine Histories, populist politics, republicanism, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Leo Strauss, Cambridge School

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