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Machiavelli's 'The Prince': A Reader's Guide [Paperback]

Miguel Vatter

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Book Description

Dec 19 2013 0826498779 978-0826498779
Machiavelli's influence on modern politics and the importance of his thought for the development of modern political ideas has long been universally acknowledged. The Prince has become a key text in Philosophy and Political Theory, one that is widely read and studied. Machiavelli's most important work is a hugely exciting, yet challenging, piece of philosophical writing.

In Machiavelli's 'The Prince': A Reader's Guide, Miguel Vatter offers a clear and thorough account of this key philosophical work. Setting Machiavelli's text in its historical and philosophical context, the book offers a detailed review of the key themes (epistemological, social, ethical and theological-political) and a lucid commentary that will enable readers to rapidly navigate the text. Geared towards the specific requirements of students who need to reach a sound understanding of the text as a whole, the guide explores the complex and important ideas inherent in the text and provides a cogent survey of the reception and influence of Machiavelli's work. This is the ideal companion to study this most influential of texts.

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This is a lively, original and bracing account of Machiavelli's revolutionary intervention in the history of political thought. In short compass, Vatter deftly explicates Machiavelli's critique of the classical and medieval natural law tradition, his Lucretian revaluation of contingency, his anticipations of liberal and democratic theory, and his complex attitude towards religion. I enthusiastically recommend this wonderful reader's guide. -- Victoria Kahn, Katharine Bixby Hotchkis Chair in English, University of California, Berkeley, USA 20130402 Miguel Vatter has written an extraordinary, new contribution to Machiavelli studies. Machiavelli's 'The Prince': A Reader's Guide serves both as a remarkably lucid, erudite introductory guide to The Prince, and as a fresh, penetrating interpretation of the text that will intrigue and enlighten even the most accomplished Machiavelli scholar. Vatter's Reader's Guide ought to be on the syllabus of every course where the great Florentine's infamous "little book" is read, and must be on the reading list of any scholar of Machiavelli's political thought or Renaissance intellectual history today. -- John P. McCormick, University of Chicago, USA 20130402 This is a splendid guide, offering a firm, informed hand across tricky, Machiavellian territory. -- Philip Pettit, Princeton University and the Australian National University 20130416 An outstanding guide to the most fascinating and thought-provoking work written by Machiavelli. Vatter not only masters the most authoritative international scholarship on the Florentine Secretary, but offers very insightful and innovative interpretations of crucial problems of Machiavelli's political thought. In an illuminating way, he succeeds in reading Machiavelli's conceptualizations against the background of the Western philosophical tradition, ranging from Plato to Cicero, from Aristotle to Lucretius. Marco Geuna, Associate Professor of History of Political Philosophy, University of Milan, Italy

About the Author

Miguel Vatter is Professor of Politics in the School of Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales, Australia. He has written extensively on Machiavelli, republicanism, biopolitics, and political theology.

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