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Machiavelli: A Biography

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Machiavelli: A Biography

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    Available in PDF Format | Machiavelli: A Biography.pdf | English
    Miles J. Unger(Author)
Few philosophers are more often referred to and more often misunderstood than Machiavelli. He was truly a product of the Renaissance, and he was as much a revolutionary in the field of political philosophy as Leonardo or Michelangelo were in painting and sculpture. He watched his native Florence lose its independence to the French, thanks to poor leadership from the Medici successors to the great Lorenzo (Il Magnifico). Machiavelli was a keen observer of people, and he spent years studying events and people before writing his famous books.

Descended from minor nobility, Machiavelli grew up in a household that was run by a vacillating and incompetent father. He was well educated and smart, and he entered government service as a clerk. He eventually became an important figure in the Florentine state but was defeated by the deposed Medici and Pope Julius II. He was tortured but eventually freed by the restored Medici. No longer employed, he retired to his home to write the books for which he is remembered.

Machiavelli had seen the best and the worst of human nature, and he understood how the world operated. He drew his observations from life, and he was appropriately cynical in his writing, given what he had personally experienced. He was an outstanding writer, and his work remains fascinating nearly 500 years later.

"A captivating biography of Italian philosopher and playwright Niccolo Machiavelli. . . . Lively, well-researched portrait of a master political strategist."

3.5 (4977)
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Book details

  • PDF | 416 pages
  • Miles J. Unger(Author)
  • Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (19 July 2012)
  • English
  • 9
  • Society, Politics & Philosophy
Read online or download a free book: Machiavelli: A Biography

Review Text

  • By Mrs. TK Ellis on 6 March 2013

    I've always been fascinated by Machiavelli and when I found this book I decided to give it a read. I was expecting to find the deeds of a corrupt and immoral individual catalogued on the pages but to my surprise I found an articulate, well researched and informative account of a man who was the complete opposite of all I had thought Machiavelli stood for.Miles Unger makes a good job of putting together his work on Machiavelli. The work is well put together and flows in an intelligent narrative. The author cleverly weaves in information about the political and historical background to set the scene and to set the actions Machiavelli took into the proper context.Miles Unger's greatest achievement is that he allows the reader to see Machiavelli as he was, and not as history and his critics remember him. The author does not paint over the flaws of his subject but shows the reader that Machiavelli was a man with his finger on the pulse. He understood more about the human condition and power than anyone else I can think of and he uses this to give his advice and to write many seminal works that stand the test of time even today.If there is one point of this book that I was not expecting was two rather long chapters in the book dedicated to a rather lengthy description of Machiavelli's "The Prince" and "The Discourses", and I found this rather odd for a biography. However, on reflection this was quite a good thing to do as it does help the reader understand more about the man, and I am hoping that it will help me when I finally get round to reading "The Prince".Overall, I would happily recommend this book. I must confess I do not usually find that my opinions of someone are so fully reversed from what I held as the truth, but this book has done this and done it in a very well presented way. I would highly recommend this book to all.

  • By claire biggs on 22 July 2013

    as described, a really good and very interesting read, was also a very good price and arrived promptly

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