Machiavelli: The Art of Teaching People What to Fear
Paperback – February 11, 2020
In a series of poignant vignettes, a preeminent historian makes a compelling case for Machiavelli as an unjustly maligned figure with valuable political insights that resonate as strongly today as they did in his time.
Whenever a tempestuous period in history begins, Machiavelli is summoned, because he is known as one for philosophizing in dark times. In fact, since his death in 1527, we have never ceased to read him to pull ourselves out of torpors. But what do we really know about this man apart from the term invented by his detractors to refer to that political evil, Machiavellianism?
It was Machiavelli's luck to be disappointed by every statesman he encountered throughout his life—that was why he had to write The Prince. If the book endeavors to dissociate political action from common morality, the question still remains today, not why, but for whom Machiavelli wrote. For princes, or for those who want to resist them? Is the art of governing to take power or to keep it? And what is “the people?” Can they govern themselves? Beyond cynical advice for the powerful, Machiavelli meditates profoundly on the idea of popular sovereignty, because the people know best who oppresses them.
With verve and a delightful erudition, Patrick Boucheron sheds light on the life and works of this unclassifiable visionary, illustrating how we can continue to use him as a guide in times of crisis.
About the Author
Patrick Boucheron is a renowned French historian. He previously taught medieval history at the École normale supérieure and the University of Paris, and is currently a professor of history at the Collège de France. He is the author of twelve books, including Machiavelli: The Art of Teaching People What to Fear, and the editor of five, including France in the World, which became a bestseller in France.
Willard Wood has translated more than twenty-five books from the French. He is a recipient of the Lewis Galantière Award for Literary Translation and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Translation. He lives in Norfolk, Connecticut.
- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Other Press; Reprint edition (February 11, 2020)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590519523
- ISBN-13: 9781590519523
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.2 ounces