Niccolo Machiavelli taught that political leaders must be prepared to do evil that good may come of it, and his name has been a byword ever since for duplicity and immorality. Is his sinister reputation deserved? In answering this question Quentin Skinner focuses on three major works, The Prince, the Discourses, and The History of Florence, and distils from them an introduction to Machiavelli's doctrines of exemplary clarity.
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Quentin Skinner is Professor of Political Science at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Christ's College. His The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, published in 1978, won a Wolfson Literary Award.
INTRODUCTION; 1. THE DIPLOMAT; 2. THE ADVISER TO PRINCES; 3. THE PHILOSOPHER OF LIBERTY; 4. THE HISTORIAN OF FLORENCE