Niccolo's Smile by Maurizio Viroli
A Biography of Machiavelli

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Synopsis

IN NICOLO'S SMILE, Maurizio Virali brings to life the fascinating writer who was the founder of modern political thought. Nicolo Machiavelli's works on the theory and practice of statecraft are classics, but Virali suggests that his greatest accomplishment is his robust philosophy of life - his deep beliefs about how one should conduct oneself as a modern citizen in a republic, as a responsible family member, as a good person. On these subjects Machiavelli wrote no books: the text of his philosophy is his life itself, a life that was filled with paradox, uncertainty and tragic drama. Here is an extraordinary man in all his complexity and brilliance - a vivid narrative of Machiavelli's love and friendships, the rewards and perils of being an adviser to prices, his travels and adventures and the challenges and dangers of both his youth and his old age. Machiavelli was a charming figure who was both famous and powerless, both loved and reviled we see him here for the first time not as an intimidating, cynical icon of European political thought but as a subtle, modern and sagacious man whose smile captivated his friends, disarmed his foes - and preserved his inviolable personal freedom.
 

About Maurizio Viroli

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Maurizio Viroli is the author of numerous works in political theory and of a study of Machiavelli's political philosophy. A professor of politics at Princeton University, he lives in Princeton, New Jersey, and Forli, Italy.
 
Published October 1, 2000 by Farrar Straus Giroux. 288 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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