Maurizio Viroli | Granta

Maurizio Viroli

Maurizio Viroli is Professor of Politics at Princeton University. His many books include How to Read Machiavelli, Jean Jacques Rousseau and the ‘Well-Ordered Society’ and Niccolo’s Smile: A Biography of Machiavelli.


How To Read Machiavelli

Maurizio Viroli

‘Men are infamous and detestable who are destroyers of religion, squanderers of kingdoms and republics, and enemies of the virtues.’ Niccolo Machiavelli

Machiavelli (1459-1527) is one of the most influential modern political thinkers. His works, above all The Prince, The Discourses on Livy, The Florentine Histories and The Art of War, are still passionately discussed and continue to give rise to new visions of political action. Against the trite commonplace that Machiavelli was a teacher of evil who justified political immorality, Maurizio Viroli shows that Machiavaelli was concerned instead with the best way to attain true glory through political action and that his works were inspired by a profound love of republican liberty. Extracts are taken from the whole corpus of Machiavelli’s works, including his personal letters.