Machiavelli: A Life Beyond Ideology

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A&C Black, Oct 27, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 337 pages
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Niccolò di Bernardo Machiavelli is not only one of the most fascinating figures of the Italian Renaissance, an outstanding author and statesman, but indisputably one of its most influential political theorists, whose fundamental contributions to ideas of political power - as well as to the history of modern drama - remain astonishingly pertinent. His adventurous life led him to notable heights as a diplomat and reformer of the Florentine military, with his replacement of mercenaries by a citizen-militia. His fall, exile and eventual rehabilitation followed as briskly as his rise.

Unlike many innovative thinkers about politics, he developed his radical theories of treachery and social transformation, here explored in terms of their originality, in an atmosphere of violence. Based on his experience of government, his insights led to a shift from understanding statehood, war and society as forms of finitude and stasis to those of process.

All this unfolds in Paul Oppenheimer's compelling recreation of Machiavelli's life as he actually lived it.

 

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Contents

Family and Growing Up
3
Early Education
11
The Cosmic Package
19
Poetry Music and Militarism
25
Murder in the Duomo
31
A Boyhood Excursion
44
The Lost Years
51
Poetry and the Medici
62
Cesares Downfall and the First Decennale
168
Anarchy and the Citizen Militia
181
The German Enigma
193
Victory at Pisa
199
A Government Overthrown
205
Into a Tuscan Exile
219
The Aftermath of Freedom
221
Making History at SantAndrea
230

The Religious Revolution
68
The World of War and Diplomacy
81
Executions and an Official Appointment
83
Caterina Sforza and the Crisis at Pisa
92
The Military Quandary
100
On the Move with the French King
106
The Long French Patience
117
Marriage and a Hint of Cesare Borgia
120
Meeting the CaptainGeneral
125
Investigating the Sources of Power
133
Retribution and Dominance
140
Plans to Change the Arno
150
The First Journey to Rome
161
Power and Memory
241
The Ambush of Love
247
Literary Adventures
252
Reflecting on the Craft of War
259
The Dream of History
267
Lights before the Storm
275
The Assault on Rome and a Fatal Illness
282
The Historical Afterglow
293
Notes
299
Bibliography
317
Index
329
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

\Paul Oppenheimer is a professor of Comparative Literature at The City College and The Graduate Centre of the City University of New York. He is the author of Rubens: A Portrait, Evil and the Demonic: A New Theory of Monstrous Behaviour and The Birth of the Modern Mind: Self, Consciousness and the Invention of the Sonnet. >

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