I read Machiavelli’s The Prince in graduate school and found it quite fascinating. Here’s a great article written by Claudia Roth Pierpont from today’s New Yorker on the man behind one of the most famous books ever written.

The Prince,” Machiavelli’s how-to guide for sovereigns, turned out to be “a scandal that Western political thought and practice has been gazing at in horror and in fascination since its first publication,” to quote from Albert Russell Ascoli’s introduction to Peter Constantine’s new translation. Circulated in manuscript for years, the book was not published until 1532—nearly five years after Machiavelli’s death—and received its first significant critique within the decade, from an English cardinal who pronounced the author “an enemy of the human race.” 


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