Thoughts on Machiavelli

Thoughts on Machiavelli Leo Strauss argued that the most visible fact about Machiavelli s doctrine is also the most useful one Machiavelli seems to be a teacher of wickedness Strauss sought to incorporate this idea in his in

  • Title: Thoughts on Machiavelli
  • Author: Leo Strauss
  • ISBN: 9780226777023
  • Page: 403
  • Format: Paperback
  • Leo Strauss argued that the most visible fact about Machiavelli s doctrine is also the most useful one Machiavelli seems to be a teacher of wickedness Strauss sought to incorporate this idea in his interpretation without permitting it to overwhelm or exhaust his exegesis of The Prince and the Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy We are in sympathy, he writes, wiLeo Strauss argued that the most visible fact about Machiavelli s doctrine is also the most useful one Machiavelli seems to be a teacher of wickedness Strauss sought to incorporate this idea in his interpretation without permitting it to overwhelm or exhaust his exegesis of The Prince and the Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy We are in sympathy, he writes, with the simple opinion about Machiavelli namely, the wickedness of his teaching , not only because it is wholesome, but above all because a failure to take that opinion seriously prevents one from doing justice to what is truly admirable in Machiavelli the intrepidity of his thought, the grandeur of his vision, and the graceful subtlety of his speech This critique of the founder of modern political philosophy by this prominent twentieth century scholar is an essential text for students of both authors.

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    546 Comment

    • Katie says:

      I haven't had such a strongly negative reaction to a book in a very long time, so please take the one-star review in light of that. I don't think this is a worthless book by any means - it's fascinating - but I also really disliked it and think it's deeply misguided. On the system I'm not really sure what else to give it. What a person thinks of Machiavelli tells you far more about that person than it ever will tell you about Machiavelli. He's a diverse enough writer that you can a case for nea [...]

    • James says:

      This book is incredible. If you're on the lookout for an interpretation of Machiavelli that is absolutely unverifiable and seems obsessed with kabbalic numerology, look no further. I know you're out there.

    • Gitta says:

      I found this book remarkably frustrating. I hardly feel the urge to fling a book across the room whenever I read academic works. This book is so simplistic and extremely black and white. Leo Strauss, clearly an individual who sees religion - he himself was of Jewish descent - as the cement that holds society together. That prevents people from striving after their own ambitions. Machiavelli's advice, which to Strauss is synonymous to the individual Niccolò Machiavelli is, therefore, condemned a [...]

    • Xitsuka says:

      That's it. I'm giving up this book.From my side, it's pretty sarcastic to see Leo Strauss accusing Machiavelli of misunderstanding Christianity. The one who's doing all the misunderstandings should be, pardon me, Leo Strauss. He misunderstood Machiavelli as a historian and man of Renaissance, he misunderstood the mentality of Renaissance, plus, he misunderstood the Bible. I guess everyone would agree that Machiavelli is practical. Here comes the question: how is it possible that a man like him s [...]

    • John Warner says:

      from this extraordinarily fertile but somewhat inconclusive set of reflections on Machiavelli, I glean three broad arguments: (1) machiavelli is a systematic and comprehensive thinker--a Philosopher who presents a comprehensive teaching--not an opportunistic and muddleheaded ideologist, (2) machiavelli's comprehensive teaching is not only unChristian, but radically and pervasively antiChristian, and (3) machiavelli presents his radical and antiChristian teaching using methods of indirection and [...]

    • Sam Snideman says:

      Strauss bangs away on Machiavelli for about three hundred pages. It's a good read, especially if you are either a Straussian or a devotee of Machiavelli. I come away from reading this book with no less an affection for Machiavelli; a finger-puppet I own of Machiavelli provided me with much sagacious advice in graduate school.

    • mwr says:

      Strauss always makes good on his promise to demonstrate the folly of insisting that everything has a meaning, but you can't read this book without realizing how poorly you read Machiavelli the first time. There are a few nice observations, though.

    • Tyler says:

      Blah! Felt like you'd have to do a devotional read to like this book. very little of interest to me here. Probably Depok Chopra's favorite bookon Machiavelli.

    • Jordan says:

      I think Strauss gets important aspects of Machivelli wrong. Someday I'll write a book about it. Today is not that day.

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