Philosophy & Ideas

The Pragmatic Realism of Niccolò Machiavelli

  Niccolò Machiavelli: An Intellectual Biography by Corrado Vivanti Princeton University Press, 2013, 280 pages, US$27.95   The Garments of Court and Palace: Machiavelli and the World That He Made by Philip Bobbitt Atlantic Monthly Press, 2013, 240 pages, US$24   Politics has become a dirty word for many. While some on the Right tend to want to limit democracy and replace politics with the market through initiatives such as deregulation and privatisation, many left-wing ideologues demand that politics give way to a commitment to human rights law or to an “impartial” bureaucratic control, and therefore claim that the politician…

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