Salman Rushdie: Machiavelli’s Bad Rap

Cyn­i­cism. Ruth­less­ness. Devi­ous­ness. Pow­er pol­i­tics. These words are often asso­ci­at­ed with Nic­colò Machi­avel­li, the author of The Prince (1532). But, it turns out, he was any­thing but. He was a sweet man (though some­thing of a phi­lan­der­er), a pro­found demo­c­rat, good look­ing, a par­ty ani­mal. In short, Machi­avel­li has got­ten a bad rap, says nov­el­ist Salman Rushdie.

To get more insight into this bad­ly mis­un­der­stood fig­ure, we’d rec­om­mend spend­ing time with Phi­los­o­phy Bites’ inter­view (MP3 or iTunes) with Quentin Skin­ner, one of Eng­land’s finest intel­lec­tu­al his­to­ri­ans who has writ­ten exten­sive­ly on Machi­avel­li. You can also find The Prince list­ed in our col­lec­tion of Free eBooks. H/T Andrew Sul­li­van

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Leo Strauss: 15 Polit­i­cal Phi­los­o­phy Cours­es Online

Intro­duc­tion to Polit­i­cal Phi­los­o­phy: A Free Yale Course

Alain de Bot­ton Tweets Short Course in Polit­i­cal Phi­los­o­phy

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.