In Niccolò's Smile, Maurizio Viroli brings to life the writer who was the founder of modern political thought. Niccolò Machiavelli's works on the theory and practice of statecraft are great classics, but, Viroli suggests, his greatest accomplishment is his robust philosophy of life—his deep beliefs about how one should conduct oneself as the modern citizen of a republic, as a responsible family member, as a good person. On these subjects Machiavelli wrote no books: the text of his philosophy is his life itself, a life that was filled with complexity, uncertainty, and drama.
Here is a man in all his complexity and brilliance—a narrative of Machiavelli's loves and friendships, the perils and rewards of being an adviser to princes, his travels and adventures, the challenges and dangers of both his youth and old age. Machiavelli was a charming and powerful figure, and he is revealed here for the first time, not as an intimidating icon of European political thought, but as the subtle, modern, charming and sagacious man.