A Biography of Machiavelli
Maurizio Viroli; Translated from the Italian by Antony Shugaar
Hill and Wang
A vivid portrayal of the great Italian philosopher - now in paperback
In Niccolò's Smile, Maurizio Viroli brings to life the fascinating writer who was the founder of modern political thought. Niccolò Machiavelli's works on the theory and practice of statecraft are classics, but Viroli sugggests that his greatest accomplishment is his robust philosophy of life -- his deep beliefs about how one should conduct oneself as a modern citizen in 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 paradox, uncertainty, and tragic drama.
Praise for Niccolo's Smile
“Elegant and accessible ... Viroli provides [a straightforward chronological account of events] in the pellucid Italian original, whose gracefulness has not been lost in Antony Shugaar's excellent translation ... The dramatics events of Italian political life and Machiavelli's participation in them ... determine the rhythm of his story.” —Mark Lilla, The Washington Post Book World
“A welcome antidote to the clichéd image of self-interested knavery for which [Machiavelli] has become known ... Viroli succeeds ... in offering a fascinating portrait.” —Alexander Stille, The New York Times Book Review