When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred… Niccolo Machiavelli


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An unlikely prince : the life and the times of Machiavelli  Niccolo Capponi  Cambridge, MA : Da Capo Press, c 2010  Hardcover. xiii, 334 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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In this compelling new biography, historian Niccolo Capponi frees Machiavelli (1469–1527) from centuries of misinterpretation. Exploring the Renaissance city of Florence, where Machiavelli lived, Capponi reveals the man behind the legend. A complex portrait of Machiavelli emerges—at once a brilliantly skillful diplomat and a woefully inept liar; a sharp thinker and an impractical dreamer; a hardnosed powerbroker and a risk-taking gambler; a calculating propagandist and an imprudent jokester.

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Capponi’s intimate portrait of Machiavelli reveals his behavior as utterly un-Machiavellian, his vision of the world as limited by his very provincial outlook. In the end, Machiavelli was frustrated by his own political failures and utterly baffled by the success of his book The Prince.

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