Be Like the Fox: Machiavelli In His World

3.83 avg rating
( 69 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780393609721: Be Like the Fox: Machiavelli In His World

The dramatic, myth-shattering story of how Machiavelli―arguably the most misunderstood thinker of all time―fought to change his corrupt world.

Since the publication of The Prince five centuries ago, Machiavelli has been associated with political amorality. But that characterization is unfair. In Be Like the Fox, Erica Benner sets the record straight: far from the ruthless “Machiavellian” henchman that people think he was, Machiavelli emerges here as a profound ethical thinker who fought to uphold high moral standards and restore the democratic freedoms of his beloved Florence.

Shaking the dust from history, Benner masterfully interweaves Machiavelli’s words with those of his friends and enemies, giving us a biography with all the energy of fiction. Through dialogues and diaries, we witness dramatic episodes, including Savonarola’s fiery sermons against the elite in Florence’s piazza, Machiavelli’s secret negotiations with Caterina Sforza at the court of Forlí, and the Florentines’ frantic preparations to resist Pope Julius’s plan to over-throw their Republic.

Benner relates how Machiavelli rose as an advisor in the Florentine Republic, advancing the city’s interests as a diplomat and military strategist, only to become a political pariah when the Republic was defeated. His egalitarian politics made him an enemy of the Medici family, and his secular outlook put him at odds with religious zealots. But he soon learned to mask his true convictions, becoming a great artist of foxlike dissimulation. Machiavelli’s masterpiece, The Prince, was in fact a critique of princely power, but the critique had to be veiled, written as it was after the Medici triumphed over the Republic.

In Be Like the Fox, the most accurate and compelling portrait of Machiavelli yet, Benner recounts the gripping story of a brilliant political thinker, showing that Machiavelli’s ideas―about democratic institutions, diplomacy, and freedom―are more important than ever.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Erica Benner lives in Berlin. She is the author of several books, including Machiavelli’s Ethics and Machiavelli’s Prince: A New Reading. Formerly a Fellow at Yale University, Benner taught for many years at Oxford University and the London School of Economics.

Review:

“Erudite and engaging. . . .Be Like the Fox is not detached, archival history but a remarkable work of imaginative engagement backed by scholarly learning. Benner brings Machiavelli alive by weaving his words and those of his contemporaries into the narrative as a playwright might. . . . Be Like the Fox can be read with pleasure by anyone interested in the craft of politics and the life of ideas.”
- Edmund Fawcett, New York Times Book Review

“Lively, unshowily erudite, compulsively readable.”
- Terry Eagleton, The Guardian

“In this tightly composed narrative of Machiavelli’s life and works, Benner argues that ‘The Prince’ is a work of secret subversion, using irony and beguilement to advance a staunchly republican message. . . . [A] gripping portrait of a brilliant political thinker, who understood the dangers of authoritarianism and looked for ways to curb them even though independent speech had become impossible.”
- The New Yorker

“Unconventional. . . Benner argues that in [his] turbulent, violent world, Machiavelli’s most consistent advice favoured principle, restraint and respect for the rule of law, even in The Prince. . . . Compelling.”
- Julian Baggini, Financial Times

“Engaging, entertaining, splendidly colourful. . . . Brings to life a Machiavelli who's a man of considerable political principle. Benner does a wonderful job of bringing to life Florentine society – the world of the piazzas, the courts, the battlefields. . . . A creative, very readable book with more than a little contemporary resonance.”
- Catherine Fletcher, Literary Review (UK)

“A ripping read. . . . fascinating, charming, enjoyably unorthodox.”
- Tim Smith-Laing, The Telegraph (UK)

“Erica Benner succeeds brilliantly in overturning centuries-old received views of a seminal but misunderstood writer and thinker. Her enthralling and moving evocation of Machiavelli’s turbulent career, set in the milieu in which he lived, also reveals how much he is our contemporary.”
- Rosamund Bartlett, author of Tolstoy: A Russian Life

“Erica Benner’s compelling book testifies to the eternal return of Machiavelli’s puzzle: whether he was the voice of Satan, or the author who wanted to put morality on firmer human foundations by unveiling the empty moral platitudes that politicians used to shroud their foxy and ruthless behavior. Like a riveting novel, Benner’s book guides us through Machiavelli’s times and shows the variety of masks he put on, suggesting that the man behind them was less likely to compromise than his words might lead us to believe.”
- Nadia Urbinati, author of Democracy Disfigured and professor of political science, Columbia University

“No other writer about Machiavelli approaches the liveliness of Erica Benner. In Be Like the Fox she boldly confronts the most daunting obstacle to interpreting him: that being himself so foxy he rarely means quite what he writes. Drawing on his life and all his varied writings and inter-weaving these with the turbulent life of Florence in his day, she retrieves a Machiavelli who is not the promoter of crookedness but its critic, a friend of democracy and honest government whose heart is with the underdog.”
- Clifford Orwin, professor of political science, classics, and Jewish studies, Toronto University

“In Erica Benner’s Be Like the Fox, Machiavelli―in his own words the ‘historian, the comic writer, the tragic author’―comes alive as the master of irony deployed in the service of justice, civic morality and the rule of law. This delightful and convincing account should be the final nail in the coffin of the derogatory term ‘Machiavellian.’”
- Samuel Bowles, author of The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives Are No Substitute for Good Citizens

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Benner, Erica
Published by W W Norton and Co Inc (2017)
ISBN 10: 0393609723 ISBN 13: 9780393609721
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W W Norton and Co Inc, 2017. HRD. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780393609721

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 16.20
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Benner, Erica
Published by W W Norton and Co Inc (2017)
ISBN 10: 0393609723 ISBN 13: 9780393609721
New Quantity Available: 20
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W W Norton and Co Inc, 2017. HRD. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # KB-9780393609721

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 16.56
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Benner, Erica
Published by W. W. Norton & Company 5/9/2017 (2017)
ISBN 10: 0393609723 ISBN 13: 9780393609721
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company 5/9/2017, 2017. Hardback or Cased Book. Book Condition: New. Be Like the Fox: Machiavelli in His World. Book. Bookseller Inventory # BBS-9780393609721

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 21.50
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Benner, Erica
ISBN 10: 0393609723 ISBN 13: 9780393609721
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
VNHM SHOP
(Pompano Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: New. The dramatic, myth-shattering story of how Machiavelli, the most misunderstood thinker of all time, fought to change his corrupt world. Bookseller Inventory # 5655962

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 22.10
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Benner, Erica
Published by W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN 10: 0393609723 ISBN 13: 9780393609721
New Hardcover Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Mediaoutlet12345
(Springfield, VA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0393609723 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Bookseller Inventory # SWATI2132380348

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 18.32
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Benner, Erica
Published by W. W. Norton & Company (2017)
ISBN 10: 0393609723 ISBN 13: 9780393609721
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 16
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 2017. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # 0393609723

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 20.69
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Benner, Erica
Published by W. W. Norton & Company (2017)
ISBN 10: 0393609723 ISBN 13: 9780393609721
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Save With Sam
(North Miami, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 2017. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Brand New!. Bookseller Inventory # 0393609723

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 20.22
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Benner, Erica
Published by W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN 10: 0393609723 ISBN 13: 9780393609721
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Lakeside Books
(Benton Harbor, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0393609723 Brand New! Not overstocks or remainder copy!. Bookseller Inventory # OTF-S-9780393609721

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 20.24
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Benner, Erica
Published by W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN 10: 0393609723 ISBN 13: 9780393609721
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Booklot COM LLC
(Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0393609723. Bookseller Inventory # Z0393609723ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 25.28
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Erica Benner
Published by WW Norton Co, United States (2017)
ISBN 10: 0393609723 ISBN 13: 9780393609721
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2017. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Since the publication of The Prince five centuries ago, Machiavelli has been associated with political amorality. But that characterization is unfair. In Be Like the Fox, Erica Benner sets the record straight: far from the ruthless Machiavellian henchman that people think he was, Machiavelli emerges here as a profound ethical thinker who fought to uphold high moral standards and restore the democratic freedoms of his beloved Florence. Shaking the dust from history, Benner masterfully interweaves Machiavelli s words with those of his friends and enemies, giving us a biography with all the energy of fiction. Through dialogues and diaries, we witness dramatic episodes, including Savonarola s fiery sermons against the elite in Florence s piazza, Machiavelli s secret negotiations with Caterina Sforza at the court of Forli, and the Florentines frantic preparations to resist Pope Julius s plan to over-throw their Republic. Benner relates how Machiavelli rose as an advisor in the Florentine Republic, advancing the city s interests as a diplomat and military strategist, only to become a political pariah when the Republic was defeated. His egalitarian politics made him an enemy of the Medici family, and his secular outlook put him at odds with religious zealots. But he soon learned to mask his true convictions, becoming a great artist of foxlike dissimulation. Machiavelli s masterpiece, The Prince, was in fact a critique of princely power, but the critique had to be veiled, written as it was after the Medici triumphed over the Republic. In Be Like the Fox, the most accurate and compelling portrait of Machiavelli yet, Benner recounts the gripping story of a brilliant political thinker, showing that Machiavelli s ideas-about democratic institutions, diplomacy, and freedom-are more important than ever. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780393609721

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 25.51
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book