The Garments of Court and Palace: Machiavelli and the World That He Made

Bobbitt, Philip.

Published by Atlantic Books. 1 Cloth(s), 2013
ISBN 10: 0802120741 / ISBN 13: 9780802120748
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Written by Florentine public servant and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli in the early 16th century, The Prince is considered one of the most influential books on politics and power in the modern era. And yet, argues international strategist and constitutional law scholar Philip Bobbitt, this esteemed work is widely misunderstood and taken out of context. Also the author of The Shield of Achilles, and Terror and Consent, Bobbitt describes The Prince as one half of a masterpiece that, along with Machiavelli's overlooked Discourses on Livy, prophesies the end of the feudal era and describes the birth of the neoclassical."Bobbitt's central thesis about The Prince seems to me to embody a valuable corrective. He is right to stress that, not only in the famous letter to Vettori but in several subsequent references, Machiavelli speaks of his book not as The Prince but as a work on principalities. It is also true that the first half of The Prince is largely given over to a taxonomy of different kinds of state and how they can be acquired, whether by inheritance, donation, election, or conquest. Most important, Bobbitt is right to emphasize what he describes as Machiavelli's reification of the state as an entity with its own reality that is not to be identified with the personal power of the prince. This development seems especially worth emphasizing in view of the fact that the term 'state' is so often used nowadays as little more than a synonym for government. Bobbitt has already stressed in The Shield of Achilles how much is lost if we refuse to conceptualize the state as a distinct apparatus of power, and he now points to Machiavelli as the originator of this line of thought."—NYReview of Books"Riddles for centuries, the beginning and ending of Machiavelli's The Prince have finally found a plausible explanation. Bobbitt finds that explanation in Machiavelli's abiding desire, expressed in his Discourses on Livy, to see feudal regimes replaced by modern, constitutionally ordered states. This desire accounts for Machiavelli's otherwise baffling decision to dedicate The Prince to Cesare Borgia, a deeply flawed ruler, albeit one commanding the resources needed to found a modern constitutional state. Machiavelli's desire for fundamental political change also, in Bobbitt's view, accounts for the strange conclusion of The Prince, where the author uncharacteristically pleads for the expulsion of foreign armies from Italy, in which he wanted a model new state to emerge. Bobbitt also takes Machiavelli's commitment to creating political reform as the key to understanding The Prince not, as is commonly supposed, as a mirror book advising individual rulers on conduct but, rather, as an outline of modern constitutional principles that may entail political duties that violate personal morality. A provocative yet plausible foray into oft-contested terrain."—Booklist 270. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: The Prince, a political treatise by the Florentine public servant and political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli is widely regarded as the single most influential book on politics and in particular on the the politics of power ever written.

In this groundbreaking book, Philip Bobbitt explores this often misunderstood work in the context of the time. He describes The Prince as one half of a masterpiece that, along with Machiavelli’s often neglected Discourses prophesies the end of the feudal era and describes the birth of the neoclassical
Renaissance State. Using both Renaissance examples and cases drawn from our current era, Bobbitt situates Machiavelli’s work as a turning point in our understanding of the relation between war and law as these create and maintain the State. This is a fascinating history and commentary by the man Henry Kissinger called "the outstanding political philosopher of our time."

About the Author: Philip Bobbitt has taught constitutional law and international security and strategy at the University of Texas, Harvard, and Columbia, where he has a permanent chair and is Director of the Center for National Security. He was Legal Counsel to the Senate's Iran-Contra Committee, Counselor for International Law at the State Department under George H. W. Bush, director for Intelligence Programs at the National Security Council, senior director for Critical Infrastructure, and senior director for Strategic Planning under Bill Clinton. The author of The Shield of Achilles, and Terror and Consent, he lives in New York, London, and Austin.

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Title: The Garments of Court and Palace: ...
Publisher: Atlantic Books. 1 Cloth(s)
Publication Date: 2013
Binding: hard
Book Condition: New

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