The Garments of Court and Palace: Machiavelli and the World That He Made by Philip Bobbitt. PART 1 of 2.

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(Photo:Girolamo Savonarola, Pope Julius II, Pope Clement VII and Charles VIII of France.

Charles_VIII_Ecole_Francaise_16th_century_Musee_de_Conde_Chantilly.jpg: French School Clement_VII._Sebastiano_del_Piombo._c.1531..jpg: Painted by Sebastiano del Piombo, c.1531. 09julius.jpg: Painted by Raffaello Sanzio GirolamoSavonarola.jpg: Painted Fra Bartolommeo derivative work: The Illusional Ministry (talk) - Charles_VIII_Ecole_Francaise_16th_century_Musee_de_Conde_Chantilly.jpg Clement_VII._Sebastiano_del_Piombo._c.1531..jpg 09julius.jpg GirolamoSavonarola.jpg

Charles_VIII_Ecole_Francaise_16th_century_Musee_de_Conde_Chantilly Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, Pope Clement VII (1523-34), son of Giuliano de' Medici and nephew of Lorenzo the Magnificent. == )

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The Garments of Court and Palace: Machiavelli and the World That He Made by Philip Bobbitt. PART 1 of 2.

From Booklist

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. --Bryce Christensen

Review

“With his profound knowledge of history, philosophy, politics and law, Professor Bobbitt has made a major contribution to penetrating the thought of Machiavelli and illuminating its context. This extraordinary intellectual endeavor may well become a new standard interpretation.”—Henry A. Kissinger

“An astute reexamination of one of history’s most widely read documents of political instruction. . . . Despite its rigor, the book is anything but a bore, and Bobbitt employs apposite historical asides from Italy and elsewhere to make his points, including some popes behaving badly whom fans of Showtime’s The Borgias will recognize. This book should be required reading for any young ruler trying to organize his principality without blunder, or, failing that, anyone interested in the history of statecraft”—The Daily Beast

“Riddles for centuries, the beginning and ending of Machiavelli’s The Prince have finally found a plausible explanation. . . . Provocative.”—Booklist

“The value of Bobbitt’s book is that it puts on the front burner the thinking of a man referred to by Marlowe and Shakespeare and found on the must-read lists of Napoleon, Mussolini, and Hitler. . . . And Bobbitt is not without moments of wry humor.”—Sante Fe New Mexican

“Bobbitt … presents a pithy, eloquent argument for The Prince as a ‘constitutional tract’ and Machiavelli as the ‘spiritual forefather’ of the US Constitution. . . . [The Garments of Court and Palace is] well worth reading.” —The Spectator (UK)

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-Co...

Jun 19, 01:02 AM
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