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Machiavelli (Founders of Modern Political and Social Thought)
This book presents a critical examination of Machiavelli's thought, combining an accessible, historically-informed account of his work with a reassessment of his central ideas and arguments. Viroli challenges the accepted interpretations of Machiavelli's work, insisting that his republicanism was based not on a commitment to virtue, greatness, and expansion, but to the ideal of civic life protected by the shield of fair laws. His detailed study of how Machiavelli composed The Prince offers a number of new interpretations and he further contends that the most challenging--and underestimated--aspect of Machiavelli's thought is his philosophy of life, in particular his conceptions of love, women, irony, God, and the human condition.