Penguin Book

Be Like the Fox

Erica Benner

A myth-shattering portrait of one of history's most celebrated, most notorious political thinkers: Niccolo Machiavelli.

Niccolò Machiavelli lived in times when a new princely dynasty - the super-wealthy Medici - threatened the survival of freedom in his native Florence. He and his contemporaries faced a choice: should they capitulate to Medici money and power, or fight to save the republic?

Be Like the Fox follows this dramatic struggle through Machiavelli's eyes. Erica Benner uses his own words and reports of his conversations with famous leaders - Caterina Sforza, Louis XII, Cesare Borgia - to let us hear his uniquely perceptive, often comical, and almost always surprising comments on events.

Confounding his reputation as an amoral pragmatist, Machiavelli emerges as his era's staunchest champion of freedom, a man who refused to compromise his ideals to fit corrupt times. But he did sometimes have to mask his true convictions. Be Like the Fox shows how, putting his diplomatic and literary talents to good use, Machiavelli became a great artist of fox-like dissimulation.

Erica Benner lives in Berlin. She is the author of several books, including Machiavelli's Ethics and Machiavelli's Prince: A New Reading. A former fellow in Political Philosophy at Yale, she taught for many years at Oxford University and the London School of Economics.

Publication date
  • Biography and Memoir
  • History
Format TPS
234 x 153mm
W.W. Norton & Co Inc (PRH Rights)
Felicity Bryan Associates Ltd
Felicity Bryan Associates Ltd
Felicity Bryan Associates Ltd
Audio (Unabridged)
Felicity Bryan Associates Ltd
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