[KINDLE] ✽ Machiavelli in Hell By Sebastian De Grazia – Thomashillier.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Machiavelli in Hell

  1. says:

    Niccolo Machiaveglifor love of country pissed in many a snow Epitaph, humorously composed by friendsHere is a subtle and multilayered investigation into the life and work of Machiavelli De Grazia s analysis of Machiavelli s work is intimate and all encompassing he only cites the man himself.Machiavelli here is an active and varied thinker He wrote incisive political works, but also poetry and plays De Grazia s close reading finds that although Machiavelli might have some traits of the hard Niccolo Machiaveglifor love of country pissed in many a snow Epitaph, humorously composed by friendsHere is a subtle and multilayered investigation into the life and work of Machiavelli De Grazia s analysis of Machiavelli s work is intimate and all encompassing he only cites the man himself.Machiavelli here is an active and varied thinker He wrote incisive political works, but also poetry and plays De Grazia s close reading finds that although Machiavelli might have some traits of the hard bitten realist when it comes to politics, the one thing he refuses to mock is the idea of God itself He admits all men are evil because of the great Fall and the idea of Sin, and curiously enough he hopes for aactive Papacy, or the idea of a divinely inspired leader, like Moses, to come and save the peoples of Italy from its chaotic state.The problem of evil is how we can justify doing evil things in politics, and Machiavelli says that the highest good is the common good, or that which benefits the entire people He has no affection for the state, but this is the root of his patriotic feelings for a republic, and his exhortation to free Italy from the barbarians Thus we are led from loving peace to preparing for war.This is a fascinating book which raises many questions about the complexity of Machiavelli s life and work


  2. says:

    This is a fun and enjoyably written biography of Machiavelli the huge difference in tone and content between this work and Leo Strauss s Thoughts on Machiavelli nicely illustrates how Machiavelli pretty much means everything to everyone at this point Strauss depiction features a Machiavelli who brings down most of the western intellectual tradition with his ugly pragmatism and disdain for the spiritual goals of man de Grazia makes Machiavelli a theologian Machiavelli is not your typical th This is a fun and enjoyably written biography of Machiavelli the huge difference in tone and content between this work and Leo Strauss s Thoughts on Machiavelli nicely illustrates how Machiavelli pretty much means everything to everyone at this point Strauss depiction features a Machiavelli who brings down most of the western intellectual tradition with his ugly pragmatism and disdain for the spiritual goals of man de Grazia makes Machiavelli a theologian Machiavelli is not your typical theologian of course he was a bit contemptuous of most aspects of the church, and he had little in common with Platonists like Marsilio Ficino or Pico della Mirandola Many people had declared him an avowed atheist, and they could probably make a decent case for it But for de Grazia, Machiavelli had no problem at all with God he was one of the few subjects that entirely escaped his scorn Machiavelli only reviled contemporary Christianity, and he reviled it only because he thought it had taken a disastrous turn into passivity Machiavelli as depicted here is defined by a kind of active resistance the thread that runs through all his writing is the insistence that mankind can stand against the winds of fortune only by actively fighting against them either through a prince or a republic A passive Christianity could not be assimilated into this ideology, so Machiavelli instead promoted an active, political one God loves those who protect the community, through whatever means necessary Blessed are the state builders and all that This take on Machiavelli creates a very appealing explanation for Machiavelli s apparent contradictions in thought His ends justify the means philosophy gets transformed from crass pragmatism into theological doctrine God loves and rewards those who step into the political arena and are willing to commit sins in the name of the greater good After all God, Machiavelli insists in The Prince does not want to do everything


  3. says:

    Five stars A delightfully current read There is a great deal on Trump, Syria, etc This book is everything that a Pulitzer Prize winner should be.Machiavelli was just a good guy, and a significant p 299 political and moral philosopher, trying to figure out how to make the best of difficult times The state has its constitutional perfection, its true and perfect end, in a country where the common good is best observed, that is, in a durable independent republic where law is respected and wo Five stars A delightfully current read There is a great deal on Trump, Syria, etc This book is everything that a Pulitzer Prize winner should be.Machiavelli was just a good guy, and a significant p 299 political and moral philosopher, trying to figure out how to make the best of difficult times The state has its constitutional perfection, its true and perfect end, in a country where the common good is best observed, that is, in a durable independent republic where law is respected and women honored, where high office is open to all citizens, where social and economic equality obtain, where freedom to enjoy the gains of liberty and industry and to pass them on to one s children is assured in a perfect republic, one what that will run the whole course ordained by heaven This is the point of it all p 193.Machiavelli also reflects the move from the aristocratic man on a horse to courtiers, and presages the Enlightenment view of human nature See p 291.He is a pre Reformation Catholic and believes p 378, 379, 381 that grace can and must be earned through political action for the common good.He recognizes But first of all, confining oneself to ideas, one can point out, that heredity and hereditary claims to rule have no divine support p 381 In this he is a liminal figure between the Late Middle Ages and modernity.He would be a great guy to have a few glasses of wine, and a good meal, with.3 The Heavenly Host A god who can be a friend, like a man to a friend, as Exodus puts it, has human qualities p 62.4 The Way of Evilp 73 Niccolo the moralist writes of himself as a good man, urges others toward right conduct, and recognizes it as his duty to teach goodchokengtitiktitikchokeng 75 The Prince maintains that one cannot deviate from that to which nature inclines you, Yes You have autonomy to be who you are You do not have free will to chose to be someone else but when these populations assault they must kill everyone, because they want to live on that which the others were living on A war involving a migrating or invading population is cruelest and most terrifying p 85.5 Clergy and Countryp 90 Dante and, after him, the scholarly Marsilius of Padua had blamed the papacy for Italy s civil wars and foreign invasionschokengtitiktitikchokeng 101 Without recourse to God and religious devotions, a state cannot be built or stand or be virtuous By losing divine essence, man lost an original nature and obtained a human nature of evil tendency but capable of moral choice p 107 I believe that the greatest good that one can do, and the most gratifying to God, is that which one does for one s country That is the heart of his credo p 114.6 The Fool of Love Syphilis has arrived and is taking giant strides p 127 There may be some truth to what his enemies were alluding to when he was Secretary, that he finds to much fault with Florence Niccolo admits that, It is true I am contrary, as in many other things, to the opinion of Florentine citizens One thing is clear He seems to be on the trail of larger game p 149 Several pages later, Niccolo repeats with greater force a warning to be found also in The Prince May princes know then that they being to lose their state at that hour in which they begin to break the laws and those customs and usages that are ancient and under which men have lived for a long time p 150.Given the current Administration, I would have to hope so.7 The Point of it All Wars of conquest that dispose of enemy commanders and not infrequently, it may be supposed, the heads of conquered regimes, may be cruel, but wars that involve a migrating population and the killing off or driving out of all the inhabitants of the invaded state, are cruelest and most terrifying p 163 Also p 166 foron Syria, etc Without readiness for war, there is neither peace nor liberty p 173 In all of this there is no attribution of cause specifically to economic needs or station Rather, it seems the if men are in no position to oppress, they try not to be oppressed If they are in a position to oppress, they oppress p 183 Also p 184.There is a discussion p 191 192 of the giving of an abortifacient, to an unknowing woman, by a priest in Machiavelli s Mandragola, a comedy play the piece of flesh has no sensation There is no evidence that Catholic Italian Renaissance audiences were offended, or believed that life begins at conception He asserts that political and economic freedom generate greater power and riches, a higher birth rate a brief excursion into politico demographic theory , anddynamic men p 188.8 Can Men Govern Thus planning a colony on poor soil will keep its inhabitants hard at labor and far from a corrupting luxury p 198.Hence North vs South America Given the power that fortune wields over men, their chance of attaining political objectives through their virtue, reason, courage and altruistic or patriotic motives does not seem worth betting on p 205 Neither fortune nor cycles, neither necessity nor naturalism, then forge unbreakable chains for men s rational pursuit through politics, country, and the state, of the common good p 215 9 The Prince New, and Other Sinners In the ruin of its Nobel class Florence had stripped itself of fighting quality p.228.Machiavelli is writing at at time when do to changes in weapons technology the Scottish longbow and gunpowder , the 100 1337 1453 Years War, and plague the aristocracy has lost much of its man on a horse status and courtiers are on the rise.10 The Truth About Human Things No other great philosopher, no great philosophical school before Niccolo, holds that men are evil prone by nature or stresses that this evil is magnified and distorted in desire, mind, and perception, and compounded by choice p 264.In this Machiavelli begins the move from Plato and Aristotle to Adam Smith, Herbert Spencer the survival of the fittest , John Stuart Mill, etc AKA The Enlightenment Augustine s City of God does most to elaborate the implications for human nature of the expulsion from the Garden of Eden The enormity of Adam and Eve s offense provoked God to change human nature permanently for the worse The punishment of the first humans passes on to their issue as something natural and congenital p 265 266.So God made me the the human nature of a sinner, but I have free will to be something other than I am 11 The Mirror of the Prince New Because this is a general rule that never fails that a prince who is not wise himself cannot be well advisedp 276 The twin procedures of knowledge, we soon find out, are reading and experience p 281 See also p 288, second paragraph 12 To Be or to Seem to Be A prince should conduct himself so as to be praised by his own people and friendly rulers p 293.The Un Golden Rule is some small gift to moral philosophy The one requirement of all qualities employed as means is that they further the common good p 307 The inculcation of virtue was typically to being when the prince was young His personal salvation was at stake p 315.Here Machiavelli is a liminal figure between the ancients and modernity.13 The Reform of Hell Conversely, without his plays, stories, letters, and verse, we should have no notion of the humor and fun of this man 14 The Goodly Company From The Prince to the Florentine Histories and beyond, our moralist points the finger of shame to one group the princes old p.350.15 And Great Shall Be Their Reward He does not have to pretend to be religious, thereby succumbing to the devil s temptation, because he is already in a state of grace p 365 Our writer reposes great faith in reading, specifically in the active kind of careful, non fanciful, intelligent reading that has imitation and usefulness in mind, and that embraces the most worthy examples and imparts experience vicariously p 369 370 Also p 366 and the index Our political philosopher wants not only to modify the Christian rites but also to change the objects of veneration of those rites, wants to pass from saints to heroes p 378


  4. says:

    One of the best biographies ever written Of anybody.


  5. says:

    Se n o for o melhor, um dos melhores livros sobre o Florentino A narrativa inovadora e a prosa do Sebastian cativante O respeito do autor pelo secret rio Florentino demonstra que De Grazia conseguiu penetrar as camadas de suposi es, e chegar ao que eu suponho ser o mais pr ximo poss vel do verdadeiro cora o do Homem enigm tico, que foi Nicol Machiavegli


  6. says:

    As idiosyncratic as it is compelling Rife with amusing Italianisms, scatalogical digressions and pretty Renaissance paintings Has a brilliantly odd way of approaching Machiavelli, the world s most misquoted philosopher after Nietsche and Donald Trump Basically presents him as an off color theologian hell bent on restoring old Roman virtus Doesn t try to round off the contradictory edges either Dense, scattered, reads like your favorite professor rambling from behind his desk about his favor As idiosyncratic as it is compelling Rife with amusing Italianisms, scatalogical digressions and pretty Renaissance paintings Has a brilliantly odd way of approaching Machiavelli, the world s most misquoted philosopher after Nietsche and Donald Trump Basically presents him as an off color theologian hell bent on restoring old Roman virtus Doesn t try to round off the contradictory edges either Dense, scattered, reads like your favorite professor rambling from behind his desk about his favorite subject and you re not entirely sure he remembers you re there Will read again


  7. says:

    Throwing in the towel after 2 months The content is quite interesting the book builds up to a multi layered, textured,verysubtle exploration of Macchiavelli s political philosophy by thoroughly exploring how he felt about various concepts love, institutional religion, God, loyalty, country, state, etc , apparent contradictions and all, using only his surviving works, letters, poems, and biographical elements No secondary material The reader s understanding of the man and how he conceptu Throwing in the towel after 2 months The content is quite interesting the book builds up to a multi layered, textured,verysubtle exploration of Macchiavelli s political philosophy by thoroughly exploring how he felt about various concepts love, institutional religion, God, loyalty, country, state, etc , apparent contradictions and all, using only his surviving works, letters, poems, and biographical elements No secondary material The reader s understanding of the man and how he conceptualized the world around him at the dawn of the modern era growscomplex with every chapter As another review pointed out, the ideas develop and riff off each other like a symphony Beautiful but I m type A, so I need a better understanding of where the book s going and the big picture line of argument if I m going to be able to appreciate the subtle complexity, instead of getting lost and frustrated by it The content is scholarly enough there is no need for the structure to be unnecessarily obtuse as well Reading this book is a lot like trying to hack your way through a jungle of words with a machete, because the path that the author has left for you is so overgrown as to be next to impossible to follow, and you honestly don t have a damn clue where his end point is, so you have no idea if you re even heading in the right direction My exhaustion at trying to uncover the author s path and my frustration at not knowing where he was leading me left little energy to appreciate the beauty of my surroundings.Maybe if I were already committed enough to the content, it would be worth the slog As it is, I m willing to bet that this book makes deeply satisfying readthe second time around You know, once you ve already cleared the trail and identified the major points, and can go back and appreciate all the subtle touches


  8. says:

    again, for the second time I loved this500 yrs ago after reading the previous 1000 yrs of history Nicol said not much changes from time to time and place to placeThe Persians The Greeks The Hebrews The Romans and modern man


  9. says:

    De Grazia s command and analysis of Machiavelli s canon is impressive and interesting, but the book s nontraditional structure makes thisof a slog than it needed to be Without any preface to outline the work, the reader needs to pay close attention to tease out the argument and if you find yourself bored as I did by a 25 page discussion of the different times the word love comes up in Machiavelli s work, there s no easy way to skip ahead The nonchronological retelling of NM s life De Grazia s command and analysis of Machiavelli s canon is impressive and interesting, but the book s nontraditional structure makes thisof a slog than it needed to be Without any preface to outline the work, the reader needs to pay close attention to tease out the argument and if you find yourself bored as I did by a 25 page discussion of the different times the word love comes up in Machiavelli s work, there s no easy way to skip ahead The nonchronological retelling of NM s life also makes its events difficult to follow if you re not familiar with them already I was not, and still am not The tone and structure are much like listening to a 400 page lecture from a brilliant lecturer it builds its arguments point by point, asking questions and then answering them, saving the biggest revelations for the end It s quite interesting at times, but the length felt ill suited to the structure


  10. says:

    Holy crap I ve BEEN currently reading this book for probably a year now I expect to be currently reading it for the next year, and that might be overly optimistic I may never actually finish it.It s well written, exhaustively researched the exhaustively researched bit might be the problem Perhaps it sof a reference book than a reading book So how to rate it Well, as a reference book it is AWEsome As light reading, it s killing me.So, a three.Update i finally gave up and shelved i Holy crap I ve BEEN currently reading this book for probably a year now I expect to be currently reading it for the next year, and that might be overly optimistic I may never actually finish it.It s well written, exhaustively researched the exhaustively researched bit might be the problem Perhaps it sof a reference book than a reading book So how to rate it Well, as a reference book it is AWEsome As light reading, it s killing me.So, a three.Update i finally gave up and shelved it, in the case that I actually need it as a reference book Egad


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Machiavelli in Hell Winner Of The Pulitzer PrizeIn This Intellectual Biography, Sebastian De Grazia Presents A New Vision Of Machiavelli That Evokes, With Uncanny Precision, The Great Florentine Thinker S Presence After Providing An Engrossing Account Of Machiavelli S Childhood And The Period Following His Imprisonment And Torture, The Book Turns To An Examination Of The Prince The Details Of Machiavelli S Life Never Cease To Weave In And Out Of The Narrative, As We Read How His Ideas Gather Power And Coalesce Into A Unified Vision Of Humankind And The World De Grazia S Achievement Is To Present A Totally Comprehensive View Of Machiavelli Mediated Entirely Through Machiavelli S Own Language Journal Of Modern History