The Discourses

Paperback | May 1, 1984

byNiccolo MachiavelliTranslated byLeslie J. WalkerEditorBernard Crick

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"It is not the well-being of individuals that makes cities great, but the well-being of the community"

Few figures in intellectual history have proved as notorious and ambiguous as Niccolò Machiavelli. But while his treatise The Prince made his name synonymous with autocratic ruthlessness and cynical manipulation, The Discourses (c.1517) shows a radically different outlook on the world of politics. In this carefully argued commentary on Livy's history of republican Rome, Machiavelli proposed a system of government that would uphold civic freedom and security by instilling the virtues of active citizenship, and that would also encourage citizens to put the needs of the state above selfish, personal interests. Ambitious in scope, but also clear-eyed and pragmatic, The Discourses creates a modern theory of republic politics.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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From Our Editors

 One of history’s most celebrated philosophers, Niccolo Machiavelli continues to influence thinkers of all generations. Penguin Classics presents students of history with The Discources, a fantastic translation of Machiavelli’s greatest writings. With unmistakable intellect and wit, he introduces readers to his absolute support of the ...

From the Publisher

"It is not the well-being of individuals that makes cities great, but the well-being of the community"Few figures in intellectual history have proved as notorious and ambiguous as Niccolò Machiavelli. But while his treatise The Prince made his name synonymous with autocratic ruthlessness and cynical manipulation, The Discourses (c.1517...

From the Jacket

‘It is not the well-being of individuals that makes cities great, but the well-being of the community’Few figures in intellectual history have proved as notorious and ambiguous as Niccolò Machiavelli. But while his treatise The Prince made his name synonymous with autocratic ruthlessness and cynical manipulation, The Discourses (c.1517...

Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) was a Florentine statesman who was later forced out of public life. He then devoted himself to studying and writing political philosophy, history, fiction, and drama.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:544 pages, 7.8 × 5.09 × 0.99 inPublished:May 1, 1984Publisher:Penguin Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140444289

ISBN - 13:9780140444285

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

The DiscoursesPreface
Introduction by Bernard Crick
So Many Machiavellis
The Prince and The Discourses
Republics as Mixed Government
The Mixture as Adaptability
The Value of Conflict
Factors of Social Class
The Conditions for Republican Rule
Theory and Method
Politics and Morality
The Letter to Vettori
Suggestions for Further Reading

THE DISCOURSES OF NICCOLÒ MACHIAVELLI
Table of Contents
The Text
Notes

From Our Editors

 One of history’s most celebrated philosophers, Niccolo Machiavelli continues to influence thinkers of all generations. Penguin Classics presents students of history with The Discources, a fantastic translation of Machiavelli’s greatest writings. With unmistakable intellect and wit, he introduces readers to his absolute support of the republic as the highest form of human organization. Only by maintaining their civic virtue can citizens ensure a solid political republic. The contrast between public, pagan values of citizens and the personal standards of religious morality are also thoughtfully discussed by the famed philosopher. Bernard Crick provides an introduction while Leslie Walker translates.