The Current Issue

March 2017, Issue 451 Thomas Shippey on Cnut the Great * John Gray on civil wars * Maria Margaronis on travelling the edge of Europe * D J Taylor on reading what you want * Donald Rayfield on Nicholas II and Lenin * John Keay on the British in India * David Pryce-Jones on the Six Day War * Patricia Duncker on George Eliot * Jonathan Meades on clichés * Frances Wilson on what women want * Tim Martin on George Saunders * Melanie White on Sara Baume * Manjit Kumar on vaccines * Patrick Scrivenor on ivory * James Stourton on art dealers * Sara Wheeler on Havana * David Gelber on Queen Njinga * Andrew Lycett on Conan Doyle and Holmes * Joe Moshenska on Enlightenment sensations *  and much, much more…

Catherine Fletcher

Be Like the Fox: Machiavelli’s Lifelong Quest for Freedom

By Erica Benner

Ever since Shakespeare labelled Richard, Duke of Gloucester, a ‘murderous Machiavel’, the word ‘Machiavellian’ in popular culture has meant being devious, cunning, scheming and quite prepared for the end to justify the means. Most scholars would agree that the popular image is a distortion of the real Niccolò Machiavelli’s ideas. In Be Like the Fox Erica Benner brings to life a Machiavelli who’s a man of considerable political principle. And not only that: he’s also a bright and entertaining sort of chap with whom I’d happily knock back a bottle of Chianti... read more

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