Stephen Joyce, James Joyce's grandson, describes himself as 'a Joyce but not a Joycean'. A similar claim could have been made by Niccolò Machiavelli. This highly readable new short biography shows that the Florentine political theorist was not machiavellian, for he was neither scheming nor brutal.
His best-known book, Il Principe (The Prince), is one of the all-time bestsellers for good reason. It spells out, in twenty-six concise chapters, how a man in power must act if he wishes to stay in power. Machiavelli had a low opinion of his fellow men (the women of his