Machiavelli: A Very Short Introduction
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Machiavelli: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  133 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Machiavelli taught that political leaders must be prepared to do evil that good may come of it. Offering the first brief introduction to Machiavelli's thought to appear in twenty-five years, Skinner focuses on his three major works, The Prince, Discourses, and The History of Florence. He discusses the influence of Roman moral thought on Machiavelli, concentrating on the ex...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published January 18th 2001 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 349)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Deirdre
I need more books like this! (In fact, after reading this one I ran out and bought others on different topics!) How many times have you wanted to read about something in a nutshell either because you wanted to learn about a subject in a quick, digestible way or because you wanted to supplement your knowledge while reading another book? This book was Machiavelli in a nutshell. It helped me solidify my understanding of this important Renaissance figure, oft-cited in modern day politics (usually in...more
Ned Leffingwell
A great and short overview of Machiavelli and his writings. Strongly recommended for anyone who is doing study on this titan of political thought. This book does a good job of showing the context in which Machiavelli wrote his famous works as well as explaining the background that he came from and how it affected him.
Shyam Sundar
A good summary of Machiavelli's times, his life, and his thoughts and ideas.
Nick Jones
We did Machiavelli in a week during my first term at university (or was it the second term?): a lecture, read The Prince, a tutorial – and it was one of three introductory courses I was doing so Machiavelli was done in a third of a week...but however long it took Machiavelli got done. I remember in the tutorial some students hated Machiavelli, others were enthusiastic. It might be thought that lefty-liberal students with their more optimistic view of human nature would be against Machiavelli, wh...more
Lise
Nice introduction! Super interested in Machiavelli; will probably focus on him in my Political Philosophy class. Expect more Machiavelli related books in the future, haha.
Jan
Machiavelli is someone that I know nothing about except his name and his reputation as a fox. Like the other books in this series that I've read, the language and the presentation is academic. The main focus of the book is on Machiavelli's writings, and a bit on his life as well. What surprised me most was to learn that Machiavelli was more of a commentator than a man of power.

I've almost finished the book now, and although I have a basic understanding of Machiavelli's ideological beliefs, I'm s...more
Scott Blade
This a wonderful edition of a great work.
Sam Snideman
The book represents a good, brief, and easy-to-read summary of Machiavelli's "The Prince", "Discourses", and his history of the Italian city-state of Florence. Skinner treats Machiavelli with a historian's care; discussions of his ideas do not contain the hyperbole of Machiavelli's critics (like Leo Strauss) or his supporters. I think this is a very good book if you're interested in Machiavelli's work on even a superficial level.
Vinny
He does a good summary and showing his thoughts but there is two problems. The first is that The Prince is shorter than this book so you might as well read one of Machiavelli's books instead. The second is the author shows M.'s belief that it is better to be feared than loved but forgets the rest of the statement that if at all possible one should be both loved and feared.
Ahmad
بیش از چهارصد و هشتاد سال از مرگ ماکیاولی 1469 - 1527 میگذرد، هنوز نام او از جهت مکر، حیله، تزویر و دوروئی در سیاست زبانزد همگان است. شکسپیر او را آدمکش لقب داده بود، آیا او براستی مستحق چنین سوء شهرتی است؟ این کتاب سعی دارد به این سئوال پاسخ دهد
Sam Snideman
I adore Skinner, and I love reading intellectual histories/biographies, so this short tome was perfect. Machiavelli is an incredible philosopher and much more complicated than people often give him credit for being.
Daniel Wright
Professor Skinner, with customary erudition and clarity, examines the life and thought of perhaps the most controversial and, some would argue, misunderstood figures in Western political thought before Marx.
Jor-dahn
Perfect for its size and scope; I haven't come across a better introduction to Machiavelli yet. It will be an excellent addition to any syllabus.
Chantal
A really enjoyable, lucid introduction to Machiavelli. I love this series.
Eric
Great little introduction to Machiavelli.
Steve Mitchell
Does exactly what it says on the cover.
Marie-anne
very helpful and easy to understand
James
James marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2014
Hesham Ahmad fou'ad
Hesham Ahmad fou'ad marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2014
Josip Cmrečnjak
Josip Cmrečnjak marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2014
Lisa Redmond
Lisa Redmond marked it as to-read
Jul 04, 2014
Pirita
Pirita marked it as to-read
Jun 12, 2014
Nicole Donnelly
Nicole Donnelly marked it as to-read
Jun 09, 2014
Masar
Masar marked it as to-read
Jun 08, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Nietzsche: A Very Short Introduction
  • The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction
  • Aristotle: A Very Short Introduction
  • Political Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction
  • Plato: A Very Short Introduction
  • The Spanish Civil War: A Very Short Introduction
  • Human Rights: A Very Short Introduction
  • Politics: A Very Short Introduction
  • Socialism: A Very Short Introduction
  • Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction
  • Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction
  • Economics: A Very Short Introduction
  • The Koran: A Very Short Introduction
  • Fascism: A Very Short Introduction
  • The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction
  • Modern China: A Very Short Introduction
  • Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction
  • The Renaissance: A Very Short Introduction
Educated at Caius College, Cambridge, where he was elected to a Fellowship upon obtaining a double-starred first in History, Quentin Skinner accepted, however, a teaching Fellowship at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he taught until 2008, except for four years in the 1970s spent at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. In 1978 he was appointed to the chair of Political Scie...more
More about Quentin Skinner...
The Foundations of Modern Political Thought: Volume One: The Renaissance Liberty before Liberalism The Foundations of Modern Political Thought: Volume Two: The Age of Reformation Visions of Politics (Vol. I: Regarding Method) The Return of Grand Theory in the Human Sciences

Share This Book