Ein faszinierendes Leben in der italienischen Renaissance
Machiavelli gilt als faszinierendster und einflussreichster Denker der italienischen Renaissance. Sein Hauptwerk »Il Principe – Der Fürst« verfasste er um 1513, und es wird noch heute als Brevier der rücksichtslosen Machtpolitik gelesen. Doch wer war Machiavelli wirklich? Ross King entwirft ein differenziertes Bild dieses ersten Realpolitikers der europäischen Geschichte und seiner Heimatstadt Florenz unter den mächtigen Medici.
It was easy to find oneself on the wrong side of the ruler-du-jour in 16th-century Italy, which was controlled by corrupt families and defended by contract soldiers whose loyalties were readily purchased. Machiavelli ventured into this world with his diplomatic acumen, then, when he fell out of favor, turned his ambitious mind to brutal political writings, satirical plays and the occasional courtesan. A theoretician of conspiracy and duplicity, he was also a brilliant observer of his times. Sympathizing with Machiavelli, King provides a convincing portrait of one of the most misunderstood thinkers of all time. Machiavelli's writings shed a dark light on the man, but less so when set against the tapestry of Florence's Palazzo della Signoria. King's book is everything a short biography should be and more, due to King's sharp wit and zesty anecdotes: "As the document was being signed, a dove came through the window and flew over the heads of the Ten. The dove then crashed into a wall and fell dead at the feet of the Ten, but its appearance was still considered a good omen." It provides a strong sense of the history of both the man and his times and a nice introduction to Machiavelli's writings. Moreover, like one of Machiavelli's bawdy plays, it is a riveting and exhilarating read, full of salacious details and brisk prose.