FINALIST--2008 PEN TRANSLATION PRIZE
In "The Essential Writings of Machiavelli, " Peter Constantine has assembled a comprehensive collection that shows the true depth and breadth of a great Renaissance thinker. Refreshingly accessible, these superb new translations are faithful to Machiavelli's original, beautifully crafted writings.
The volume features essays that appear in English for the first time, such as "A Caution to the Medici" and "The Persecution of Africa." Also included are complete versions of the political treatise, "The Prince," the comic satire "The Mandrake," "The Life of Castruccio Castracani," and the classic story "Belfagor," along with selections from "The Discourses, The Art of War, " and "Florentine Histories." Augmented with useful features-vital and concise annotations and cross-references-this unique compendium is certain to become the standard one-volume reference to this influential, versatile, and ever timely writer.
"Machiavelli's stress on political necessity rather than moral perfection helped inspire the Renaissance by renewing links with Thucydides and other classical thinkers. This new collection provides deeper insight into Machiavelli's personality as a writer, thus broadening our understanding of him."
-Robert D. Kaplan, author of W"arrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos "
"Constantine's selection is not only intelligent; his translations are astonishingly good. Thoughtfully introduced by Albert Russell Ascoli, this edition belongs in everyone's library."
-John Jeffries Martin, professor and chair, department of history, Trinity University
"If one were to assign a single edition of Machiavelli's works, this most certainly would be it."
-John P. McCormick, professor, department of political science, University of Chicago.
About the Author
Niccolo Machiavelli was an Italian politician, diplomat, founding father of political science, and author of the preeminent political treatise, The Prince. Born in Florence, Italy, Machiavelli held many government posts over his lifetime and often took leading roles in important diplomatic missions. During his time visiting other countries and nation states, Machiavelli was exposed to the politics of figures like Ceasare Borgia and King Louis XII, experiences which would inform his writings on state-building and politics. Machiavelli s political career came to an abrupt end when the Medici overthrew Florence, and he was held as a prisoner under the new regime. Tortured for a short time, he was released without admitting to any crime or treason. At this point, Machiavelli retired and turned to intellectual and philosophical pursuits, producing his two major works, The Prince and Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livy. He died in 1527 at the age of 58.
Isaac Babel was a journalist, playwright, and short story writer, whose works include the Russian masterpieces Red Cavalry and The Odessa Tales. He was arrested and executed in a Soviet prison in 1940.
Albert Russell Ascoli is Gladyce Arata Terrill Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His publications include Ariosto's Bitter Harmony: Crisis and Evasion in the Italian Renaissance (1987), Making and Remaking Italy: The Cultivation of National Identity around the Risorgimento (co-edited with Krystyna von Henneberg, 2001), Dante and the Making of a Modern Author (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and A Local Habitation, and a Name: Imagining Histories in the Italian Renaissance (2011). He is co-founder and volume editor of the electronic journal, California Italian Studies.