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.
Peter Constantine's most recent translations are Sophocles Theban Trilogy, The Essential Writings of Machiavelli, and The Bird is a Raven by Benjamin Lebert, which was awarded the Helen und Kurt Wolff Translation Prize. He was awarded the PEN Translation Prize for Six Early Stories by Thomas Mann, and the National Translation Award for The Undiscovered Chekhov: Thirty-Eight New Stories. His translation of the complete works of Isaac Babel received the Koret Jewish Literature Award and a National Jewish Book Award citation. He has recently translated Gogol s Taras Bulba, Tolstoy s The Cossacks, and Voltaire s Candide for Modern Library. He was one of the editors for A Century of Greek Poetry: 1900-2000, and is a senior editor at Conjunctions.
Albert Russell Ascoli is Gladys Arata Terrill Distinguished Professor in the Department of Italian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.