I TATTI STUDIES IN ITALIAN RENAISSANCE HISTORY
Cover: A Great and Wretched City: Promise and Failure in Machiavelli’s Florentine Political Thought, from Harvard University PressCover: A Great and Wretched City in HARDCOVER

A Great and Wretched City

Promise and Failure in Machiavelli’s Florentine Political Thought

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$58.50 • £46.95 • €52.50

ISBN 9780674725461

Publication Date: 03/10/2014

Text

Like many inhabitants of booming metropolises, Machiavelli alternated between love and hate for his native city. He often wrote scathing remarks about Florentine political myopia, corruption, and servitude, but also wrote about Florence with pride, patriotism, and confident hope of better times. Despite the alternating tones of sarcasm and despair he used to describe Florentine affairs, Machiavelli provided a stubbornly persistent sense that his city had all the materials and potential necessary for a wholesale, triumphant, and epochal political renewal. As he memorably put it, Florence was “truly a great and wretched city.”

Mark Jurdjevic focuses on the Florentine dimension of Machiavelli’s political thought, revealing new aspects of his republican convictions. Through The Prince, Discourses, correspondence, and, most substantially, Florentine Histories, Jurdjevic examines Machiavelli’s political career and relationships to the republic and the Medici. He shows that significant and as yet unrecognized aspects of Machiavelli’s political thought were distinctly Florentine in inspiration, content, and purpose. From a new perspective and armed with new arguments, A Great and Wretched City reengages the venerable debate about Machiavelli’s relationship to Renaissance republicanism. Dispelling the myth that Florentine politics offered Machiavelli only negative lessons, Jurdjevic argues that his contempt for the city’s shortcomings was a direct function of his considerable estimation of its unrealized political potential.

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of the Alien in America, by Beth Lew-Williams, from Harvard University Press

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Part II

In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we’re showcasing titles that document the Asian American experience. Our second excerpt comes from Beth Lew-Williams’s prizewinning book The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of the Alien in America, which historian Richard White describes as “a powerful argument about racial violence that could not be more timely.” Monday night, Gong was asleep in his tent when the vigilantes returned