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The Garments of Court and Palace: Machiavelli and the World That He Made (edition 2013)

by Philip Bobbitt

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142683,257 (4.5)None
Member:DavidWineberg
Title:The Garments of Court and Palace: Machiavelli and the World That He Made
Authors:Philip Bobbitt
Info:Atlantic Monthly Press (2013), Hardcover, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:history, biography, economics, politics

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The Garments of Court and Palace: Machiavelli and the World That He Made by Philip Bobbitt

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Excellent background for the Prince ( )
  carterchristian1 | Mar 18, 2013 |
The Garments of Court and Palace poses an interesting challenge for me. It is essentially a review of Machiavelli’s The Prince. A 288 page review. How much more can one say? How does a reviewer review a review? Worse (or better yet), Bobbitt does in his review what readers of my reviews come to expect of me: a completely different take, with aspects and interpretations no other reviewer has caught, and which sometimes the author has missed, being mired in the trees of the forest.

The discovery here would never have occurred to me. It is that The Prince is actually a study in the evolution of constitutional government, and not a recipe for oppression and subjugation of a people. Only someone steeped in constitutional law and philosophy would interpret it that way, but Bobbitt makes an absolutely commanding case for it. In fact, by massaging Machiavelli into this thesis, Bobbitt solves a number of contradictions and conundrums that reviews have used to criticize Machiavelli and diminish his accomplishment with his book, which by the way, he never called The Prince.

In places, it is positively Talmudic in its incorporation of outside voices and critics. Commentators through the ages are shredded or vetted. He backs his premise thoroughly and completely, enlisting Machiavelli’s words despite centuries of them being interpreted in a completely different direction. It is fascinating.

Millions of us (had to) read The Prince in high school. Our teachers drummed into us exactly what it was about, and all our appreciation of it was framed in that context. But it’s wrong. And that makes this book compelling, valuable, and important.
I’m delighted to have come across it. ( )
  DavidWineberg | Jan 4, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802120741, Hardcover)

The Prince, a political treatise by the Florentine public servant and political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli is widely regarded as the single most influential book on politics—and in particular on the the politics of power—ever written.

In this groundbreaking book, Philip Bobbitt explores this often misunderstood work in the context of the time. He describes The Prince as one half of a masterpiece that, along with Machiavelli’s often neglected Discourses prophesies the end of the feudal era and describes the birth of the neoclassical
Renaissance State. Using both Renaissance examples and cases drawn from our current era, Bobbitt situates Machiavelli’s work as a turning point in our understanding of the relation between war and law as these create and maintain the State. This is a fascinating history and commentary by the man Henry Kissinger called "the outstanding political philosopher of our time."

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:43 -0400)

An exploration of Machiavelli's often misunderstood work "The Prince" positions Machiavelli's writings as a turning point in the understanding of the relation between war and law as these create and maintain the State.

(summary from another edition)

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