What We Are Reading: January 2022

What makes a prince? Machiavelli had some ideas. “Above all he should do as some excellent man has done in the past who found someone to imitate who had been praised and glorified before him,” he wrote. “[One] whose exploits and actions he always kept beside himself, as they say Alexander the Great imitated Achilles; Caesar, Alexander; Scipio, Cyrus.”
Many readers of political issues are familiar with The Prince, Machiavelli’s most infamous work about the world of political power. It is a manuscript for direct action, a stiletto for those willing to bloody their hands and to break oaths to advance their ends. Indeed, in The Life of Castruccio Castracani, Machiavelli’s eponymous hero shows little remorse at breaking his word. If he does not, others will, and render him an honest dead man. 
Like much of Machiavelli’s work, this book is not for everyone. However, for those interested in knowing the father of political science better, it...

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