"A wise ruler ought never to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interests." -- Niccolo Machiavelli
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (3 May 1469 — 21 June 1527) was an Italian philosopher and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He is one of the main founders of modern political science. He was a diplomat, political philosopher, musician, and a playwright, but foremost, he was a civil servant of the Florentine Republic. In June of 1498, after the ouster and execution of Girolamo Savonarola, the Great Council elected Machiavelli as Secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence.
Machiavelli is most famous for a short political treatise, The Prince, written in 1513, but not published until 1532, five years after Machiavelli's death. Although he privately circulated The Prince among friends, the only work he published in his lifetime was The Art of War, about high-military science. Since the sixteenth century, generations of politicians remain attracted and repelled by the cynical approach to power posited in The Prince and his other works. Whatever his personal intentions, which are still debated today, his surname yielded the modern political word Machiavellian...the use of cunning and deceitful stratagem in politics.
"A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise.""A return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man. His good example has such an influence that the good men strive to imitate him, and the wicked are ashamed to lead a life so contrary to his example.""A son can bear with equanimity the loss of his father, but the loss of his inheritance may drive him to despair.""Before all else, be armed.""Benefits should be conferred gradually; and in that way they will taste better.""Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage.""For among other evils caused by being disarmed, it renders you contemptible; which is one of those disgraceful things which a prince must guard against.""God is not willing to do everything, and thus take away our free will and that share of glory which belongs to us.""Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil.""He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.""Hence it comes about that all armed Prophets have been victorious, and all unarmed Prophets have been destroyed.""I'm not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.""If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.""It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.""It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver.""It is much more secure to be feared than to be loved.""It is necessary for him who lays out a state and arranges laws for it to presuppose that all men are evil and that they are always going to act according to the wickedness of their spirits whenever they have free scope.""It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles.""Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions.""Men are so simple and yield so readily to the desires of the moment that he who will trick will always find another who will suffer to be tricked.""Men ought either to be indulged or utterly destroyed, for if you merely offend them they take vengeance, but if you injure them greatly they are unable to retaliate, so that the injury done to a man ought to be such that vengeance cannot be feared.""Men rise from one ambition to another: first, they seek to secure themselves against attack, and then they attack others.""Men should be either treated generously or destroyed, because they take revenge for slight injuries - for heavy ones they cannot.""Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.""Nature that framed us of four elements, warring within our breasts for regiment, doth teach us all to have aspiring minds.""Never was anything great achieved without danger.""No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.""Of mankind we may say in general they are fickle, hypocritical, and greedy of gain.""One change always leaves the way open for the establishment of others.""One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.""Politics have no relation to morals.""Princes and governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society.""Severities should be dealt out all at once, so that their suddenness may give less offense; benefits ought to be handed ought drop by drop, so that they may be relished the more.""Since it is difficult to join them together, it is safer to be feared than to be loved when one of the two must be lacking.""Tardiness often robs us opportunity, and the dispatch of our forces.""The distinction between children and adults, while probably useful for some purposes, is at bottom a specious one, I feel. There are only individual egos, crazy for love.""The fact is that a man who wants to act virtuously in every way necessarily comes to grief among so many who are not virtuous.""The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.""The main foundations of every state, new states as well as ancient or composite ones, are good laws and good arms you cannot have good laws without good arms, and where there are good arms, good laws inevitably follow.""The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.""The new ruler must determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He must inflict them once and for all.""The one who adapts his policy to the times prospers, and likewise that the one whose policy clashes with the demands of the times does not.""The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present.""The wise man does at once what the fool does finally.""The wish to acquire more is admittedly a very natural and common thing; and when men succeed in this they are always praised rather than condemned. But when they lack the ability to do so and yet want to acquire more at all costs, they deserve condemnation for their mistakes.""There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first kind is excellent, the second good, and the third kind useless.""There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.""There is no surer sign of decay in a country than to see the rites of religion held in contempt.""There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.""To understand the nature of the people one must be a prince, and to understand the nature of the prince, one must be of the people.""War is just when it is necessary; arms are permissible when there is no hope except in arms.""War should be the only study of a prince. He should consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes as ability to execute, military plans.""We cannot attribute to fortune or virtue that which is achieved without either.""When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred.""Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great.""Whoever conquers a free town and does not demolish it commits a great error and may expect to be ruined himself.""Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times."
Machiavelli was born in Florence, Italy, the third son of attorney Bernardo di Niccolò Machiavelli, and his wife, Bartolomea di Stefano Nelli. The Machiavelli family are believed descended from the old marquesses of Tuscany, and to have produced thirteen Florentine Gonfalonieres of Justice., one of the offices of a group of nine citizens selected by drawing lots every two months, who formed the government, or Signoria.Machiavelli was born in a tumultuous era...Popes waged war, and the wealthy Italian city-states might anytime fall, piecemeal, to foreign powers...France, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire...and political-military alliances continually changed, featuring condottieri who changed sides without warning, and weeks-long governments rising and falling
Rigorously trained to manhood by his father, Machiavelli was taught grammar, rhetoric and Latin. He did not learn Greek, even though Florence was at the time one of the centres of Greek scholarship in Europe. In 1494, he entered Florentine government service as a clerk and as an ambassador; later that year, Florence restored the republic...expelling the Medici family, who had ruled Florence for some sixty years. He was in a diplomatic council responsible for negotiation and military affairs, undertaking, between 1499 and 1512, diplomatic missions to the courts of Louis XII in France, Ferdinand II of Aragón, in Spain, and the Papacy in Rome, in Italy proper. Moreover, from 1502 to 1503, he witnessed the effective state-building methods of soldier-churchman Cesare Borgia (1475—1507), who was then enlarging his central Italian territories.
Between 1503 and 1506, Machiavelli was responsible for the Florentine militia, including the City’s defense. He distrusted mercenaries (cf. Discourses, The Prince), preferring a politically invested citizen-militia, a philosophy that bore fruit...his command of Florentine citizen-soldiers defeated Pisa in 1509; yet, in August of 1512, the Medici, helped by Pope Julius II, used Spanish troops to defeat the Florentines at Prato; Piero Soderini resigned as Florentine head of state, and left in exile; then, the Florentine city-state and the Republic were dissolved. For his significant role in the republic's anti-Medici government, Niccolò Machiavelli was deposed from office, and, in 1513, was accused of conspiracy, and arrested. Despite torture "with the rope" (the prisoner is hanged from his bound wrists, from the back, forcing the arms to bear the body's weight, thus dislocating the shoulders), he denied involvement and was released; then, retiring to his estate, at Sant'Andrea in Percussina, near Florence, he wrote the political treatises that earned his intellectual place in the development of political philosophy and political conduct.
In a letter to Francesco Vettori, he described his exile:
As a writer, Machiavelli identified the unifying theme in The Prince and the Discorsi:
Machiavelli died in 1527 at the age of 58. He was buried at the Church of Santa Croce in Florence, Italy. An epitaph honouring him is inscribed in a small monument. The Latin legend reads: TANTO NOMINI NULLUM PAR ELOGIUM ("so great a name (has) no adequate praise" or "no eulogy (would be) appropriate to (praise) such a great name").
The Prince's contribution to the history of European political thought was in beginning a new political Realism after a long period of political Idealism in the Middle Ages. And this turn to realism was part of the bigger turn to realism in science and politics which defines the beginning of modernity and the end of the Middle Ages. Niccolò Machiavelli’s best-known book describes the arts with which a ruling prince can maintain control of his realm. It concentrates on the possibility of a "new prince", under the presumption that a hereditary prince has an easier task in ruling, since the people are accustomed to him. To retain power, the hereditary prince must carefully maintain the socio-political institutions to which the people are accustomed; whereas a new prince has the more difficult task in ruling, since he must first stabilize his new-found power in order to build an enduring political structure. That requires the prince being a public figure above reproach, whilst privately acting amorally to achieve State goals. The examples are those princes who most successfully obtain and maintain power, drawn from his observations as a Florentine diplomat, and his ancient history readings; thus, the Latin phrases and Classic examples.
The Prince does not dismiss morality, instead, it politically defines “Morality”...as in the criteria for acceptable cruel action...it must be decisive: swift, effective, and short-lived. Machiavelli is aware of the irony of good results coming from evil actions; notwithstanding some mitigating themes, the Catholic Church proscribed The Prince, registering it to the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, moreover, the Humanists also viewed the book negatively, among them, Erasmus of Rotterdam. As a treatise, its primary intellectual contribution to the history of political thought is the fundamental break between political Realism and political Idealism...thus, The Prince is a manual to acquiring and keeping political power. In contrast with Plato and Aristotle, a Classical ideal society is not the aim of the prince’s will to power. As a political scientist, Machiavelli emphasises necessary, methodical exercise of brute force punishment-and-reward (patronage, clientelism, et cetera) to preserve the status quo.
As there seems to be a very large difference between Machiavelli's advice to ruthless and tyrannical princes in The Prince and his more republican exhortations in Discorsi, many have concluded that The Prince is actually only a satire. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, for instance, admired Machiavelli the republican and consequently argued that The Prince is a book for the republicans as it exposes the methods used by princes. If the book were only intended as a manual for tyrannical rulers, it contains a paradox: it would apparently be more effective if the secrets it contains would not be made publicly available. Likewise, Antonio Gramsci argued that Machiavelli's audience for this work is the common people because the rulers already knew these methods through their education. This interpretation is supported by the fact that Machiavelli wrote in Italian, not in Latin (which would have been the language of the ruling elite). Although Machiavelli is supposed to be a realist, many of his heroes in The Prince are in fact mythical or semi-mythical, and his goal (i.e. the unification of Italy) was essentially utopian at the time of writing.
Sixteenth-century contemporaries adopted and used the adjective Machiavellian (in the sense of devious cunning), often in the introductions of political tracts offering more than government by “Reasons of State”, most notably those of Jean Bodin and Giovanni Botero. Contemporary, pejorative usage of Machiavellian (or anti-Machiavellism in the 16th C.) is a misnomer describing someone who deceives and manipulates others for gain; (personal or not, the gain is immaterial, only action matters, insofar as it affects results). The Prince does not have the moderating themes of his other works; politically, “Machiavelli” denotes someone of politically extreme perspective; however Machiavellianism remains a popular speech and journalism usage; while in psychology, it denotes a personality type.
The Discourse on the First Ten Books of Titus Livy comprises the early history of Rome. It is a series of lessons on how a republic should be started and structured, including the concept of checks and balances, the strength of a tri-partite political structure, and the superiority of a republic over a principality.
From The Discourses:
“In fact, when there is combined under the same constitution a prince, a nobility, and the power of the people, then these three powers will watch and keep each other reciprocally in check”. Book I, Chapter II
“Doubtless these means [of attaining power] are cruel and destructive of all civilized life, and neither Christian, nor even human, and should be avoided by every one. In fact, the life of a private citizen would be preferable to that of a king at the expense of the ruin of so many human beings”. Book I, Chapter XXVI
“Now, in a well-ordered republic, it should never be necessary to resort to extra-constitutional measures. . . . ” Book I, Chapter XXXIV
“. . . the governments of the people are better than those of princes”. Book I, Chapter LVIII
“. . . if we compare the faults of a people with those of princes, as well as their respective good qualities, we shall find the people vastly superior in all that is good and glorious”. Book I, Chapter LVIII
“For government consists mainly in so keeping your subjects that they shall be neither able, nor disposed to injure you. . . . ” Book II, Chapter XXIII
“. . . no prince is ever benefited by making himself hated”. Book III, Chapter XIX
“Let not princes complain of the faults committed by the people subjected to their authority, for they result entirely from their own negligence or bad example”. Book III, Chapter XXIX
Besides being a statesman and political scientist, Machiavelli also translated classical works, and was a dramaturge (Clizia, Mandragola), a poet (Sonetti, Canzoni, Ottave, Canti carnascialeschi), and a novelist (Belfagor arcidiavolo).
Some of his other work:
Discorso sopra le cose di Pisa (1499)
Del modo di trattare i popoli della Valdichiana ribellati (1502)
Del modo tenuto dal duca Valentino nell’ ammazzare Vitellozzo Vitelli, Oliverotto da Fermo, etc. (1502) ... A Description of the Methods Adopted by the Duke Valentino when Murdering Vitellozzo Vitelli, Oliverotto da Fermo, the Signor Pagolo, and the Duke di Gravina Orsini
Discorso sopra la provisione del danaro (1502) ... A discourse about the provision of money.
Decennale primo (1506), a poem in terza rima.
Ritratti delle cose dell’ Alemagna (1508—1512) - Portrait of the affairs of Germany.
Decennale secondo (1509), a poem.
Ritratti delle cose di Francia (1510) ... Portrait of the affairs of France.
Andria (1517), a Classical comedy, translated from Terence.
Mandragola (1518) ... The Mandrake, a five-act prose comedy, with a verse prologue.
Della lingua (1514), a dialogue about the language.
Clizia (1525), a prose comedy.
Belfagor arcidiavolo (1515), a novel.
Asino d’oro (1517) ... The Golden Ass is a terza rima poem, a new version of the Classic work by Apuleius.
Dell’arte della guerra (1519—1520) ... The Art of War, high military science.
Discorso sopra il riformare lo stato di Firenze (1520) ... A discourse about the reforming of Florence.
Sommario delle cose della citta di Lucca (1520) ... A summary of the affairs of the city of Lucca.
Vita di Castruccio Castracani da Lucca (1520) ... The Life of Castruccio Castracani of Lucca, a biography.
Istorie fiorentine (1520—1525) ... Florentine Histories, an eight-volume history book of the city-state, Florence, commissioned by Giulio di Giuliano de’ Medici, later Pope Clement VII.
Frammenti storici (1525) ... Fragments of stories.
Despite remaining a politically influential writer in the 17th and 18th centuries, it was the 19th and 20th centuries that rediscovered his political science for its intellectual and practical applications. The most reliable guide to this renewed interest is the Introduction to the 1953 (Mentor Books) edition of Il Principe, wherein Christian Gauss, the Dean of Princeton University, discusses, with pertinent historical context, the commentaries on The Prince made by the German historians Ranke (19th c.) and Meineke (20th c.), the Briton Lord Acton, and others. Citing the consensus that Machiavelli was the first political theorist with a practical, scientific approach to statecraft, considering him “the first Modern Man”. The commentators view the political scientist Machiavelli positively...because he viewed the world realistically, thus, such statecraft leads to (generally)constructive results.
In the 20th century there was also renewed interest in Machiavelli's La Mandragola (1518), which received numerous stagings, including several in New York, at the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1976 and the Riverside Shakespeare Company in 1979, and at London's National Theatre in 1984.
Machiavelli was in many respects not an innovator. His largest political work seeks to bring back a rebirth of the Ancient Roman Republic; its values, virtues and principles the ultimate guiding authority of his political vision. Machiavelli is essentially a restorer of something old and forgotten. The republicanism he focused on, especially the theme of civic virtue, became one of the dominant political themes of the modern world, and was a central part of the foundation of American political values.
Machiavelli studied the way people lived and aimed to inform leaders how they should rule and even how they themselves should live. To an extent he admits that the old tradition was true - men are obliged to live virtuously as according to Aristotles Virtue Ethics principle. However, he denies that living virtuously necessarily leads to happiness. Machiavelli viewed misery as one of the vices that enables a prince to rule Machiavelli states boldly in The Prince, The answer is, of course, that it would be best to be both loved and feared. But since the two rarely come together, anyone compelled to choose will find greater security in being feared than in being loved. In much of Machiavelli's work, it seems that the ruler must adopt unsavory policies for the sake of the continuance of his regime.
Hans Baron was the most influential scholar to study Machiavelli. Najemy (1996) examines Baron's ambivalent portrayal, arguing that Baron tended to see Machiavelli simultaneously as the cynical debunker and the faithful heir of civic humanism. By the mid-1950s, Baron had come to consider civic humanism and Florentine republicanism as early chapters of a much longer history of European political liberty, a story in which Machiavelli and his generation played a crucial role. This conclusion led Baron to modify his earlier negative view of Machiavelli. He tried to bring the Florentine theorist under the umbrella of civic humanism by underscoring the radical differences between The Prince and the Discourses and thus revealing the fundamentally republican character of the Discourses. However, Baron's inability to come to terms with Machiavelli's harsh criticism of early 15th-century commentators such as Leonardo Bruni ultimately prevented him from fully reconciling Machiavelli with civic humanism.
Pocock (1981) traces the Machiavellian belief in and emphasis upon Greco-Roman ideals of unspecialized civic virtue and liberty from 15th-century Florence through 17th-century England and Scotland to 18th-century America. Thinkers who shared these ideals tended to believe that the function of property was to maintain an individual's independence as a precondition of his virtue. Consequently, in the last two times and places mentioned above, they were disposed to attack the new commercial and financial regime that was beginning to develop. However, Paul Rahe (1992) takes issue with Pocock on the origins and argues Machiavelli's republicanism was not rooted in antiquity but was is entirely novel and modern. Scholars have argued that James Madison followed Machiavelli's republicanism when he (and Jefferson) set up the Democratic-Republican Party in the 1790s to oppose what they saw as the emerging aristocracy that they feared Alexander Hamilton was creating with the Federalist Party. Conservative historians likewise conclude that Thomas Jefferson's republicanism was "deeply in debt" to Machiavelli, whom he praised. However, the Founding Father who perhaps most studied and valued Machiavelli as a political philosopher was John Adams, who profusely commented on the Italian's thought in his work, A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America.
The 20th century Italian Communist, Antonio Gramsci drew great inspiration from Machiavelli's writings on ethics, morals, and how they relate to the State and revolution in his writings on Passive Revolution, and how a society can be manipulated by controlling popular notions of morality.
Realist or evil?
For four centuries scholars have debated whether Machiavelli was the theorist of evil or just being realistic. The Prince made the word "Machiavellian" a byword for deceit, despotism, and political manipulation. Some historians argue Machiavelli had a secret (or very subtle) message that explains away the ugly implications of the plain text, saying that Machiavelli really favored virtue after all and was just trying to trick princes into policies that would lead to their overthrow, not their triumph.
Leo Strauss, the American political philosopher, declared himself more inclined toward the traditional view that Machiavelli was a "teacher of evil," since he counsels the princes to avoid the values of justice, mercy, temperance, wisdom, and love of their people in preference to the use of cruelty, violence, fear, and deception. Italian anti-fascist philosopher Benedetto Croce (1925) concludes Machiavelli is simply a "realist" or "pragmatist" who accurately states that moral values in reality do not greatly affect the decisions that political leaders make. German philosopher Ernst Cassirer (1946) held that Machiavelli simply adopts the stance of a political scientist...a Galileo of politics...in distinguishing between the "facts" of political life and the "values" of moral judgment.
Thoughts on the State
Machiavelli was not a political philosopher in the ordinary sense. He did not try either to define the State or to justify its existence. His views about the State are implied as matter of course when he describes how a ruler may retain or acquire control, how he is liable to lose it, which qualities are necessary for a republic to remain strong, or how precarious a Republic’s liberty can be at times. Medieval thinkers had taken the political authority of any prince or king in the community of Christendom to be necessarily limited — by the Emperor (In the case of the Holy Roman Empire), by the power of the Roman Catholic Church in spiritual matters and by the power of natural law (Universal moral principles) that determine the boundaries of justice. Machiavelli did not challenge this long held traditional position. He ignored it, writing as a matter of fact that the state had absolute authority. He thought that the value of religion lies in its contribution to social order and the rules of morality must be dispensed with if security required it.
Machiavelli further differed from medieval thinkers in taking for granted that the power of the state is a single whole and can be centrally controlled, irrespective of whether the state is a monarchy or a republic. He preferred a republic because he preferred liberty. However, he believed that in order for the liberty of republicanism to function, it needed a citizenry who were independent and courageous (Virtuous). Machiavelli believed these qualities were rare and existed hardly anywhere in the Europe of his day since the Romans.
Impact on the United States
The Founding Fathers of the United States read Machiavelli closely. In his Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States, John Adams praised Machiavelli, with Algernon Sidney and Montesquieu, as a philosophic defender of mixed government. For Adams, Machiavelli restored empirical reason to politics, while his analysis of factions was commendable. Adams likewise agreed with the Florentine that human nature was immutable and driven by passions. He also accepted Machiavelli's belief that all societies were subject to cyclical periods of growth and decay. For Adams, Machiavelli lacked only a clear understanding of the institutions necessary for good government.
Anglo, Sydney, Machiavelli - the First Century: Studies in Enthusiasm, Hostility, and Irrelevance, Oxford University Press, 2005, ISBN 0199267766, 9780199267767
Hoeges, Dirk. Niccolò Machiavelli. Dichter-Poeta. Mit sämtlichen Gedichten, deutsch/italienisch. Con tutte le poesie, tedesco/italiano, Reihe: Dialoghi/Dialogues: Literatur und Kultur Italiens und Frankreichs, Band 10, Peter Lang Verlag, Frankfurt/M. u.a. 2006, ISBN 3-631-54669-6.
See also NYT book review.
Also available in Chinese (ISBN 9789572026113), Japanese (ISBN 9784022597588), German (ISBN 9783471794029), Portuguese (ISBN 9788571104969), and Korean (ISBN 9788984070059). See also NYT book review.
Seung, T. K. (1993). Intuition and Construction: The Foundation of Normative Theory, New Haven: Yale University Press. See pp. 133—43.
Stefano Zen, Veritas ecclesiastica e Machiavelli, in Monarchia della verità. Modelli culturali e pedagogia della Controriforma, Napoli, Vivarium, 2002 (La Ricerca Umanistica, 4), pp. 73—111.
von Vacano, Diego, "The Art of Power: Machiavelli, Nietzsche and the Making of Aesthetic Political Theory," Lanham MD: Lexington: 2007.
Mascia Ferri, L'opinione pubblica e il sovrano in Machiavelli, in «The Lab's Quarterly»,n.2 aprile-giugno,Università di Pisa,2008, pp. 420—433.
Giuseppe Leone,"Silone e Machiavelli: una scuola... che non crea prìncipi", Prefazione di Vittoriano Esposito, Centro Studi Ignazio Silone, Pescina, 2003.
Burd, L. A., "Florence (II): Machiavelli" in Cambridge Modern History (1902), vol. I, ch. vi. pp 190—218 online Google edition
Capponi, Niccolo. An Unlikely Prince: The Life and Times of Machiavelli (Da Capo Press; 2010) 334 pages
de Grazia, Sebastian. Machiavelli in Hell (1989), highly favorable intellectual biography; won the Pulitzer Prize; excerpt and text search
Hale, J. R. Machiavelli and Renaissance Italy (1961) online edition
Hulliung, Mark. Citizen Machiavelli (1983)
Ridolfi, Roberto. The Life of Niccolò Machiavelli (1963), a standard scholarly biography
Schevill, Ferdinand. Six Historians (1956), pp. 61—91
Skinner, Quentin. Machiavelli: A Very Short Introduction (2000) online edition
Villari, Pasquale. The Life and Times of Niccolò Machiavelli (2 vol 1892), good older biography; online Google edition vol 1; online Google edition vol 2
Viroli, Maurizio. Niccolo's Smile : A Biography of Machiavelli (2000) excerpt and text search
Viroli, Maurizio. Machiavelli (1998) online edition, good place to start
Arciniegas, Germán. "Savonarola, Machiavelli, and Guido Antonio Vespucci: Totalitarian and Democrat 500 Years Ago," Political Science Quarterly, (1954) 69:184-201, argues that modern totalitarianism is a blending of Machiavelli's theories and Savonarola's techniques of rabble rousing. in JSTOR
Ball, Terence. "The Picaresque Prince: Reflections on Machiavelli and Moral Change," Political Theory, Vol. 12, No. 4 (Nov., 1984), pp. 521—536 in jstor
Baron, Hans. The Crisis of the Early Italian Renaissance: Civic Humanism and Republican Liberty in an Age of Classicism and Tyranny (2 vol 1955), highly influential, deep study of civic humanism (republicanism); 700 pp. excerpts and text search; ACLS E-books; also vol 2 in ACLS E-books
Baron, Hans. In Search of Florentine Civic Humanism (2 vols. 1988).
Baron Hans, "Machiavelli: The Republican Citizen and the Author of The Prince" in The English Historical Review 76 (1961), pp. 217—53. in JSTOR
Bock, Gisela; Skinner, Quentin; and Viroli, Maurizio, ed. Machiavelli and Republicanism. (1990). 316 pp. excerpt and text search
Butterfield, Herbert. The Statecraft of Machiavelli (1940).
Chabod, FedericoMachiavelli & the Renaissance (1958) online edition; online from ACLS E-Books
Colish, Marcia L. "Republicanism, Religion, and Machiavelli's Savonarolan Moment," Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 60, No. 4 (Oct., 1999), pp. 597—616 in JSTOR
Colish, Marcia L. "Machiavelli's Art of War: A Reconsideration," Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 51, No. 4 (Winter, 1998), pp. 1151—1168 in JSTOR
Fischer, Markus. "Machiavelli's Political Psychology," The Review of Politics, Vol. 59, No. 4 (Autumn, 1997), pp. 789—829 in JSTOR
Gilbert, Felix. Machiavelli and Guicciardini: Politics and History in Sixteenth-Century Italy (2nd ed. 1984) online from ACLS-E-books
Gilbert, Felix. "Machiavelli: The Renaissance of the Art of War," in Edward Mead Earle, ed. The Makers of Modern Strategy (1944)
Jensen, De Lamar, ed. Machiavelli: Cynic, Patriot, or Political Scientist? (1960) essays by scholars online edition
Lukes, Timothy J. "Lionizing Machiavelli," The American Political Science Review, Vol. 95, No. 3 (Sep., 2001), pp. 561—575 in JSTOR
Lukes, Timothy J. "Martialing Machiavelli: Reassessing the Military Reflections," The Journal of Politics, Vol. 66, No. 4 (Nov., 2004), pp. 1089—1108 in JSTOR
Femia, Joseph V. Machiavelli Revisited (2004) online edition, 140pp, good place to start
McCormick, John P. "Machiavelli against Republicanism: On the Cambridge School's 'Guicciardinian Moments,'" Political Theory, Vol. 31, No. 5 (Oct., 2003), pp. 615—643 in JSTOR
Mansfield, Harvey C. Machiavelli's New Modes and Orders: A Study of the Discourses on Livy (2001) excerpt and text search
Mansfield, Harvey C. Machiavelli's Virtue (1996), 371pp
Mansfield, Harvey C. "Machiavelli's Political Science," The American Political Science Review, Vol. 75, No. 2 (Jun., 1981), pp. 293—305 in JSTOR
Mindle, Grant B. "Machiavelli's Realism," The Review of Politics, Vol. 47, No. 2 (Apr., 1985), pp. 212—230 in JSTOR
Najemy, John M. "Baron's Machiavelli and Renaissance Republicanism." American Historical Review 1996 101(1): 119-129. ISSN 0002-8762 Fulltext in Jstor.
Nederman, Cary J. "Amazing Grace: Fortune, God, and Free Will in Machiavelli's Thought," Journal of the History of Ideas 60: 617-638. in JSTOR
Parel, A. J. "The Question of Machiavelli's Modernity," The Review of Politics, Vol. 53, No. 2 (Spring, 1991), pp. 320—339 in JSTOR
Pellerin, Daniel. "Machiavelli's Best Fiend." History of Political Thought 2006 27(3): 423-453. Issn: 0143-781x on Pope Alexander VI
Pocock, J.G.A. The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition (1975; new ed. 2003), a highly influential study of Discourses and its vast influence; excerpt and text search; also online 1975 edition
Pocock, J. G. A. "The Machiavellian Moment Revisited: a Study in History and Ideology.: Journal of Modern History 1981 53(1): 49-72. Fulltext: in Jstor.
Rahe, Paul A. Machiavelli's Liberal Republican Legacy (2005) excerpt, reviews and text search, shows Machiavelli's Discourses had a major impact on shaping conservative thought.
Rahe, Paul. Republics Ancient and Modern: Classical Republicanism and the American Revolution, (1992) online edition
Scott, John T. and Vickie B. Sullivan, "Patricide and the Plot of the Prince: Cesare Borgia and Machiavelli's Italy." American Political Science Review 1994 88(4): 887-900. Issn: 0003-0554 in Jstor
Skinner, Quentin. The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, v. I, The Renaissance, (1978)
Strauss, Leo. On Machivelli (1957)
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Niccolò Machiavelli (2005) online edition
Struever, Nancy S. The Language of History in the Renaissance: Rhetoric and Historical Consciousness in Florentine Humanism (1970)
Wight, Martin. Four Seminal Thinkers in International Theory: Machiavelli, Grotius, Kant, and Mazzini (2005), ch. 1 online edition
Bondanella, Peter, and Mark Musa, eds. The Portable Machiavelli (1979)
Penman, Bruce. The Prince and Other Political Writings, (1981)
Selected Political Writings edited by David Wootton (1994) excerpt and text search
The Prince. Longman (Penguin Classics), 2003. ISBN 978-0140449150
The Prince ed. by Peter Bondanella (1998) 101pp online edition
The Prince ed. by Rufus Goodwin and Benjamin Martinez (2003) excerpt and text search
The Prince (2007) excerpt and text search
Machiavelli, Niccolò. The Prince, (1908 edition tr by W. K. Marriott) Gutenberg edition
The Discourses, online 1772 edition
The Discourses, tr. with introduction and notes by L. J. Walker (2 vol 1950).
The Discourses, edited with an introduction by Bernard Crick (1970).
The Seven Books on the Art of War online 1772 edition
The Art of War ed. by Christopher Lynch (2003)
The Art of War online 1775 edition
History of Florence online 1901 edition
Reform of Florence online 1772 edition
Gilbert, Allan H. ed. Machiavelli: The Chief Works and Others, (3 vol. 1965), the standard scholarly edition
The Private Correspondence of Nicolo Machiavelli, ed. by Orestes Ferrara; (1929) online edition
full text books from the Liberty Fund, a conservative think tank