The Machiavellian Moment

The Machiavellian Moment : Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition

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Originally published in 1975, The Machiavellian Moment remains a landmark of historical and political thought. Celebrated historian J.G.A. Pocock looks at the consequences for modern historical and social consciousness arising from the ideal of the classical republic revived by Machiavelli and other thinkers of Renaissance Italy. Pocock shows that Machiavelli's prime emphasis was on the moment in which the republic confronts the problem of its own instability in time, which Pocock calls the "Machiavellian moment." After examining this problem in the works of Machiavelli, Guicciardini, and Giannotti, Pocock turns to the revival of republican ideology in Puritan England and in Revolutionary and Federalist America. He argues that the American Revolution can be considered the last great act of civic humanism of the Renaissance and he relates the origins of modern historicism to the clash between civic, Christian, and commercial values in eighteenth-century thought. This Princeton Classics edition of The Machiavellian Moment features a new introduction by Richard Whatmore.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 664 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 45.72mm | 624g
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • Revised edition
  • 0691172234
  • 9780691172231
  • 298,089

Back cover copy

"The Machiavellian Moment raised a thousand issues, settled two or three, and gave historians and philosophers a generation's work. It is a must-read and a must-have."--Philip Pettit, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics, Princeton University

"In analyzing the history of consciousness as explicated through philosophers, political theorists, historians, theologians, lawyers, and prophets, [this book] presents a new interpretation of wide-ranging problems. It should be of great value to scholars in many disciplines concerned with the history of ideas."--Marvin B. Becker
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Table of contents

Introduction to the Princeton Classics edition vii Introduction xxiii Part One Particularity and Time: The Conceptual Background I The Problem and Its Modes A) Experience, Usage and Prudence 3 II The Problem and Its Modes B) Providence, Fortune and Virtue 31 III The Problem and Its Modes C) The Vita Activa and the Vivere Civile 49 Part Two The Republic and its Fortune: Florentine Political Thought from 1494 to 1530 IV From Bruni to Savonarola Fortune, Venice and Apocalypse 83 V The Medicean Restoration 114 A) Guicciardini and the Lesser Ottimati, 1512-1516 VI The Medicean Restoration 156 B) Machiavelli's Il Principe VII Rome and Venice A) Machiavelli's Discorsi and Arte della Guerra 183 VIII Rome and Venice B) Guicciardini's Dialogo and the Problem of Optimate Prudence 219 IX Giannotti and Contarini: Venice as Concept and as Myth 272 Part Three Value and History in the Prerevolutionary Atlantic X The Problem of English Machiavellism: Modes of Civic Consciousness before the Civil War 333 XI The Anglicization of the Republic A) Mixed Constitution, Saint and Citizen 361 XII The Anglicization of the Republic B) Court, Country, and Standing Army 401 XIII Neo-Machiavellian Political Economy The Augustan Debate over Land, Trade and Credit 423 XIV The Eighteenth-Century Debate: Virtue, Passion and Commerce 462 XV The Americanization of Virtue: Corruption, Constitution and Frontier 506 Afterword 553 Bibliography 585 Index 601
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Review Text

"The Machiavellian Moment reinterpreted the entire history of political ideology in early modern England and America."--T. H. Breen, New York Times
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Review quote

"The Machiavellian Moment reinterpreted the entire history of political ideology in early modern England and America."--T. H. Breen, New York Times
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About John Greville Agard Pocock

J.G.A. Pocock is the Harry C. Black Professor of History Emeritus at Johns Hopkins University. His many books include Political Thought and History; Politics, Language, and Time; and The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law. Richard Whatmore is professor of modern history at the University of St Andrews and director of the St. Andrews Institute of Intellectual History. He is the author of Republicanism and the French Revolution and Against War and Empire.
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154 ratings
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2 6% (10)
1 1% (1)
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