For his insistence on the amoral character of successful government, Machiavelli remains a contentious figure. Often reviled as a teacher of evil, Machiavelli's influence on the modern state is explored in this book.
In On Machiavelli, Alan Ryan illuminates the political and philosophical complexities of the godfather of realpolitik. Often outraging popular opinion, Machiavelli eschewed the world as it ought to be in favour of a forthright appraisal of the one that is. Thought by some to be the founder of Italian nationalism, regarded by others to be a reviver of the Roman Republic, Machiavelli has suffered from being taken out of context. Placing him squareley in his own time, this essential, comprehensive and accessible guide to Machiavelli's life and works includes a new introduction by Ryan.