• Machiavelli

  • The Art of Teaching People What to Fear
  • By: Patrick Boucheron
  • Narrated by: Mack Sanderson
  • Length: 2 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In a series of poignant vignettes, a preeminent historian makes a compelling case for Machiavelli as an unjustly maligned figure with valuable political insights that resonate as strongly today as they did in his time.

Whenever a tempestuous period in history begins, Machiavelli is summoned, because he is known as one for philosophizing in dark times. In fact, since his death in 1527, we have never ceased to read him to pull ourselves out of torpors. But what do we really know about this man apart from the term invented by his detractors to refer to that political evil, Machiavellianism? 

It was Machiavelli’s luck to be disappointed by every statesman he encountered throughout his life - that was why he had to write The Prince. If the book endeavors to dissociate political action from common morality, the question still remains today of, not why, but for whom did Machiavelli write this? Was it for princes or for those who want to resist them? Is the art of governing to take power or to keep it? And what is meant by “the people”? Can they govern themselves? Beyond cynical advice for the powerful, Machiavelli meditates profoundly on the idea of popular sovereignty because the people know best who oppresses them. 

With verve and a delightful erudition, Patrick Boucheron sheds light on the life and works of this unclassifiable visionary, illustrating how we can continue to use him as a guide in times of crisis.

©2017 y Éditions des Équateurs / France Inter. English translation © 2018 by Willard Wood (P)2020 by Blackstone Publishing

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Sublime

A deftly written piece by Patrick Boucheron: an incisive, informative Machiavelli 101 with excellent questions and commentary. But the real pleasure comes with Mack Sanderson’s electric narration, overflowing with eloquence and pathos. Sanderson breathes life into Machiavelli himself and bolsters Boucheron’s authority with his velvet voice. Like being in the best university lecture ever. Don’t miss.