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Machiavelli in Tumult
The Discourses on Livy and the Origins of Political Conflictualism

$80.00 ( ) USD

  • Date Published: September 2018
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781316829974

$ 80.00 USD ( )
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About the Authors
  • Among the theses that for centuries have ensured Niccolò Machiavelli an ambiguous fame, a special place goes to his extremely positive opinion of social conflicts, and, more in particular, to the claim that in ancient Rome 'the disunion between the plebs and the Roman senate made that republic free and powerful' (Discourses on Livy I.4). Contrary to a long tradition that had always highly valued civic concord, Machiavelli thought that - at least under certain conditions - internecine discord could be a source of strength and not of weakness, and built upon this daring proposition an original vision of political order. Machiavelli in Tumult (originally published in Italian in 2011) is the first book-length study entirely devoted to analyzing this idea, its ancient roots (never before identified), its enduring (but often invisible) influence up until the American and the French Revolution (and beyond), and its relevance for contemporary political theory.

    • Offers an alternative grand narrative of Western political thought, from Plato to Foucault
    • Enlarges the field traditionally researched by historians of political thought, using cultural context to better understand canonical works
    • Tells the history of the rise of political conflictualism in the West, and shows the great relevance of Machiavelli's original position for contemporary philosophical debates
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of Italian edition: ‘Gabriele Pedullà has written a masterful book. … A short review cannot begin to do justice to the author's astonishing command of two millennia of primary sources and a vast array of modern scholarship or to the new light these essays shed on both Machiavelli and the long history of the questions he addressed. In deepening the understanding of Machiavelli's polemical engagement with assumptions inherited from antiquity and fifteenth-century humanists, this book merits comparison with the magisterial studies of Gennaro Sasso; and in analyzing the complex responses, positive and negative, to Machiavelli's ideas over the next several centuries, it similarly deserves comparison with the overarching narratives of the history of political thought of Quentin Skinner and JGA Pocock. … Pedullà's stimulating book opens new vistas and enriches familiar questions. In a time of immense vitality in Machiavelli studies, it should top the reading lists of all scholars in the field.' John M. Najemy, Renaissance Quarterly

    ‘A brilliant, original work by one of the most learned and creative scholars in the humanities today.' Ronald G. Watt, Duke University, North Carolina

    ‘Gabriele Pedullà's Machiavelli in Tumult stands as a monumental contribution to both Machiavelli studies and the history of political thought. Through exhaustive historical research and with remarkable textual facility, Pedullà demonstrates just how radically Machiavelli's Discourses repudiated two thousand years of Greek, Roman and humanistic reflections on the value of civic concord. Pedullà emphasizes Machiavelli's resolute commitment to the political efficacy of social discord and class conflict, especially the salutary effects of tumults for civic liberty. A model of scholarly erudition and analytic perspicacity, Machiavelli in tumult is mandatory reading for anyone, within the academy or among the general public, interested in political theory or intellectual history.' John P. McCormick, Chicago University

    ‘Pedullà's book shows that the theory of conflict not only lies at the very heart of Machiavelli's work, but also marked the decisive turning point at which Western political thought changed its course by adopting a new conceptual language. The author's outstanding expertise in both early-modern and contemporary culture grants his interpretation the critical insight and analytic richness of a true classic.' Roberto Exposito, Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa

    ‘Deep, sharp and wide-ranging, Machiavelli in Tumult offers a rich and insightful exploration of Machiavelli's treatment of the causes, dynamics, consequences, and uses of mass political conflict. A must-read for those interested in the intellectual history of conflict, as well as those trying to make sense of where conflict fits in contemporary society.' Stathis N. Kalyvas, Yale University, Connecticut

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2018
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781316829974
    • contains: 7 b/w illus. 4 tables
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Concordia parvae res crescunt: the humanistic backdrop
    2. 'A necessary inconvenience': the demystification of political concord
    3. Fear and virtue: the rebuttal to humanistic pedagogy
    4. 'The guard of liberty': the rejection of Aristotelian balance
    5. 'Giving the foreigners citizenship': an expansionist republicanism
    6. Dionysius' reappearance: the classical roots of modern conflictualism
    7. Remembering the conflict: Machiavelli's legacy.

  • Author

    Gabriele Pedullà, University of Rome
    Gabriele Pedullà is professor of Italian and Comparative Literature at the University of Rome 3 and has been visiting professor at Stanford, University of California, Los Angeles, and the École Normale Supérieure, Lyon, Francesco De Dombrowski Fellow at 'Villa I Tatti', the Harvard University Center for the Italian Renaissance, Fellow at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, Columbia University, and Belknap Visiting Fellow in the Humanities Council at Princeton University. In English he has published In Broad Daylight. Movies and Spectators after the Cinema (2012) and many essays on Renaissance political thought. With Sergio Luzzatto, he edited a three volume Atlante della letteratura italiana (2010–12). His new edition and commentary on Machiavelli's Prince (2013) is forthcoming in English and is under translation in French, Spanish, and Portuguese. He is also the author of two prizewinning fiction books: the collection of short stories Lo spagnolo senza sforzo (2009: partially translated into English), and the novel Lame (2017, forthcoming in English as Blades).

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