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Feminist Interpretations of Niccolo Machiavelli - Re-Reading the Canon (Paperback)
  • Feminist Interpretations of Niccolo Machiavelli - Re-Reading the Canon (Paperback)
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Feminist Interpretations of Niccolo Machiavelli - Re-Reading the Canon (Paperback)

(editor)
£36.95
Paperback 440 Pages / Published: 11/08/2004
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Diplomat, bureaucrat, and practical politician, Niccolo Machiavelli served as Second Secretary to the Republic of Florence in the early sixteenth century and became the first major political thinker in the western tradition to make a complete break with the Aristotelian model of politics as a branch of ethics. While The Prince is his most famous work, grounding his reputation as the progenitor of "Realpolitik," his many other writings have contributed to a more complex and broader image of the man and his political thought. Thus in recent years Machiavelli has come to be seen as a republican and a proto-liberal by some mainstream political theorists, and as an obfuscator of traditional values and ideologies, including gender roles, by feminists and non-feminists alike.

The contributors to this volume, grappling with questions about the position of women in political society, investigate whether or not Machiavelli was truly a misogynist and a proto-fascist or instead a proto-feminist and a democratic republican. Among the themes they explore are the implications of such dichotomies as Fortuna and virtu, the public and the private, nature and reason, ends and means, functionality and the common good, as well as the importance of the military to the socialization of citizens, particularly women, to civic life, and the social construction of gender. Some of the contributors even consider the possibility that Machiavelli's approach to ethics provides a special insight that feminists, and women generally, might explore to their benefit.

Besides the editor, the contributors are Wendy Brown, Jane Jaquette, Donald McIntosh, Melissa Matthes, Vesna Marcina, Martin Morris, Cary Nederman, Andrea Nicki, Mary O'Brien, Hanna Pitkin, Arlene Saxonhouse, John Shin, R. Claire Snyder, and Catherine Zuckert.

Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
ISBN: 9780271023892
Number of pages: 440
Weight: 594 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Falco provides a helpful introduction with a brief biography of Machiavelli and sets the context for the developing trends in feminist interpretation of Machiavelli. . . . From this volume it is clear that feminist scholars are not in accord in their view of Machiavelli, echoing other disagreements concerning his work. Feminist Interpretations provides a useful compilation of the diverse feminist approaches to Machiavelli and shows an added complexity to his thought not found in mainstream accounts. As such the volume fulfills the goal of its series in expanding our appreciation of the canon and providing an introduction to feminist readings of a major thinker."

--John M. Theilmann, Sixteenth Century Journal


"This edited volume will be helpful for scholars of Machiavelli who may not be well versed in feminist theory, but, more significantly, it can be of use to feminist theorists developing approaches to politics."

--Mindy Peden, Feminism and Philosophy


"This volume of 14 essays makes a valuable contribution to three related academic fields: history of feminist thought, history of political thought in North America, and the general history of political thought. In her Introduction, editor Maria Falco has done an excellent job of bringing her readers up to date on the evolving state of the feminist critiques of Machiavelli. . . . The new possibilities that Feminist Interpretations of Nicol� Machiavelli has opened up are challenging and rewarding. Young scholars who have the mental flexibility and the time to reread, to rethink, and to reinterpret him should take full advantage of them."

--Anthony Parel, Perspectives on Politics

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