Machiavelli in the Making

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Northwestern University Press, Mar 30, 2012 - Philosophy - 512 pages
In Machiavelli in the Making, the influential French scholar and public intellectual Claude Lefort introduces a wholly novel interpretation of Niccoló Machiavelli's oeuvre, revealing in the Florentine's thought a thoroughly modern concept of the political with implications for "our experience of politics here and now." Lefort extricates Machiavelli's thought from the dominant interpretations of Machiavelli as the founder of "objective" political science, which, having liberated itself from the religious and moralizing tendencies of medieval political reflection, attempts to arrive at a realistic discourse on the operations of raw power. Lefort ultimately finds that Machiavelli's discourse opens the "place of the political," which had previously been occupied by theology and morality. An essential contribution to the ongoing reassessment of Machiavelli's significance, Machiavelli in the Making also stands as a crucial text for the understanding of Lefort's later writings on democracy and totallitarianism.
 

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Contents

Part 1 The Question of the Oeuvre
3
Part 2 The Concept of Machiavellianism
61
Part 3 Reading The Prince
79
Part 4 Reading The Discourses
205
Part 5 The Oeuvre Ideology and Interpretation
427
Notes
505
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About the author (2012)

Claude Lefort (1924-2010) taught at the University of São Paulo, the Sorbonne, and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. His books include The Political Forms of Modern So­ciety: Bureaucracy, Democracy, Totalitarianism (1986), Democracy and Political Theory (1989), Writing: The Political Test (2000), and Complications: Communism and the Dilemmas of Democ­racy (2007).

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