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The Prince, a political treatise by the Florentine public servant and political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli is widely regarded as the single most influential book on politics—and in particular on the the politics of power—ever written.In this groundbreaking book, Philip Bobbitt explores this often misunderstood work in the context of the time. He describes The Prince as oThe Prince, a political treatise by the Florentine public servant and political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli is widely regarded as the single most influential book on politics—and in particular on the the politics of power—ever written.In this groundbreaking book, Philip Bobbitt explores this often misunderstood work in the context of the time. He describes The Prince as one half of a masterpiece that, along with Machiavelli’s often neglected Discourses prophesies the end of the feudal era and describes the birth of the neoclassicalRenaissance State. Using both Renaissance examples and cases drawn from our current era, Bobbitt situates Machiavelli’s work as a turning point in our understanding of the relation between war and law as these create and maintain the State. This is a fascinating history and commentary by the man Henry Kissinger called "the outstanding political philosopher of our time."...

Title : The Garments of Court and Palace: Machiavelli and the World That He Made
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ISBN : 9780802120748
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Garments of Court and Palace: Machiavelli and the World That He Made Reviews

  • Hadrian
    2019-06-05 11:46

    Machiavelli is a man who seems to need no introduction. The man has had a reputation for ruthlessness and villainy from the time of Frederick the Great to Tupac. Such controversy continues in academia as well. Machiavelli wrote not just The Prince, but also works on classical history such as The Discourses on Livy, where he could be said to advocate a form of return to classical republics and mixed representation of powers. With such contradictions, it has been a topic of spirited debate over what Machiavelli really meant, and whether one of these books would take precedence over the other. Bobbitt, in this short primer on Machiavelli's thought, comes up with a unique approach to these problems. He sees Machiavelli as a precursor to the modern state structured by the rule of law (a precursor to Thomas Hobbes), and one who recognized the changes in statecraft necessary as transitions from feudalism into larger states which require bureaucracies.The most enduring trait of Machiavelli's thought, and one that arguably survives most strongly today, is his emphasis on the 'real' instead of an 'ideal' view of politics. He has little patience for those who describe politics as an ideal goal, but instead draws from his own experiences in describing the manipulation and cunning necessary to make political entities survive. He says that evil acts such as deception and violence might have to be done in order to preserve the state. However, evil should not be done indiscriminately, or else the ruler of the state would lose legitimacy and the right to rule. Would it be fair to turn to Machiavelli for advice today? Perhaps, although no politician would ever admit to it. Most troubling today is his tacit acceptance of torture, provided it was for the good of the nation. Machiavelli had his arms broken by the Medicis after false accusations, but this seems to have done little to change his mind. The book concludes with some outlandish speculation over Machiavelli would have prophesied the present role of corporations and the modern form of governance. He may have been successful in seeing the next century, but the next five would be more of a stretch.Machiavelli will continue to remain as relevant as ever, and this book will be a useful companion to The Prince and The Discourses on Livy. If there is a broad lesson about History here, it is that History will move according to the dictates of Fortuna, and a mere politician will best maneuver themselves to survive these whims, not to change them.

  • Jesse
    2019-05-17 10:51

    This is a great read. Bobbitt presents Machiavelli as a statecraft genius whose whole body of work needs to be considered, not just "The Prince." Some feel the thesis, that Machiavelli's oeuvre fits exactly with Bobbitt's conclusions in the tomes "Shield of Achilles" and "Terror and Consent'" is at best self-serving and at worst incorrect. To me that's irrelevant. Bobbitt is widely credited as one of the only political theorists who understands where we are now as a society facing terrorism and where we might go. Regardless of Bobbitt's conclusions concerning "The Prince" (which I think are insightful) "The Garments of Court and Palace" serves as a great introduction to Bobbit's theories on constitutional order.

  • Robert
    2019-05-23 08:59

    Gary Wills in New York Times Review. No Like."He just shows us how wonderfully Machiavelli agreed with Bobbitt’s longer works — as if Niccolò had read them half a millennium ago. Machiavelli is often viewed as surprisingly modern, but does that have to mean he must be surprisingly Bobbitt?"The New York TimesAugust 2, 2013New StatesmanBy GARRY WILLSTHE GARMENTS OF COURT AND PALACEMachiavelli and the World That He MadeBy Philip Bobbitt270 pp. Grove Press. $24.One expects a book by Philip Bobbitt to be over 900 pages (“The Shield of Achilles,” 2002) or just under 700 pages (“Terror and Consent,” 2008). Then how can he diet himself down to a mere 200 or so pages of text on Machiavelli? Bobbitt is a great systematizer in the Toynbee mold — “Shield” gave us six different state systems since 1500 (princely, kingly, territorial, imperial, national, ­market).“Terror” focused on one condition (the market state), but that state is still in formation, so Bobbitt argued its case more (and more and more) extensively. Then how does he deal with Machiavelli so compactly in “The Garments of Court and Palace”? Very easily, as one can tell by the frequency of his self-citations in the new book. He just shows us how wonderfully Machiavelli agreed with Bobbitt’s longer works — as if Niccolò had read them half a millennium ago. Machiavelli is often viewed as surprisingly modern, but does that have to mean he must be surprisingly Bobbitt?Machiavelli fits into Bobbitt’s scheme because he is the expounder of the first of the six state systems in “The Shield of Achilles,” the princely one (Machiavelli even graced the form with its Bobbittian name). Bobbitt believes that legal systems are changed by military strategies, often by military technology. So, in 1494, when Charles VIII brought bronze cannon into Italy, threatening fortress walls and smashing the governments that relied on them, Machiavelli had to propose new walls, along with new states to defend them. This must mean that Machiavelli was interested in new technologies for war — though in fact he was not very interested in forts (he thought they were less vulnerable to siege than to inner rebellion). In the encyclopedic “Art of War,” he suggests an improved design for forts, but he is still concerned with inner rebellion (he forbids an inner keep where the residents can hole up and tells us starvation is more effectual than siege). Nor did he invest his time or energy in the technological innovations of Leonardo (their one collaboration, diverting a river, was an ancient concept, and it failed).What Machiavelli was interested in was old systems, and especially old military systems — Roman ones, in fact. These were powerful not because they relied on new weapons but because they were based on virtù, an expression of their manly religion. Unlike Christianity, which makes people humble and otherworldly, Rome’s religion instilled a thirst for glory and freedom in this world. In Christianity “the ritual is more mincing (delicata) than grand, without fierce or manly (gagliarda) energy.” Roman “ritual was as grandly ceremonious, but it added the energy of a sacrifice deep in blood and fierceness, slaughtering hordes of animals. By being terrifying in this way, it made men just as terrifying.”Bobbitt thinks that Machiavelli’s prince could be ruthless, like the Romans, because he invented that new thing, “the princely state,” which must be preserved for the benefit of all. Thus crimes done for the state are no crimes. They are, in fact, rather altruistic. The prince must “subordinate all other indicia of right behavior to the one parameter of serving the state.” Those murdered are rightly murdered for being enemies of the state — a convenient rule for the prince, who is the state. He sacrifices himself to himself.Machiavelli is even made to endorse Bobbitt’s concept of the market state, on the rather broad ground that he was the “philosopher” of Bobbitt’s first state, so he would buy into the sixth one as “our sublime predecessor.” The new book is more vague than was “Terror and Consent” about the military obstetrics of the market state. Here Bobbitt just says it is “coming into being as a response to changes in the strategic context.” There he told us terrorism is at least the partial cause of the market state, which mirrors it. If Al Qaeda can operate freely across national entities, relying on modern communications, computer funding and ideological inventiveness, then we must do so too, calling on creative minds “free of many of the legal and political restraints that bind government officials.”This means continual outsourcing of previously governmental acts, and omnidirectional deregulation. The right must stop regulating abortion and pornography, the left must stop regulating hate speech and, through affirmative action, hiring — such acts “promote national values in defiance of the market.” Terrorists are “entrepreneurial,” so our market state must be an entrepreneurial state. Terrorists use the media, so we must use them (the media, we are told, are nimbler than bureaucrats). If they use Visa to finance strikes, so should we. We can abandon our own state limits to engage in “state building” around the world to cope with the terrorist state.Bobbitt says the market state has been in process of formation for a while. In “Shield” one of its prophets would seem to be Oliver North. The entrepreneurial Iran-contra (arms for hostages) transaction “anticipated the new market state,” and was “a natural market response to the problem of overregulation” (by overregulation he means the Boland Amendment against funding the contras in Nicaragua). Old nation-state rules should not hamper new market-state solutions. That is what Bobbitt says happened in the Iraq war. The open nation-state strategy was a quick decapitation of the Iraqi government. But since the war was with the mobile “virtual state” of terrorism, what was needed was a market state mirroring its tactics. (Blackwater and all the other private contractors were too hampered by the nation state, not yet acting as the market state.)But the best entrepreneur of the new counterterrorist terrorism was Dick Cheney, with his “enhanced interrogations” of captured terrorists. Bobbitt says torture may not be used just to score a political point or secure a judicial conviction. But the new state has to have new rules. In former wars, captives were forced to surrender their arms. In the new wars they must be forced to surrender their information. “There cannot be a ban on the collection of strategic information — information from terrorist leaders and senior managers — by whatever means are absolutely necessary short of inflicting severe pain when that information is likely to preclude attacks.” That is just the legal guidance Cheney got from John Yoo, a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel. Neither Yoo nor Cheney thought waterboarding inflicted “severe pain.” The new prince, like Machiavelli’s old one, can commit crimes if they are in service to the state. The aim, after all, is to escape those “legal and political restraints that bind government officials.”It has often been noticed that war makes adversaries end up resembling each other; but Bobbitt would have us start out resembling our foe. Terrorists, he says, are not just criminals. They have created a “virtual state,” and we have to create an entirely new kind of state to cope with it. This reminds me of the people who denounced democracy in the 1930s as too slow and stumbling to respond to the rise of dictators. Some would have had Roose­velt and Churchill create a new kind of state, baffling dictators with “good guy” dictatorships.Not even Bobbitt thinks a new state was born of that crisis — his “nation state” runs unbroken from 1914 to 1990, and was able to survive World War II and the cold war. Only Al Qaeda and its ilk are enough to make us create an entirely new political order. Those who have seen the efficiency and lack of corruption in unregulated medicine and banks and Blackwater-type operations will have a little trouble hailing Machiavelli as a sponsor of the Higher Cheneyism.Garry Wills, emeritus professor of history at Northwestern University, is the author, most recently, of “Why Priests? A Failed Tradition.”

  • Steve Greenleaf
    2019-05-19 08:51

    We recently toured Rome and Italy, where we viewed many of the splendors of the Italian Renaissance. Works by Michelangelo, Titian, and Rafael were prominent. The spirit of Leonardo da Vinci loomed in the background. These figures and others like them are considered among the glories of the Italian Renaissance. But perhaps the most important person to emerge from the Italian Renaissance was not a painter, sculptor, or poet. He was a Florentine diplomat sent involuntarily into exile from Florence to a country estate, where he took up his pen and began writing. He drew upon his deep knowledge of ancient history and Florentine history. He drew upon his extensive practical experience from many years as a Florentine diplomat. After his death, one of his works, On Principalities, was published. Immediately, it was subject to mistranslation, misunderstanding, and abridgment. It became known as the Courtier's Koran (and this is not a compliment). Who was this person? Niccolò Machiavelli. His name has become familiar through the centuries since the publication of The Prince (as the title was misleadingly translated into English) as a purveyor of sinister political advice. Almost every major commentator addressing all him him him him him him him him the history of political thought has grappled with Machiavelli’s works and wrestled with his legacy. In this book, Philip Bobbitt enters the fray.Philip Bobbitt is a professor of law at Columbia University with continuing ties to his original teaching position at the University of Texas. In addition, he has served in foreign-policy positions under both Republican and Democrat administrations. Finally, and most recently, he has published two major works on law, strategy, and international relations: The Shield of Achilles and War and Consent. Compared to those two books, his foray into the world of Machiavellian studies is brief and succinct. However, Bobbitt has a compelling hypothesis and makes a strong case in favor of his interpretation.Bobbitt argues that The Prince is a short detour from Machiavelli's longer work, the Discourses on Livy, which helped create the intellectual climate that allowed the resurgence of Republicanism in the Western world. Bobbitt argues that The Prince and the Discourses should be read as one book on the state (il stato). Instead of Machiavelli writing a “mirror of princes” work like his predecessors, Machiavelli is attempting something else. In The Prince Machiavelli aims to establish a practical ethics for establishing a state (principality). After the establishment of the state, Machiavelli recommends a transition to a republican form of government. Machiavelli undertakes this intellectual project in the hope that Italy will one day unify into a single state under a republican government, a hope that was not realized until several centuries after his death. In forwarding this argument, Bobbitt does not see Machiavelli as a teacher of evil, but as an astute student of political realities that is willing to weigh the consequences of action and not pay mere lip service to ethical guidelines that don't deal with the reality of those grasping for political power.I found Bobbitt's argument convincing. Most who read Machiavelli have to admit that he has insights into the behavior of those grasping or seeking power (i.e., all of us). His classic query is to whether it is better to be loved or to be hated, a question that has a practical ring to it for personal relations as much as for political rule. Many readers over the centuries have felt that in taking any advice from Machiavelli one was somehow lowering oneself in a dastardly way, but this is not (necessarily) so. Machiavelli tries to establish the guidelines for founding a state (or regime or scheme of power) that can be later transferred into a more stable republic.Bobbitt's argument about Machiavelli makes a lot of sense, but it also leaves many unanswered questions. The review of the book by Garry Wills in the New York Times suggest that Bobbitt’s book tacitly approves of a powerful state that will limit civil liberties and unduly aggrandize the regime. Wills seems to believe that Bobbitt’s argument grants license to the Dick Cheneys of the world to do as they will in protection of the state. I didn't read Bobbitt as making that argument, although I am curious to go back and look more closely at The Shield of Achilles and especially Terror and Consent to learn how Bobbitt draws these lines. Bobbitt does ignore the question of when Machiavelli’s ethics of The Prince should no longer apply. In other words, a newly formed principality, according to Machiavelli and Bobbitt, must work under different set of guidelines than an established republic. However, to what extent can a republic or should a republic revert to the ethics of a principality when under threat? Indeed, history seems littered with examples of political leaders who grasp for power when external forces threaten. The identification of an external threat is the oldest trick in the playbook for extending political power. According to Machiavelli and Bobbitt, how do we sort out the legitimate expediencies that Machiavelli might consider legitimate from those that would prove harmful to a republic? Our own republic has undergone a serious decline in civil liberties under the terrorist threats of the last 20 years, and before that, under the threat of communism. Despite the warnings of people like George Kennan, throughout the Cold War the US too often mimicked our adversaries in paranoia, state security, and limitations on freethinking. The same thing can be happening in the current age, although Al Qaeda and Islamic fundamentalism don’t pose the ideological threat that Marxism once held as an attractive messianic religion. For anyone who is remotely interested in Machiavelli and the world in which he lived and acted, I highly recommend Bobbitt's book. Bobbitt is not a Machiavelli scholar, but he has done his homework and marshaled his arguments in a way that is convincing and appealing. I hope his next book will address the application of Machiavelli and Machiavellian principles in today's world and how we can distinguish between the legitimate uses of power and their easy corruption.

  • John Schneider
    2019-05-19 09:45

    This compact work succeeds in presenting Machiavelli's "The Prince" in a new and authoritative light. Bobbitt contends that "The Prince" can only be properly understood as part of a larger body work. Along with Machiavelli's "The Discourses," the two form the grand work "The State." In "The State" Machiavelli contends that feudalism is dying such that central Italy must form a new neoclassical state in order for it protect the people. At the very least Bobbitt presents an original understanding of Machiavelli. After 500 years of study, that alone is a remarkable achievement.

  • Heep
    2019-06-14 06:59

    The book is a tough read. The first half made me want to put it down without finishing it. At around the 90th page (of about a total of 160), it turned around. The argument could get circular and repetitive even after that point but the final chapter is a marvel. In a little over 10 pages the author provides an assessment of the current political climate in the Western world that is remarkably astute and clear minded.

  • David Pilla
    2019-06-05 10:44

    Great examination of Machiavelli's political philosophy and the humanist, republican views he espoused. It's a great explanation of why his vision is so often twisted and misappropriated by over-simplifying and opportunistic hacks who dominate contemporary politics.

  • Michael Ellis
    2019-05-24 06:00

    Bobbitt's thesis is provocative and his writing is, as always, engaging. Even so, his attempt to reconcile "The Prince" with "Discourses on Livy" may be too clever by half. The last chapter, which barely fits into the rest of this short book, is a poor man's version of Bobbitt's "Shield of Achilles."

  • Gregory Weisler
    2019-06-14 11:54

    This is a great read. Bobbitt is a clear thinker and observant analyst of historical trends and nuanced political philosophy. This book re-examines Machiavelli's ethical and moral stance and his foresight in recognizing the emergence of the state as we know it today. An eye-opening and very thought-provoking read. I enjoyed it immensely for the clarity of argument and the shifting of paradigm.

  • James
    2019-05-23 09:43

    This is a smart book that turns over many preconceptions about Machiavelli. It places his theories firmly in the camp of constitutional scholarship, and combines his two works -- often seen as too distinct -- into one The State. Recommended.

  • !Tæmbuŝu
    2019-05-25 06:05

    KOBOBOOKSReviewed by The Guardian (11 Jul 2013)

  • Mills College Library
    2019-06-12 07:57

    320.1 B6633 2013