The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition

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Princeton University Press, Apr 11, 2009 - History - 640 pages
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The Machiavellian Moment is a classic study of the consequences for modern historical and social consciousness of the ideal of the classical republic revived by Machiavelli and other thinkers of Renaissance Italy. J.G.A. Pocock suggests that Machiavelli's prime emphasis was on the moment in which the republic confronts the problem of its own instability in time, and which he calls the "Machiavellian moment."

After examining this problem in the thought of Machiavelli, Guicciardini, and Giannotti, Pocock turns to the revival of republican thought in Puritan England and in Revolutionary and Federalist America. He argues that the American Revolution can be considered the last great act of civic humanism of the Renaissance. He relates the origins of modern historicism to the clash between civic, Christian, and commercial values in the thought of the eighteenth century.

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About the author (2009)

J. G. A. Pocock was educated at the Universities of Canterbury and Cambridge. He is now Harry C. Black Professor of History Emeritus at Johns Hopkins University and an Honorary Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge. His many seminal works on intellectual history include The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law (1957, second edition 1987), Politics, Language and Time (1971), The Machiavellian Moment (1975, second edition 2003), Virtue, Commerce and History (1985), Political Thought and History (2009), and five previous volumes in the Barbarism and Religion sequence, initiated in 1999. He has also edited The Political Works of James Harrington (1977) and Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (1987), as well as the collaborative study The Varieties of British Political Thought (1995). A Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Historical Society, Professor Pocock is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of New Zealand Merit in 2002.

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