Niccolò Machiavelli lived hundreds of years ago, and though he was a gifted political strategist, he knew nothing about democratic republics. So the scholar Maurizio Viroli recognizes that it’s a bit extravagant to consult a 15th-century Florentine for electoral advice in 21st-century America. But Machiavelli, Viroli says, remains the most competent, honest and disinterested political counselor we could ask for. Viroli joins us Wednesday to examine what Machiavelli can teach us about choosing leaders.
Maurizio Viroli is professor emeritus of politics at Princeton University, professor of government at the University of Texas, Austin, and professor of political communication at the University of Italian Switzerland in Lugano. His many books include Niccolò's Smile: A Biography of Machiavelli and Redeeming "The Prince": The Meaning of Machiavelli's Masterpiece. His new book is called How to Choose a Leader: Machiavelli's Advice to Citizens [Amazon|Indiebound].