Boethius Book Club, Episode 7: Machiavelli’s Discourse
This month’s selection is book I of Machiavelli’s Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Livius. If you think this title refers to a dry academic commentary on an ancient historian, think again. Machiavelli is one of the most brilliant and original political thinkers in human history, and this is his by far best work. I first read it at the suggestion of (or rather under orders from) my friend Sam Francis, who (like James Burnham and other political analysts) viewed it as the political equivalent of sacred writ. Machiavelli takes the first ten books of Livy’s History of Rome as a backdrop, but he talks as much about the Italian and European history of his own time as he does of ancient Rome. Some knowledge of Livy’s stories is helpful, but several of the translations have sufficient notes, if you have forgotten about Tarquin the Proud and Brutus the liberator.
The most useful edition is the Oxford paperback for under $10 on Amazon, with a Kindle version at $7.55. There are other good translations at lower prices, including Kindle editions of all his political works for $.99.
This should be an exciting discussion, one that can draw in some observations and conclusions about the American political system and the current electioneering.
Recorded: March 29, 2016
Original Air Date: August 10, 2016
Show Run Time: 1 hour 13 minutes
Show Guest(s): Dr. Thomas Fleming
Show Host(s): James Easton
Boethius Book Club℗ is a Production of the Fleming Foundation. Copyright 2016. All Rights are Reserved.