Timely advice for voters?

Here’s a timely new book that arrived at Enlightenment Towers this week: How to Choose a Leader: Machiavelli’s Advice to Citizens, by Maurizio Viroli.

How to Choose a Leader: Machiavelli’s Advice to Citizens

It’s a small book, which Viroli frames for an American readership choosing a new president later this year. He points out that Machiavelli was an important influence on John Adams and others of the Republic’s Founding Fathers, because of his emphasis on government without tyranny. While we always think of The Prince, Discourses on Livy and The Art of War were also highly influential.

Each chapter addresses and explains a quotation from Machiavelli, such as “I love my country more than my soul,” or “It is the common good which makes republics great.” (‘Machiavelli invites citizens to use their reason to evaluate political and social matters.’ Riiiiight.) Then Viroli gives some modern examples of rulers who did – and didn’t – follow the relevant advice.

I haven’t read it properly, just paged through, but it looks great for dipping into. Very handsomely produced little book, too.