Saturday, August 18, 2007

Machiavelli for Beginners, by Curry and Zarate

Machiavelli for Beginners, by Curry and Zarate

I spied this on the bookshelf at a friend’s place: a short, illustrated biography of Machiavelli. With Karl Rove in the news so much these days, I couldn’t resist borrowing it. I’d read The Prince in high school but hadn’t retained much and knew even less about the author himself. This does a good job of both summarizing the life of Machiavelli and explaining the political and social dynamics of the day. Even without an interest in the Machiavelli and politics of power, this is a fascinating book simply for the presentation. The illustrations use many styles, from cartoons to woodcuts, collage to post-impressionism. The exposition is part text and part comic book style speech balloons. The combinations lead to a wide variety of unique looks that keep the pages turning—I consumed this in a single sitting. This is a quick, easy read that is both entertaining and informative; I quite enjoyed it.

First Sentence:
For over four hundred years, Niccolò Machiavelli has been a byword for cynicism, immorality and cruelty in politics.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An excellent book, yes. I am a from the machiavelli family and had read a few of his books (I have the whole collection, as a matter of course!) but never encountered what seem to me intelligent comments about who he was and what outlook he really had. Recommended, to understand him, understand politics, understand life.
Brandino Machiavelli

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