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Independent Reading Groups

The Prince: Machiavelli and Modern Society


Quite some time has past since Niccolò Machiavelli conventionally presented his handbook of political conduct to the ruler of Florence, the ‘magnificent’ Lorenzo de’ Medici, first completed at the end of 1513, and published posthumously some twenty years later. The 500th anniversary of the completion of the work in 2013 has served as a unique occasion taken up by intellectuals and politicians alike to revisit Machiavelli’s influence and actuality; it has shown that although the work remains eminently relevant, its interpretations continue to diverge, making it one of the most influential and controversial books published in Western literature. What do we have to say about The Prince, and what does “what we have to say” say about us? The reading group will seek to understand why The Prince has fascinated its subsequent interpreters and modern society up until the present day, and how it is that Machiavelli remains our contemporary.

Reading List

Convenor: Nathalie [dot] Popa [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Nathalie Popa)
Meeting times: Mondays, 10:00am-12:00pm: 13, 27 January, 10, 24 February, 10, 24 March.
Room 21-6, 3610 McTavish St.