Wily Elites and Spirited Peoples in Machiavelli's Republicanism

2015.06.03 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews David N. Levy, Wily Elites and Spirited Peoples in Machiavelli's Republicanism, Lexington Books, 2014, 147pp., $80.00 (hbk), ISBN
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2015.06.03 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews David N. Levy, Wily Elites and Spirited Peoples in Machiavelli's Republicanism, Lexington Books, 2014, 147pp., $80.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780739186404. Reviewed by Robyn Marasco, Hunter College, CUNY David N. Levy presents Machiavelli as a political thinker for our times and a touchstone for clarifying a republican concept of liberty. Levy's reading turns the importance of class conflict in sustaining the free way of life on "wily elites" and "spirited peoples" as guardians of republican liberty. He develops this reading primarily through The Discourses on Livy, though Levy believes that The Prince contains an essentially republican political teaching. In this way, Levy follows Quentin Skinner in seeing republican liberty as fundamental to Machiavelli's political thought. But Machiavelli's republicanism, for Levy, is precisely why we must read him "out of context" and against historicist methods, why we cannot. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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