Machiavelli in Hell

Sebastian de Grazia

Pan Books 1992
A book review by Danny Yee © 1993
Machiavelli in Hell is as much an exposition of Machiavelli's philosophy as a biography, smoothly moving backwards and forwards from events in his life to his political and religious ideas. The result is a complex but rewarding outline of one man's view of the world. Almost all the information is drawn from Machiavelli's writings themselves (the almost 100 pages of notes consist solely of the original Italian for all the quotations), and this is a bit limiting — it would have been nice to have some biographical information from other sources, or some background information on the period.

Two more minor complaints are the absence of a bibliography and the absence of a map. Anyone interested enough to want the original Italian of the texts would surely be interested in a bibliography, or at least some suggestions for further reading. Given the number of black and white photographs throughout the text it wouldn't seem unreasonable to expect a map of Italy — since I bought my copy from the bestseller stack in my local bookshop it seems unlikely that all the book's readers will be familiar with the geography of central Italy.

January 1993

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%T Machiavelli in Hell
%A Grazia, Sebastian de
%I Pan Books
%D 1992 [1989]
%O paperback, b&w illustrations, index
%G ISBN 0330321013
%P 497pp