A Renaissance Life
By Joseph Markulin
(Prometheus Books, Paperback, 9781616148058, 580pp.)
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
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This epic piece of storytelling brings the world of fifteenth-century Italy to life as it traces Machiavelli’s rise from young boy to controversial political thinker.
The often-vilified Renaissance politico and author of The Prince comes to life as a diabolically clever, yet mild mannered and conscientious civil servant. Author Joseph Markulin presents Machiavelli’s life as a true adventure story, replete with violence, treachery, heroism, betrayal, sex, bad popes, noble outlaws, deformed kings, menacing Turks, even more menacing Lutherans, unscrupulous astrologers, untrustworthy dentists—and, of course, forbidden love.
While sharing the stage with Florence’s Medici family, the nefarious and perhaps incestuous Borgias, the artists Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, and the doomed prophet Savonarola, Machiavelli is imprisoned, tortured, and ultimately abandoned. Nevertheless, he remains the sworn enemy of tyranny and a tireless champion of freedom and the republican form of government.
Out of the cesspool that was Florentine Renaissance politics, only one name is still uttered today—that of Niccolo Machiavelli. This mesmerizing, vividly told story will show you why his fame endures.
Joseph Markulin is a former professor of Italian and comparative literature with a specialization in medieval and Renaissance studies. After publishing on topics ranging from Dante to Fellini, Markulin joined the fast-moving, not to say Machiavellian, world of public relations in New York City. He currently lives in the Catskills in upstate New York, where he hosts a radio show and tends an organic farm.
“An enjoyable romp through a fascinating period in European history.”