Laura Martines, The Times Literary Supplement Quentin Skinner's Machiavelli: A short introduction, published nearly forty years ago and now issued in a new edition, remains a frontrunner in the field. [...] The excellence of Skinner's book lies chiefly in its cool treatment of Machiavelli in his immediate context including his encounters with princes, Florence's political tergiversations, Italy being overrun by foreign armies, and his family background, education and readings in the classics. Skinner's
aim was "to serve as a recording angel, not a hanging judge", and he therefore sought to avoid the "defeasible standards of the present as a means of praising or blaming the past".
Quentin Skinner was born in 1940 and educated at Gonville and Caius College Cambridge, where he is now an Honorary Fellow. Between 1974 and 1979 he was a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, before returning to Cambridge as Professor of Political Science. He was appointed Regius Professor of History at Cambridge in 1996, a post he held until he moved to Queen Mary University of London in 2008. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a foreign member of many other national academies, including the Academia Europea. He is the author of a number of books, including The Foundation of Political Thought (Cambridge, 1978), and From Humanism to Hobbes: studies in rhetoric and politics (Cambridge, 2018), and his scholarship has won him many awards, such as the Isaiah Berlin Prize, The Wolfson History Prize, and two awards from the American Political Science Association.
Introduction 1: The Diplomat 2: The Adviser to Princes 3: The Theorist of Liberty 4: The Historian of Florence Further reading Index