Home Morningside Events - Morningside Area Alliance Lectures Literary Book Talk “On Niccolò Machiavelli” with Gabriele Pedullà


Apr 16 2024


6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Formats (virtual, in person, hybrid)


Book Talk “On Niccolò Machiavelli” with Gabriele Pedullà

Columbia University’s Department of Political Science, Department of Classics, Department of Italian, and Columbia University Press present:

Book Talk “On Niccolò Machiavelli: The Bonds of Politics” with Gabriele Pedullà in conversation with Nadia Urbinati and Gareth Wiliams.


Five hundred years after his death, Niccolò Machiavelli still draws an astonishing range of contradictory characterizations. Was he a friend of tyrants? An ardent republican loyal to Florence’s free institutions? The father of political realism? A revolutionary populist? A calculating rationalist? A Renaissance humanist? A prophet of Italian unification? A theorist of mixed government? A forerunner to authoritarianism? The master of the dark arts of intrigue?

This book provides a vivid and engaging introduction to Machiavelli’s life and works that sheds new light on his originality and relevance. Gabriele Pedullà—a leading Italian expert and acclaimed writer—offers fresh readings of the Florentine thinker’s most famous writings, The Prince and the Discourses on Livy, as well as lesser-known texts. A new and often surprising Machiavelli emerges: one closer to his time but also better suited to inform our own. Pedullà’s portrait of Machiavelli highlights his close attention to social and emotional bonds, staunch opposition to oligarchy, keen awareness of the economic side of power dynamics, and strong preference for history over philosophy as a guide for leaders.

This book recovers the excitement Machiavelli roused in his first readers for a twenty-first-century audience, capturing his capacity to provoke, both then and now, with unconventional ideas and startling insights.

This book is part of the Core Knowledge series which takes its motivation from the goals, ideals, challenges, and pleasures of Columbia College’s Core Curriculum.


Gabriele Pedullà is professor of Italian literature at the University of Roma Tre University. His English-language books include In Broad Daylight: Movies and Spectators After the Cinema (2012) and Machiavelli in Tumult: The Discourses on Livy and the Origins of Political Conflictualism (2018). His publications in Italian include award-winning fiction as well as an annotated edition of The Prince.

Nadia Urbinati is Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Professor of Political Theory at Columbia University. Her books include Democracy Disfigured (2014) and A Cosmopolitanism of Nations (2009).

Gareth Williams is Anthon Professor of the Latin Language and Literature at Columbia University. He has published extensively on Ovid, Roman philosophy, and classical reception.

Event Contact Information:
Meredith Howard