History of Literature #117 – Machiavelli and The Prince


Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) went from being a little-known functionary to one of the most famous and controversial political theorists of all time. His masterpiece Il Principe (or in English, The Prince) has been read, studied, and argued about for 500 years. “A guidebook for statesmen,” said Benito Mussolini. “A handbook for gangsters,” said Bertrand Russell. Why has The Prince been so successful? What does it say about leadership and the role of government and the governed? And what is its relevance today? Host Jacke Wilson takes a look at the disarmingly straightforward text of The Prince – and the experience of reading it during a turbulent time.

Support the show at patreon.com/literature. Learn more about the show at historyofliterature.com. Contact the host at jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

HoL Episode 31: Secret Societies!


We thought we were done with conspiracies and conspiracy theories – but that was before we heard more about Justice Scalia’s bizarre final days. What hold do secret societies have over our imagination? Why do people join them? And what are we to make of those who do? Jacke Wilson takes another dive into the rabbit hole of mystery, intrigue, and the crazy world of a four-hundred-year-old secret society.


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