The Machiavellian Moment is a classic study of the consequences for modern historical and social consciousness of the ideal of the classical republic revived by Machiavelli and other thinkers of Renaissance Italy. J.G.A. Pocock suggests that Machiavelli's prime emphasis was on the moment in which the republic confronts the problem of its own instability in time, and which he calls the "Machiavellian moment."
After examining this problem in the thought of Machiavelli, Guicciardini, and Giannotti, Pocock turns to the revival of republican thought in Puritan England and in Revolutionary and Federalist America. He argues that the American Revolution can be considered the last great act of civic humanism of the Renaissance. He relates the origins of modern historicism to the clash between civic, Christian, and commercial values in the thought of the eighteenth century.
"The Machiavellian Moment raised a thousand issues, settled two or three, and gave historians and philosophers a generation's work. It is a must-read and a must-have."--Philip Pettit, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics, Princeton University
"In analyzing the history of consciousness as explicated through philosophers, political theorists, historians, theologians, lawyers, and prophets, [this book] presents a new interpretation of wide-ranging problems. It should be of great value to scholars in many disciplines concerned with the history of ideas."--Marvin B. Becker
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Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by J.G.A. Pocock:
Hardcover published in 1975