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Be Like the Fox

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About the Author

Erica Benner lives in Berlin. She is the author of several books, including Machiavelli's Ethics and Machiavelli's Prince: A New Reading. A former fellow in Political Philosophy at Yale, she taught for many years at Oxford University and the London School of Economics.


Lively, compulsively readable, fluently written and unshowily erudite -- Terry Eagleton * Guardian *
Compelling, unconventional -- Julian Baggini * Financial Times *
A ripping read . . . fascinating, charming, enjoyably unorthodox -- Tim Smith-Laing * Telegraph *
A remarkable work of imaginative engagement backed by scholarly learning. . . can be read with pleasure by anyone interested in the craft of politics and the life of ideas. -- Edmund Fawcett * The New York Times *
Engaging, clever, entertaining . . . Benner brings to life a Machiavelli who's a man of considerable political principle . . . a creative, lively and very readable book with more than a little contemporary resonance. -- Catherine Fletcher * Literary Review *
A gripping portrait of a brilliant political thinker, who understood the dangers of authoritarianism and looked for ways to curb them even though independent speech had become impossible. * The New Yorker *
A rich, vivid and endlessly surprising portrayal of the man and his times -- Tracy Borman * BBC History Magazine *
Erica Benner succeeds brilliantly in overturning centuries-old received views of a seminal but misunderstood writer and thinker. Her enthralling and moving evocation of Machiavelli's turbulent career, set in the milieu in which he lived, also reveals how much he is our contemporary -- Rosamund Bartlett
Timely, dramatic . . . an eye-opening, captivating portrait. Benner succeeds at what every biographer tries to do: she brings her subject to life for her readers. * Kirkus *
A readable and excellent book . . . In our world of new princes and divided societies, with increasing confrontations that can seem in constant danger of escalating to conflict, Be Like the Fox reads like a cautionary call from the past -- General Sir Rupert Smith
Fascinating, remarkable . . . Erica Benner illuminates not only the life of Machiavelli but the complex and cruel political world in which he operate -- Avi Shlaim
Vividly drawn . . . biography at its best * Times Higher Education Supplement *
Enjoyably revisionist . . . Benner deserves great praise for dragging this much-maligned man's reputation at least partly out of the mud -- Andrew Lynch * Sunday Business Post *
A lively and engaging study told with empathy, passion and imagination . . . well-researched, forceful and thought-provoking -- Historical Writers' Association

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