• Be Like the Fox

  • Machiavelli in His World
  • By: Erica Benner
  • Narrated by: Karen Saltus
  • Length: 13 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 04-05-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.3 (3 ratings)


The dramatic, myth-shattering story of how Machiavelli - arguably the most misunderstood thinker of all time - fought to change his corrupt world.
Since the publication of The Prince five centuries ago, Machiavelli has been associated with political amorality. But that characterization is unfair. In Be Like the Fox, Erica Benner sets the record straight: far from the ruthless "Machiavellian" henchman that people think he was, Machiavelli emerges here as a profound ethical thinker who fought to uphold high moral standards and restore the democratic freedoms of his beloved Florence.
Shaking the dust from history, Benner masterfully interweaves Machiavelli's words with those of his friends and enemies, giving us a biography with all the energy of fiction. Through dialogues and diaries, we witness dramatic episodes, including Savonarola's fiery sermons against the elite in Florence's piazza, Machiavelli's secret negotiations with Caterina Sforza at the court of Forlí, and the Florentines' frantic preparations to resist Pope Julius's plan to overthrow their Republic.
Benner relates how Machiavelli rose as an advisor in the Florentine Republic, advancing the city's interests as a diplomat and military strategist, only to become a political pariah when the Republic was defeated. His egalitarian politics made him an enemy of the Medici family, and his secular outlook put him at odds with religious zealots. But he soon learned to mask his true convictions, becoming a great artist of foxlike dissimulation. Machiavelli's masterpiece, The Prince, was in fact a critique of princely power, but the critique had to be veiled, written as it was after the Medici triumphed over the Republic.
In Be Like the Fox, the most accurate and compelling portrait of Machiavelli yet, Benner recounts the gripping story of a brilliant political thinker, showing that Machiavelli's ideas - about democratic institutions, diplomacy, and freedom - are more important than ever.
©2017 Erica Benner (P)2017 Gildan Media LLC
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Critic reviews

"Erica Benner convincingly argues [that] there was a great deal more to Machiavelli...She interweaves his own words with those of his contemporaries, as well as setting him in the context of his world. The result is a rich, vivid, and endlessly surprising portrayal of the man and his times." (Tracy Borman, BBC Book Review)
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Regular price: £22.99

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Cypselos on 26-03-18

great book but narrated by siri

really interesting account of Florence in the period of Machiavelli's life. it's a bit of an apology for Machiavelli. the author has a crush.

narration is a bit weird

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jan Sapper on 26-05-17

Very uninspired performance. Sounds. Like. Reading.

Awesome story and a new aspect of Machiavelli I didn't know. Anyhow the narrator destroyed it by terrible narrating. It completely feels like she's reading something she doesn't understand.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Howard Sohn on 04-12-17

Good audiobook, bad reader

Content good and timely. Poor choice of narrator, whose sing-song voice is most irritating, more suitable to children’s books.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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