Cover image for Political thought from Machiavelli to Stalin : revolutionary Machiavellism
Political thought from Machiavelli to Stalin : revolutionary Machiavellism
Rees, E. A.
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Publication Information:
New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.
Physical Description:
xii, 324 pages ; 23 cm
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JC143.M4 R44 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This is the first book in English to explore the relationship between Stalin's ideas and methods, and the practices advocated by Machiavelli and those associated with 'Machiavellian' politics. It advances the concept of 'revolutionary Machiavellism' as a way of understanding a particular strand of revolutionary thought from the Jacobins through to Leninism and Stalinism. By providing a wide-ranging survey of European political thought in the Nineteenth - and early Twentieth-century, E. A. Rees locates the Bolshevik tradition within the wider European tradition.

Author Notes

E. A. Rees is Professor of East European History at the European University Institute, Florence. He taught political science at the University of Keele, and Russian/Soviet history at the University of Birmingham.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This title is a bit deceptive in that it suggests a history of political thought in the modern period. Rees's thesis, however, is somewhat narrower. He wants to argue primarily that the political influence of Machiavelli strongly impacted political thought in the USSR under Lenin and Stalin. The immediate problem is that there is little direct evidence that either of them actually read or studied Machiavelli. In Lenin's case, there is one indirect epistolary reference to Machiavelli and in Stalin's, some evidence of owning a copy of The Prince. What the scholar is left with, then, is a series of much more diffuse connections between Machiavelli and political philosophy and practice in Soviet Russia. The fact that Machiavelli's influence has suffused political thought in the West will come as no surprise to any student of political theory, but Rees does a competent, if sometimes strained, job of teasing out all the specific connections. The specificity of the subject matter, however, guarantees that the argument will be of interest largely to scholars of Soviet political thought. ^BSumming Up: Optional. Research and faculty collections. J. L. Miller SUNY College at New Paltz

Table of Contents

Introductionp. vi
1 Machiavelli's Ideas on Politicsp. 1
2 Machiavelli, Marx and Nietzschep. 28
3 Machiavelli in Russia, 1800-1917p. 49
4 Revolutionary Machiavellismp. 66
5 The Bolsheviks, Lenin and Machiavellip. 93
6 Machiavellism in Soviet Thoughtp. 117
7 Stalin and Machiavelli 1p. 143
8 Stalin and Machiavelli 2p. 161
9 Stalin and Machiavelli 3p. 198
10 Stalin and Machiavelli 4p. 217
Conclusionp. 237
Appendix Machiavelli in the Post-Stalin Russia, 1953-98p. 248
Notesp. 250
Bibliographyp. 295
Name Indexp. 313
Subject Indexp. 320