Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Talks at Google podcast - where great minds meet.

Talks at Google brings the world’s most influential thinkers, creators, makers, and doers all to one place. Every episode is taken from a video that can be seen at

May 19, 2023

Author Quentin Skinner visits Google to discuss his book “Machiavelli: A Very Short Introduction.”

Niccolo Machiavelli taught that political leaders must be prepared to do evil so that good may come of it, and his name has been a byword ever since for duplicity and immorality. Is his sinister reputation deserved? In answering this question, Quentin Skinner focuses on three of Machiavelli’s major works, The Prince, the Discourses, and The History of Florence, and distills from them an exceptionally clear introduction to Machiavelli's doctrines. He discusses the influence of Roman moral thought on Machiavelli, concentrating on the extent to which Machiavelli's teachings represent a reaction against this tradition. Placing Machiavelli in the proper social and intellectual context, Skinner reveals the extraordinary originality of his attack on the prevailing moral and political assumptions of his age.

Originally published in February of 2020.

Visit to watch the video.