Author: Philip Bobbitt
Title: The Garments of Court and Palace, 2013
Publications: http://www.amazon.com/The-Garments-Court-Palace-Machiavelli/dp/0802120741, Kindle, hardcover, and paperback editions available
Genre: Political Science, Political Philosophy
Synopsis: Philip Bobbitt decodes and decriminalizes the political theories of Niccolo Machiavelli in The Garments of Court and Palace (2013). Readers ought to dispense with any prerequisite knowledge of Machiavelli’s The Prince and the Discourses. Bobbitt reads Machiavelli as a mere critic of his times and an avid student of political strategy, only. Too many political theologians impose emotionalism upon a subject that does not benefit from emotional sentiments. In fact, to give into emotional whims, in politics, certainly leads to failure (as illustrated, in the work).
One learns of the early, diverse nature of Italy and the Princely States within. Bobbitt decodes the mind of the Italian political machine(s) and what propels and/or stalls progress. Machiavelli is presented (to readers) in new attire. The master, political critic sees his Italian, homeland through a loving, but non-romantic lens. Pragmatically, Machiavelli reflects upon the past errors of those egotistical rulers which sought personal glory. The survival of the state was most important to Machiavelli. This book illustrates the outcome of the flawed judgment of those who failed to realize such. Loyalty to state and people were most important. Machiavelli never deviated from this primary premise. Bobbitt chronicles the political administration(s) in vogue during the time of Machiavelli to illustrate the wisdom and fallacy of those who were in power. Bobbitt’s own style of outlining such is reminiscent of Dante in his own political discourse, The Divine Comedy. Students of Italian philosophy, politics, and religion will enjoy this work immensely. But, there is something for the pragmatist too.
Critique: I now see the symmetry of the current political scene in America. Philip Bobbitt has enabled me to do so. The Garments of Court and Palace prompts one to scrutinize the garments or cloak that our politicians wear. Are members of the American court suited for ‘self’ or nation? Machiavelli would say that our legislators suit for ‘self.’ Philip Bobbitt offers us a view of politics in the past as a window to the present and future. The flawed administration of Rodrigo Borgia (there is a television series entitled The Borgias) and Edward IV (depicted in the television series The White Queen) come alive with the insight of Philip Bobbitt’s book. I even think the viewing of the series Da Vinci’s Demons can be supplemented with a reading of The Garments of Court and Palace. I recommend this book highly and I will be referring to it during the upcoming television and political season.