Through a series of telling commentaries on early Roman history, Machiavelli shows how citizenship can work to maintain freedom, even in the face of civil strife. And yet he remains as clear-eyed a pragmatist as ever. He contrasts the public, pagan virtues of citizenship with the religious and personal standards of Christianity: when the state is in danger, the good citizen may have to stoop from the highest morality. But here Machiavelli's electrifying insight is no longer solely at the service of autocracy. For a political republic, he says, is liberty's best bastion, if only its people maintain their civic virtue. Edited with an introduction by Bernard Crick and translated by Leslie J. Walker, S.J. 542 pages, softcover.