bivalent” or innately extralegal executivenin Aristotle (or in medieval thinkersnsuch as Aquinas, Dante, ornMarsilius of Padua), claims that “ansecond remedy was first proposed bynMachiavelli . . . This is to recognizenopenly the necessity of tyranny in thencharacter of the prince, who initiatesnand innovates, even while he seeksndemocratic sanction for his actions sonthat he may seem merely to executenthe people’s will.” This “modern doctrinenof executive power” is, however,nalien to the author of The Prince andnThe Discourses. Where the real mannwas concerned with achieving politicalnstability in a world subjected to unstablenfortune, Mansfield’s Machiavelli isnprimarily exercised by “the problem fornwhich the modern notion of executivenpower is the solution” — namely, thendifficulty of reasoning from generals tonparticulars in the application of law (anproblem that bothered Kant and Condorcetnfar more than Machiavelli).nWhen Mansfield discusses Machiavelli’snviews on dictatorship, hisnMachiavelli loses all resemblance tonthe historical one. “Machiavelli deniesnthat dictatorial authority was harmfulnor that it was the cause that broughtntyranny to Rome, as had been alleged.”nBy paraphrase and selectivenquotation, Mansfield makes it sound asnthough Machiavelli approves of dictatorshipnin general. In fact, in a passagenthat Mansfield curiously does notnquote, Machiavelli argues that the specificnRoman institution of dictatorshipndid not harm the Roman republic onlynbecause of the virtue of the Romannpeople, the “short duration of thendictatorship,” and — most importantn—because the Roman dictator’s “limitednauthority” permitted him to “donnothing to diminish the constitutionalnposition of the government, as wouldnhave been the case if he could haventaken away the authority vested in thensenate or in the people, or have abolishednthe ancient institutions of the citynand made new ones.” In other words,nMachiavelli is making the very distinctionnMansfield claims he does notnmake—between the temporary dictator,ngoverned by law even in crisis, andnthe founder or reformer of a city, angenuinely despotic “prince” who createsnor purges “modes and orders.”nMachiavelli goes on to argue that innemergencies government by a council.nnot by a single man, is best. He alsonwarns against giving either a single or ancollective temporary dictator “power tonmake laws and in general to act as ifnthey were the . . . people.” Long-termnauthority should not be given to anynindividual, even an elected executive,nunless accompanied by “supervisorsn. . . appointed to see to it that theynshould not be able to abuse theirnauthority.” So far from arguing thatnthe executive is inherently or necessarilynbeyond the law, Machiavelli praisesnRoman dictators who “could not annulna decree of the senate, nor . . . makennew laws,” and claims that “[n]o republicnis ever perfect unless by its lawsnit has provided for all contingencies,nand for every eventuality has providedna remedy and determined the methodnof applying it.”nAnother of Mansfield’s claims, thatnMachiavelli “abandons all concern, vitalnin the Aristotelian tradition, for thendistinction between the tyrant and thenking who rules justly,” is equallyngroundless. In a chapter of The Discoursesnentitled “Those who set up anTyranny are no less Blameworthy thannare the Founders of a Republic or anKingdom Praiseworthy,” Machiavellinargues that law-abiding kings and republicannmagistrates in life “rest securenand in death become renowned,”nwhereas tyrants in life “are in continualnstraits, and in death leave behind themnan imperishable record of their infamy.”nHow can Mansfield, then, writenthat “Machiavelli thought his new doctrinenwould bring men more glory andnsecurity no matter what regime”? BecausenMansfield’s doctrine of executivenpower, which he claims was passed on,nwith modifications, from Machiavellinto the American Founders by way ofnHobbes, Locke, and Montesquieu, isnnot to be found in Machiavelli at all,nthe subsequent argument of the bookncollapses.nMansfield ends Taming the Princenwith a paean to the prince (his, notnMachiavelli’s) untamed. “Periods ofnexecutive leadership such as the ReagannRevolution show what Americanngovernment means,” writes Mansfield.n”The Reagan Revolution . . . promisednto produce a certain America,npeopled by a certain kind of Americannwith certain virtues — not just thensame America better off or more secure.”nThis comes as news to many ofnnnus who voted for Ronald Reagan, unawarenthat we were granting an “ambivalent,”nthat is, inherently lawlessnexecutive the authority to mold us intonthe American equivalent of the SovietnNew Man. Aristotle, with his preferencenfor divided power and the rule ofnlaw, “would not have approved thenmodern executive in whom one-mannrule becomes actual and the rule of lawncomes to seem theoretical,” andnMachiavelli, champion of senatorialnoversight, would have been horrified bynthe lawlessness of Admiral Poindexternor Colonel North. But we should notnworry, according to Mansfield, as longnas the California actor or Texas oil mannwho happens to occupy the Oval Officenhas “the perfection of the soul”nthat is virtue. And besides, we do notnneed to worry about executive tyranny,nsince “while previous republics werenfearful of great men, Americans arenproud of their ‘great presidents.'”nPraise God we Americans can allnsleep tight in our beds for evermore.nMichael hind writes from Washington,nDC.nThe UnsovereignnArtistnby Chilton Williamson, Jr.nWilliam Faulkner:nAmerican Writernby Frederick R. KarlnNew York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson;n1,131 pp., $37.50nAthousand-page book, like anthousand-foot ship, must not disappoint;nunfortunately, Kari Frederick’snWilliam Faulkner is the QE U ofnAmerican literary biography. “Thisnbook attempts,” Professor Karl states innhis foreword, “to integrate the latest innbiographical information withnFaulkner’s own large body of work innfiction and poetry.” He adds that, “Itnwill not replace Joseph Blotner’s monumentalntwo-volume biography ofnFaulkner, which is an altogether differentnkind of book,” but does not deignnto mention the more recently publishednWilliam Faulkner: The Mannand the Artist (Harper & Row, 1987)nDECEMBER 1989/37n