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    By: Niccolo Machiavelli

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    Machiavelli's famous potrait of the prince still 'retains its power to fascinate, to frighten, and to instruct'. Rejecting the traditional values of political theory, Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) drew upon his own experiences of office in the turbulent Florentine republic when he wrote his celebrated treatise on statecraft. While Machiavelli was only one of the many Florentine 'prophets of force', he differed from the ruling elite in recognising the complexity and fluidity of political life. As Anthony Grafton contends is his new Introduction, Machiavelli provided the core of the doctrines of 'reason of state' that became the basic political education of modern Europe. The tough realities of Machiavelli's Italian are well preserved in the clear, unambiguous Enlish of George Bull's revised translation.

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