(1469-1527) Italian political philosopher and bureaucrat.
worked much of his life as a top bureaucrat
in his native city Florence, was the first to consciously try to reason about
power in society
in a realistic manner, not based on what people, politicians, princes and
powerholders wish to believe or
pretend to believe, but based on what they
His most famous book is
The Prince (Il
principe), but The Discourses (Discorsi sopra la prima deca di
Tito Lavio) gives a more true, more complete, and more realistic statement
of his opinions.
He also wrote for the stage, and wrote a fine History of Florence.
The best later statement of his ideas is probably by Gaetano Mosca's The
Ruling Class (Elementi di Scienza Politica). There is an
interesting booklet by Burnham, The Machiavellians, that summarizes the
ideas of some political philosophers influenced by Machiavelli.