Machiavelli cut his political teeth during the Renaissance, a time of intense hatred between Italian city states. His book, thought cynical and pessimistic by later generations, struck his contemporaries as eminently sane.
Machiavelli was a man of action, a patriot, devout. He wrote THE PRINCE to describe how a leader could unite Italy and put a stop to the senseless conflict.
"He wrote of people only as he found them. He started from the principle that human nature does not change, and argued for a political system based on man as he is, not as he should be."