Machiavelli was an Italian diplomat, historian and political theorist who wrote this book sometime around 1513. In 1512 the Medici's came to power and he lost his post in Florence. It is believed he wrote this book in an effort to win them over and be taken back into politics. It is now the world's most well-known political reference. It is also considered to be the first book on modern political philosophy, where effective truth is considered more important than abstract ideals. Therefore, immoral means are acceptable in "The Prince" when used to achieve the aims of princes and politicians seeking personal glory or the advancement of their careers. This may have been necessary during the time it was written, but many, including Diderot and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, considered "The Prince" to be more of a satire. Whatever its purpose may have been, it is clearly one of the most brilliant books ever written.