Over the years readers have differed sharply in their assessment of Machiavelli and his works. In exploring the life and time of Niccolo Machiavelli you will find that he opened new doors in the area of modern political thought. Machiavelli has often been described as the Columbus of modern political thought. Though distrusted by many his influence can not be denied. Machiavelli's work has been deemed controversial because of its realist approach to politics. It is known that Machiavelli drew much of his knowledge from intense study and personnel experience. He lived in a time of transition in what came to be modern Italy. During this time Machiavelli wrote "The Prince" in 1513, just after he was forced to leave Florence as a political exile. Dedicated to Lorenzo de' Medici, the book is Machiavelli's advice to the current ruler of Florence on how to stay in power. It was also his effort, though unsuccessful, to gain an advisory post in the Medici government. Today we come to accept Niccolo Machiavelli as one of the world's forefathers in modern political theory for many reasons. .
Machiavelli's makes a clear break from the Western tradition of political philosophy that preceded him. Beginning with Plato and Aristotle, the thinkers of this tradition were concerned with issues of justice and human happiness, and with the constitution of the ideal state. Until its final chapter, "The Prince" is a how-to manual for rulers who aim either to establish and retain control of a new state or to seize and control an existing one. Machiavelli was a realist, in a time when people were not. As a realist he never argued how people should be but how people are. Throughout "The Prince", Machiavelli definitely aims to give an unbiased analysis of actual human behavior and the uses of power.