Niccolò Machiavelli

Nicolò Machiavelli (3 May 1469-21 June 1527) was an Italian historian, politician, and philosopher. While Machiavelli also wrote poetry, songs, and comedies, he is best known for The Prince, a political work that seemed to endorse corrupt leadership where "the ends justify the means." Although The Prince was widely criticized, Machiavelli defended the work, claiming that effective politics could not be based on unrealistic ideals.