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Published 5 years after his death, The Prince is Machiavelliís attempt to advise the then ruler of Florence on how to stay in power.
Now seen as an extremely direct "how-to manual" for those who aim to either establish and retain control over any domain in business or life in general, it has gained fame due to its direct and arguably unethical forms of advice.
He justifies this approach by stating "I have thought it proper to represent things as they are in a real truth, rather than as they are imagined", using real life examples to illustrate the success of his advice.