Set amid the ferment and factionalism of early modern Italy, Life of Castruccio Castracani is a vivid and action-packed account of the rise and fall of a very "Machiavellian" prince. A charismatic warlord of the early 14th century, Castruccio Castracani came from humble beginnings as a foundling, and ended his life as ruler of Lucca, Pisa, Pistoia, and Florence. In this Life, Machiavelli extols Castracani for his acute understanding of the politics of warfare and statecraft, and while sparing no detail of his shrewd and often bloody tactics, he overturns our moral prejudice, depicting Castracani as a popular unifying force. Life of Castruccio Castracani is accompanied by selected passages from Machiavelli’s Florentine Histories to give a powerful, rounded portrait of the abandoned child who rose to become the most powerful man in Tuscany. Niccolò Machiavelli was a prominent Florentine politician and writer, whose greatest work, The Prince, has ensured his lasting fame.