Niccolo Machiavelli was born on May 3, 1469 in Florence, Italy. He was a political philosopher, statesman, and court advisor. Starting out as a clerk, he quickly rose in the ranks because he understood balance of power issues involved in many of his diplomatic missions. His political pursuits quickly ended after he was imprisoned by the Medici family. He is best known for The Prince, his guide to power attainment and cutthroat leadership. He also wrote poetry and plays, including a comedy named Mandragola. He died on June 21, 1527 at the age of 58.
Political theorist Bernard Crick was born in London in 1929. He earned a degree in economics in 1950 and a doctorate in political economy in 1956 from University College in London. He taught at numerous universities including Harvard University, McGill Univeristy, the University of California at Berkeley, the London School of Economics, the University of Sheffield, and Birkbeck College. He wrote numerous books during his lifetime including The American Science of Politics (1958), In Defence of Politics (1962), The Reform of Parliament (1964), and George Orwell: A Life (1980). He also edited the journal Political Quarterly for almost 40 years. He died from cancer on December 19, 2008 at the age of 79.