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.
Zoe Heller has been a contributing editor of Vanity Fair and a staff member of the London Sunday Times, the Times Supplement, Esquire, Vogue, the London Review of Books and The New York Times. Her 2003 novel, What Was She Thinking?: Notes on a Scandal, earned tremendous acclaim, including a spot on the short list for the prestigious Man Booker Prize. The audio release coincided with the 2007 film adaptation, Notes on a Scandal, starring Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench. She was born and educated in Britain and now divides her time between Brooklyn, NY and Bucks County, PA.Tim Parks studied at Cambridge and Harvard. He lives near Verona with his wife and three children. His novel Europa was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and Judge Savage was longlisted in 2003.