Florentine statesman, writer, and political theorist, Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) considered The Art of War his most important work. Five centuries later, after serving as a guide to Frederick the Great, Napoleon, and countless other military leaders, it remains an authoritative treatise on the fundamentals of warfare. Best known as the political theorist who wrote The Prince, Machiavelli used this book to advocate strategies for Italy's increased military prowess and political strength. Machiavelli was the first to propose a global context for the functional unity of war and politics, with the former serving as an instrument of the latter. Written in the form of dialogues, this 1520 work represents a humanistic treatment rather than a textbook approach. It clearly states and discusses the fundamentals of military organization and strategy: handling recruitment and weapons, motivating troops, demoralizing enemies, and achieving tactical and strategic advantages. Essential to the education of students of military history, strategy, and theory, The Art of War continues to inspire readers.