Although the two are of different genres - Mario Puzo's "The family" so well complements this phenomenal masterpiece by Machiavelli. I mention the similarity because many years ago when I read "The family" I had almost felt that the book was bordering on being vulgar. Uninitiated as I was with renaissance politics, the Borgias sounded to my ears as the imagination of a corrupted soul. I owe a sincere apology to Mr. Puzo since Machiavelli makes no bones about where he sides on Pope Alexander's actions - which in my definition is dastardly. In parts of India where I stay there is a saying that goes like this "if you live in hell, your obligation to your family is to become a devil for others" and by those standards, Machiavelli should be the teacher everyone should seek out. Machiavelli has this way of writing which reeks a no nonsense approach. Here's one of the many excerpts I love - "...men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared...fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails."If you are in early twenties and reading this, trust me, for roughly 20 bucks you will be inheriting the best lessons in strategy that anyone can ever give you.