This volume presents a complete annotated collection in English of known personal correspondence to and from Niccolo Machiavelli. Spanning the years of Machiavelli's adult life, from 1497 until his death in 1527, this correspondence between Machiavelli and his friends, colleagues and compatriots - some of whom were the most influential thinkers of the day - presents a panorama of life, people and critical events in Renaissance Italy. The correspondence offers insight into the origins of Machiavelli's ideas on history, politics, literature and society and the social context out of which his achievements arose. Often his correspondence served as a testing ground for ideas he developed more fully in his writing. While the letters taken together show Machiavelli both living within and transcending his own time, on a more intimate level they reveal the human element that helped to shape his thought. Machiavelli emerges as an individual with multifaceted capabilities and a multitude of roles, among them devoted humanist, political analyst, shrewd rhetorician and practical joker. Based on an authoritative critical Italian edition by Franco Gaeta, the collection includes 257 letters written to Machiavelli and 84 letters written by him. Arranged chronologically, correspondence to and by Machiavelli is interwoven so that readers may easily follow discussions between him and his associates. The translators provide an introduction that establishes the political and cultural context of the correspondence and headnotes that introduce each section of letters. Their explanatory and historical annotations illuminate people, places and events mentioned within the letters. Machiavelli's correspondence opens a window onto an important era in Western intellectual history, disclosing the language, thoughts and preoccupations of some of the key people who shaped the Italian Renaissance. "Machiavelli and His Friends" should interest students of Machiavelli, specialists in political science and Renaissance literature and history, and general readers desiring to know more intimately one of the most fascinating personalities of the Renaissance.