Not the first nor the last book by Skinner which I have read, my reading this time was a revisit after my preliminary encounter between 2008 and 2010 when I sought for a model of biographical dissertation. The attempt turned out unsuccessful as I was very green to reading scholarly books in English and grasping their central ideas. The 1-year experience at XX taught me many things which I did not understand until very recently, including 'how to read a book', citing the title of the renowned reading guide by Mortimer Jerome Adler, although I still suffer difficulties in presenting the theses and ideas emerging from reading. I read this short volume with a methodological intention, similar to my first reading experience, but have generated a deep understanding to his research method. One of the major figures of the Cambridge school of intellectual history, Skinner puts Machiavelli back to his context before any analysis and connects the formation of Machivelli's ideas directly to his past life. The resulting interpretation diminishes the metaphysical flare endowed by political philosophers (perhaps aiming at 'Leo Strauss and his disciples' ) and resituates Machiavelli's works as textual attempts as solutions to Florentine political problems which Machiavelli had first-hand experience and meditation for an answer. Skinner's approach make the text a record of political thought but not political philosophy and, as Wang Fan-Sen points out, reduces the possibilities of of reading, prone to fall into the trap of determinism. By contextualising the political thinker Skinner was subjected to the criticism by Carlo Ginzburg who denounced his approach as random attribution. Mentioned in a personal memoir 'UCLA名人傳之三Carlo Ginzburg' by 海裔 (no time to check with official and scholarly sources), Ginzburg's criticism points at Skinner's weakness in locating the specific edition of books Machiavelli read for each printed book in the early modern world differed physically which could induce variations in perceiving a text. Skinner responds by, if not overlooked by Ginzburg, depicting Machiavelli's humanistic education by details from the diary of Bernardo, Niccolò's father (6-7), though I would question if Skinner has indeed improved himself to be exempted from Ginzburg's denunciation.