I suppose there is a certain irony in reading Machiavelli: A Very Short Introduction, for in doing so you indulge in the machiavellian trait that the means justify the end (or as Niccolo himself more eloquently puts it "though the deed accuses him, the results excuse him"). Ramming the history, context, treatise and fundamentals of Machiavellian philosophy into 100 pages is no mean feat. Notwithstanding the small writing.
After 100 pages of squinting you feel altogether more erudite, possibly confident enough to pub-challenge the use of the adjective 'machiavellian' as an inappropriate representation of the man's philosophy. You could lecture ad nauseam that Machiavelli preached, not that you should be duplicitous for the sake of duplicity, or immoral for the sake of immorality, but only as sensible strategies should the circumstances dictate. One in the eye for Cicero, Livy and his humanist pals. Seems pretty obvious to us rational, philisophically enlightened, media-educated children of Darwin. But to have said so to Machiavelli would probably have been an anachronism.
Power to Niccolo, the man spoke sense. Power to Mr Skinner, a virtuoso perfomance.