The introduction gives a very comprehensive description of who Cicero was and why his works are influential. The text itself is a very readable translation, which is not 'stuffy', rather communicates a thoughtful, reflective character. I think a lot of people know bits and pieces from Cicero, but don't know where it comes from. In an essay about the death penalty, I recently saw Cicero's idea that each man carries in him a spark of the Divine. Readers are also likely to recognize his telling of the Sword of Damocles, and the story of Xerxes. The idea of reading a Roman orator's reflections on friendship and government may be intimidating, but the language and the size of this book should put readers at ease.