The 48 Laws of Power Info

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Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this
multi-million-copy New York
Times 
bestseller is the definitive manual for
anyone interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate
control – from the author of The Laws of Human Nature.

In the book that People magazine
proclaimed “beguiling” and “fascinating,” Robert
Greene and Joost Elffers have distilled three thousand years of the
history of power into 48 essential laws by drawing from the philosophies
of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, and Carl Von Clausewitz and also from the
lives of figures ranging from Henry Kissinger to P.T. Barnum.

 
Some laws teach the need for prudence (“Law 1: Never
Outshine the Master”), others teach the value of confidence
(“Law 28: Enter Action with Boldness”), and many recommend
absolute self-preservation (“Law 15: Crush Your Enemy
Totally”). Every law, though, has one thing in common: an interest
in total domination. In a bold and arresting two-color
package, The 48 Laws of Power is ideal whether your aim
is conquest, self-defense, or simply to understand the rules of the
game.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for The 48 Laws of Power:

4

November 15, 2017

DANGER: read at your own risk
there seems to be a lot of love and hate surrounding this book, so if you are curious but unsure, this review should help you decide whether or not to buy the book, and how it will impact you

First, to understand the 48 laws of power, you must know two key ideas
1. you CAN NOT escape the power game. thinking you can "not participate" is as foolish as thinking that you could somehow escape gravity or make the sun stand still. Robert Greene explains why in the intro with some excellent examples
2. the 48 laws of power are neither good nor evil; they are just LAWS. If someone pushed a man off a cliff would you blame gravity for for his demise? This is the mindset you must adopt in order to learn a lot from this book.

Things I Liked
- NEW PARADIGM
after reading the 48 laws, you will never see the world the same way again. once you understand some of these laws you will see many underlying currents and motives you did not see before.
- INCREASES POWER
one of the main reasons to buy the book. you wil become exponentially more powerfull by knowing and understanding these laws
-CRYSTAL CLEAR
every law is clearly outlined with "transgression" of the law, "observance" of the law, keys to power, and a "reversal"
-GREAT STORIES
the 48 laws are packed with mindblowing and sometimes humorous stories of people in history practicing these laws. this is helpful as some of the concepts are quite abstract.

What I didn't like

-RISKY
an old proverb says " A man who plays with snakes will eventually be bitten". If you begin to use the 48 Laws improperly, you could get yourself in some dangerous situations, lose friends, piss off a lot a people, and destroy relationships
- REQUIRES DISCERNMENT
if you you are looking for a highly concrete book that the says "do xyz and you will accomplish vyx" look elsewhere. the Laws require good judgement and and and prospecting nature to practice and apply
-NOT FOR EVERYONE
If you are aghast at the idea of manipulation and deceit then read with caution.

OVERALL: If you want to have more power or a better understanding of why different situations turn out the the way they do, you should definitely read the 48 laws of power by Robert Greene. If you want to be naive, easily manipulated, weak, you should ignore this book and go watch some netfilx.
Thanks for reading
5

September 26, 2016

Great read, from start to finish! Thanks, Robert Greene ;)
This is a controversial book, mostly because the average person wishes the world were peaceful, friendly, and not full of chaos and drama...

Well, unfortunately, wishes don't make it a reality, and there are people out there who prey on the weak and take advantage of those who are too trusting. The 48 Laws of Power (by Robert Greene) illuminates many ways that those predatory people can gain power over anyone who is not aware of the manipulation and power games they play. And while it may take some practice, study, and a keen eye for detail, anyone can learn to spot these (often subtle) power struggles and often even turn the tables on the enemy at hand!

Please, if you are considering reading this book but are 'on the fence' about it because of the people saying negative things about it, just read it! This has become one of my favorite books in a short period of time, and it has given me a new way to perceive the world around me. Robert Greene is a great author, and the way this book is formatted / written makes it educational, entertaining, and compelling, all at the same time. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to every single person in the world, because it is not for the faint of heart; but if you've ever been taken advantage of, shut out of someone's life, lost control of a situation, had someone feign authority over you (successfully), had relationship problems, problems in the workplace, etc, you deserve to give this a read-through at LEAST once. Don't take everything at face-value... and by that I mean don't decapitate anyone for "transgression" of any of the laws, but definitely think about times you have seen these laws at work, and how a grasp on a relevant law from the book could have changed the outcome of that particular scenario.

.Long story short, this is an amazing book! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! :)
5

Jan 07, 2009

i learned to be eviiiilll with this book....haha actually this book made me realize how shady people can be. Plus how smart you and ambitious you should be about succeeding in life. You got to stand out in this world. If you roll with the bunches you'll become lost. You always have to have a good reputation or if you have a certain reputation you better use it to your advantage (damn im evil hahaha). This book will expose and teach you alot about the real world. One of my first books i really i learned to be eviiiilll with this book....haha actually this book made me realize how shady people can be. Plus how smart you and ambitious you should be about succeeding in life. You got to stand out in this world. If you roll with the bunches you'll become lost. You always have to have a good reputation or if you have a certain reputation you better use it to your advantage (damn im evil hahaha). This book will expose and teach you alot about the real world. One of my first books i really read and enjoyed. it motivated me to keeping learning about myself and people. i highly recommend it. ...more
1

Nov 03, 2011

I think this is a horrible book. Written well enough, sure, whatever, but just so very, very wrong, unless you have no morals. At least with Machiavelli you could make the excuse that he wasn't so much advocating what he said, but merely describing reality. This guy is advocating evil. As I read it I couldn't help wondering how many politicians actually think this way.

If I ever met someone who actually liked this book and wanted to live their life according to it, I would never hire that person, I think this is a horrible book. Written well enough, sure, whatever, but just so very, very wrong, unless you have no morals. At least with Machiavelli you could make the excuse that he wasn't so much advocating what he said, but merely describing reality. This guy is advocating evil. As I read it I couldn't help wondering how many politicians actually think this way.

If I ever met someone who actually liked this book and wanted to live their life according to it, I would never hire that person, never work for that person, never do business with that person, and would try to avoid any and all relationships with that person. I would like to be quite remotely located physically from any such person.

The sad part is I think the author is just plain wrong. Sure, you can find powerful people who have engaged in the behaviors he espouses (I think it's hard to call them "laws") and have been successful, but how many people live life this way and merely end up in the gutter with no friends, no money, and no power?

True power comes from being good, not to mention being happy, which is philosophically quite a bit more important than being powerful, although ultimately they are one and the same. ...more
5

Mar 10, 2013

When it comes to morality and ethics, people are used to thinking in terms of black and white. Conversely, "The 48 Laws of Power" deals primarily with the gray areas. At the risk of sounding melodramatic and trite, I say that most of the Laws covered in this book can be used for great evil or for great good. It depends on the reader. There is really nothing wrong with most of the Laws.

Each Law comes with true stories from history about those who successfully observed it and those who foolishly When it comes to morality and ethics, people are used to thinking in terms of black and white. Conversely, "The 48 Laws of Power" deals primarily with the gray areas. At the risk of sounding melodramatic and trite, I say that most of the Laws covered in this book can be used for great evil or for great good. It depends on the reader. There is really nothing wrong with most of the Laws.

Each Law comes with true stories from history about those who successfully observed it and those who foolishly or naively transgressed it. Robert Greene has an interpretation for each story. Though each Law is self-explanatory, Greene's explanations are not padding, fluff or stuffing to make the book longer. They actually give greater clarification and depth. Greene's insight even extends to crucial warnings about how the Laws could backfire.

There are two reasons to read this book:

1. For attack: To gain power, as have others who have carefully observed the Laws;

2. For defense: To be aware of ways that people may be trying to manipulate you. ...more
2

October 14, 2018

These rules of power that will get you alone, broke and turn you in to a loser/wanna-be abuser
All ethics, decency, courtesy and fairness falls out of the Golden Rule - "Treat others as you would like to be treated". So the question is what happens when we are all those things, for the best of our ability, but we get treated poorly by a narcissist that abuses our kindness. Do we the embrace the psychology of our abuser and accept that is how the world is and that it was OUR fault for being naive?

These rules are the revenge fantasy of a wounded child archetype. They are highly dysfunctional in any healthy community, relationship, friendships of family. If you practice them, you will end up losing the most valuable of friendships and other relationships that would have helped you out the most in life, and keep you in that hell.

If you want to be able to recognize psychopathic indicators in others, read up some books on modern psychology that addresses that directly. It is not very hard to recognize such people.

I heard this is the most popular book ordered in US prisons. That should tell you something.
3

Apr 02, 2016

If the author is evil for writing this...am I evil for enjoying it?
5

August 17, 2018

Great for dealing with the real world
This book has controversy, but most of it stems from reviewers that believe all people are good inside and unicorns deliver their vegan low fat cappuccino with cream. Well, most people aren't kind, and this book prepared me for reality. It doesn't teach one to be self absorbed or evil or a heretic. It teaches one to stand your ground and to protect yourself from taking unnecessary burden, unfair treatment, and manipulation from corrupt people.
1

May 20, 2018

BE SCARED!!! STAY AWAY FROM PEOPLE/PERSONALITIES DESCRIBED IN THE BOOK!
WOW! I was asked to purchase this book for a client. Which I did. I wanted to see what my client was reading, so I ordered the for myself. I read the back cover....I was scared for humanity. Basically it is a "how to" manipulate and not take any responsibility for your own actions. "Don't outshine the master." WHO is the master? Talks about victims....so that make YOU reading the book, the tormentor?
"Pose as a friend, work as a spy." I get that we should take control and not let people take advantage of us. But this books looks more like a "how to" for wanna be Sociopaths....
They should sell this book with "How to spot a sociopath!"
5

April 22, 2017

Required reading
Not everything in here is pretty, good, or pleasant. Then again, this is about power, not about being a "good person", whatever that means.

I wish I had read this when I was in my teens. It would have prevented me making a lot of naive mistakes as a young man.
4

Feb 12, 2013

This book belongs in the category of sad-but-true. For those who have a moral objection to the amoral approach of the authors presentation, I understand your feelings, but I think you miss the point. No matter how we feel about the dubious power plays that have occurred throughout history and that occur in our contemporary private and public lives, the fact is that they exist. Here are 48 approaches to power that you will either attempt to use or you will experience them being used against you This book belongs in the category of sad-but-true. For those who have a moral objection to the amoral approach of the authors presentation, I understand your feelings, but I think you miss the point. No matter how we feel about the dubious power plays that have occurred throughout history and that occur in our contemporary private and public lives, the fact is that they exist. Here are 48 approaches to power that you will either attempt to use or you will experience them being used against you at some point in your life, whether you agree with it ethically or not. If you are one who chooses to never use power over another, at least educate yourself to recognize the subtle and not so subtle ways others will attempt to use power against you. Many a despot would have been dis-empowered had their subjects been aware of the mind-games we humans have consistently used against one another throughout history. It may even be that the lack of this knowledge is as responsible for the abuse of power as the propagation of it.

Full of fun and interesting historical anecdotes, this is a thoroughly entertaining read. ...more
1

Aug 28, 2011

I hated every word of this manual for the soulless. It's a perfect example of exactly what's wrong with Big Pharma, big business, Wall Street, and in short capitalism as it's currently practiced. This book, which is kinda-sorta a synthesis of many previous Me First directives (Machiavelli leaps to mind), is a handbook on how to fuck over everyone you come in contact with, in order for you to get "ahead" and "succeed". It'd be awesome for sociopaths and wanna-be-CEOs. It plunged me into despair. I hated every word of this manual for the soulless. It's a perfect example of exactly what's wrong with Big Pharma, big business, Wall Street, and in short capitalism as it's currently practiced. This book, which is kinda-sorta a synthesis of many previous Me First directives (Machiavelli leaps to mind), is a handbook on how to fuck over everyone you come in contact with, in order for you to get "ahead" and "succeed". It'd be awesome for sociopaths and wanna-be-CEOs. It plunged me into despair. Parts of it actually raised gooseflesh on my arms while I was reading, I was so freaked out.

Repellent. Utterly amoral. Reprehensible. Negative 300 million zillion stars. ...more
5

Nov 01, 2010

“Men are more ready to repay an injury than a benefit, because gratitude is a burden and revenge a pleasure.”
— Tacitus, C. (A.D. 55-120)

"...a woman who is interested in a man wants to see that other women are interested in him, too. Not only does that give him instant value, it makes it all the more satisfying to snatch him from their clutches." -Robert Greene

"Everything in seduction however, depends on suggestion. You cannot announce your intentions or reveal them directly in words."

"By saying “Men are more ready to repay an injury than a benefit, because gratitude is a burden and revenge a pleasure.”
— Tacitus, C. (A.D. 55-120)

"...a woman who is interested in a man wants to see that other women are interested in him, too. Not only does that give him instant value, it makes it all the more satisfying to snatch him from their clutches." -Robert Greene

"Everything in seduction however, depends on suggestion. You cannot announce your intentions or reveal them directly in words."

"By saying less than necessary you create the appearance of meaning and power. Also, the less you say, the less risk you run of saying something foolish, even dangerous." -Robert Greene

"If you think it important to do all the work yourself, you will never get far, and you will suffer the fate of the Balboas and Teslas of the world. Find people with the skills and creativity you lack. Either hire them, while putting your own name on top of theirs, or find a way to take their work and make it your own. Their creativity thus becomes yours, and you seem a genius to the world." -Robert Greene

"Never associate with those who share your defects - they will reinforce everything that holds you back. Only create associations with positive affinities. Make this a rule of life and you will benefit more than from all the therapy in the world." - Robert Greene

"Those who seek to achieve things should show no mercy." - Kautilya, Indian Philosopher, Third Century B.C.

"To have ultimate victory, you must be ruthless." - Napolean Bonaparte 1769-1821

"...view all those around you as pawns in your rise to the top. You cannot let yourself become the lackey for any cause." -Robert Greene (Law 20)

"Do not commit yourself to anybody or anything, for that is to be a slave, a slave to every man... Above all, keep yourself free of commitments and obligations - they are the device of another to get you into his power..." - Baltasar Gracián (1601-1658)

"Learn to control yourself, to restrain your natural tendency to take sides and join the fight. Be friendly and charming to each of the combatants, then step back as they collide. With every battle they grow weaker, while you grow stronger with every battle you avoid." -Robert Greene (Law 20)

"To reveal the true nature of your intelligence rarely plays; you should get in the habit of downplaying it at all times. If people inadvertently learn the truth - that you are actually much smarter than you look - they will admire you more for being discreet than for making your brilliance show." - Robert Greene (Law 21)

"...the strong do what they have the power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept." - Athenian Delegation

"...it is a general and necessary law of nature to rule whatever one can." - Athenian Delegation

"When the great lord passes, the wise peasant bows deeply and silently farts." - Ethiopian Proverb

"In any organization it is inevitable for a small group to hold the strings. And often it is not those with the titles. In the game of power, only the fool flails about without fixing his target. You must find out who controls the operations, who is the real director behind the scenes." - Robert Greene 

"The character you seem to have been born with is not necessarily who you are; beyond the characteristics you have inherited, your parents, your friends, and your peers have helped to shape your personality. The promethean task of the powerful is to take control of the process, to stop allowing others that ability to limit and mold them. Remake yourself into a character of power. Working on yourself like clay should be one of your greatest and most pleasurable life tasks. It makes you in essence an artist - an artist creating yourself." - Robert Greene (Law 25)

"Learn to play many roles, to be whatever the moment requires. Adapt your mask to the situation - be protean in the faces you wear. Bismarck played this game to perfection: To a liberal he was a liberal, to a hawk he was a hawk. He could not be grasped, and what cannot be grasped cannot be consumed." - Robert Greene

"One should not be too straightforward. Go and see the forest. The straight trees are cut down, the crooked ones are left standing." - Kautilya, Indian philosopher, third century B.C.

“Men are so simple of mind, and so much dominated by their immediate needs, that a deceitful man will always find plenty who are ready to be deceived.” - Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527)

"Law 31" sound familiar in today's current politics?

"The Reality: Change is slow and gradual. It requires hard work, a bit of luck, a fair amount of self-sacrifice, and lots of patience.

The Fantasy: A sudden transformation will bring a total change in one's fortunes, bypassing work, luck, self-sacrifice, and time in on fantastic stroke."

"...there is often someone behind the scenes who has a great deal of power, a tremendous influence over the person superficially on top. These behind-the-scenes powerbrokers are the group's weak link: Win their favor and you indirectly influence the king."

"Time is an artificial concept that we ourselves have created to make the limitlessness of eternity and the universe more bearable, more human."

"Desire often creates paradoxical effects: The more you want something, the more you chase after it, the more it eludes you. The more interest you show, the more you repel the object of your desire. This is because your interest is too strong - it makes people awkward, even fearful. Uncontrollable desire makes you seem weak, unworthy, pathetic."

"...showing his wealth only on the inside of his house."

"When you want to fight us, we don't let you and you can't find us. But when we want to fight you, we make sure that you can't get away and we hit you squarely... and wipe you out... The enemy advances, we retreat; the enemy camps, we harass; the enemy tires, we attack; the enemy retreats, we pursue." - Mai Tse-tung (1893-1976) ...more
4

May 06, 2011

For all the readers and reviewers who don't "get" or like this book, here's what you are not getting: It is fact. This book is not teaching anyone to be amoral. It is teaching you how people really are in the real world. It separates the behaviors and tactics of people in history who have succeeded and failed into the 48 "Laws". It is an explanation of power in the only way it can be expressed.
If you don't want to be a deceitful heartless prick who does whatever he can to whomever all for For all the readers and reviewers who don't "get" or like this book, here's what you are not getting: It is fact. This book is not teaching anyone to be amoral. It is teaching you how people really are in the real world. It separates the behaviors and tactics of people in history who have succeeded and failed into the 48 "Laws". It is an explanation of power in the only way it can be expressed.
If you don't want to be a deceitful heartless prick who does whatever he can to whomever all for personal gain, then I praise you. However, YOU STILL NEED TO READ THIS BOOK to protect yourself from aforementioned amoral deceitful pricks. I read this book with this understanding(which Greene also suggests in the book), and came away from it very enlightened. Live your life as you see fit, but I always recommend facing reality in its purest rawest form, and this book really uncovers the seedy underbelly of how powerful people interact with one another. ...more
5

Jun 27, 2011

Did you ever notice how sometimes the right book comes along at the right time? I bought this book way back in '01, almost as a joke--it was so politically incorrect, but mostly for the stellar historical references-- remember, he who forgets the past is destined to repeat it. Little did I realize this tome was to become one of the most dog-eared and spine-cracked books in my collection. Initially, I was trying to make sense of the havoc that schemers and liars were wreaking upon me. I used to Did you ever notice how sometimes the right book comes along at the right time? I bought this book way back in '01, almost as a joke--it was so politically incorrect, but mostly for the stellar historical references-- remember, he who forgets the past is destined to repeat it. Little did I realize this tome was to become one of the most dog-eared and spine-cracked books in my collection. Initially, I was trying to make sense of the havoc that schemers and liars were wreaking upon me. I used to be naive & innocent, kinda. But then I started relying on some, but not all, of the laws to survive and thrive. Some great lessons from this book:

1. Learn to control your emotions.
2. Contingency. Flexibility. Have a "Plan B."
3. Learn from your past.
4. Life is a game, don't take it personally.

What I can't seem to learn is how to conceal my intentions, and play the role of a "courtier." That said, I can unconditionally and unequivocally recommend this book, just for the mini liberal arts "Western Civ" education you'll receive. Read it, you'll have some good conversation at random water coolers and cocktail parties, you might even score a spot on Jeopardy, but you'll definitely kick some poor, weak, sots ass at Trivial Pursuit. ...more
1

Jan 11, 2014

I completely misunderstood what I was about to read when I got this book. I foolishly thought it was going to be a strongly researched and thoughtful historical investigation into the nature of power with 48 astute observations similar to Good to Great or other thoughtful research.

This books is probably written for and is appealing to the shallow and overconfident who seek to take more from the world than they give by using the perpetually infantile "well, they're doing it!."

If you are I completely misunderstood what I was about to read when I got this book. I foolishly thought it was going to be a strongly researched and thoughtful historical investigation into the nature of power with 48 astute observations similar to Good to Great or other thoughtful research.

This books is probably written for and is appealing to the shallow and overconfident who seek to take more from the world than they give by using the perpetually infantile "well, they're doing it!."

If you are committed to understanding the human condition and pushing our socio-evolution to higher and higher levels of mutuality, collaboration, and "peace on earth, good will toward" one another, this book is either comedy, parody, or pathetic. Maybe the author has his tongue in his cheek like Rush Limbaugh who makes bazillions whipping the ignorant into a frenzy. I find that annoying. I find this book annoying.

More concretely, there are two ways to research or investigate a subject; one is to know already what you believe and then find examples that you can stick into your belief system. A good example of this is Creationism. Another good example of this is this book. The other, more...what shall I say, interesting way is to wonder about something, investigate it, look at your findings and see what what you can make of it - even if you don't like what you find.

The world, in my view, is moving - slowly - to a more beautiful way to think about power (Read Robert Greenleaf's The Servant Leader for starters, then read something like The Joy of Work by Bakke and, again, Collins' Good to Great where we find great leaders "looking out the window" when things go well and "looking in the mirror" when things go badly).

You can't talk people out of listening to Rush Limbaugh and those people will love this book. I think I just wandered into the wrong bar. My bad. ...more
5

April 9, 2018

Funny,informative and imminently insightful
No one needs to know how to form a cult. The books explains how, in broad strokes. If that doesn’t prove this book is intended to entertain I don’t know what would.

The rest of the stories, they are stories loads of great stories, teach us how to identify predators, defend against them and gain confidence when dealing with any problem people.

I wish I’d had this book in college. Just knowing how to undermine clinging leeches would have been worth the price.

If you’re afraid the book teaches how to use and abuse you can relax. There isn’t enough detail for that. This book teaches how to identify users and their primary methods and motivations in story format that are laugh out loud funny sometimes and insightful at all times.

I recommend it to anyone but particularly people who have trouble dumping takers.
5

June 12, 2017

I am Powerful!!!
This book teaches you about your "Power" and how to recognize it in everything you do, especially your profession. It teaches you humility and humbleness and how powerful that is when it's applied. I have two other books in this series and am in the process of reading them all. This particular book does not need to be read cover to cover. You can read on the "48 Laws" as they interest you, not only as the book is written.
5

September 9, 2017

Favorite book (after the Bible)
This book is filled with cunning strategies and easily adoptive techniques. I can't apply all of them to my daily life (Jesus wouldn't have it), but for the most part, this is the tool I use to stay ahead of the curve...
5

Jun 13, 2015

A book of wisdom, a compilation of tactics, hordes of to-avoid mistakes, rich set of brilliant tested ideas for thriving.

Although many of the rules might seem devilish, they'd better be considered as lessons to be aware of in perilous social life.

This book is unspeakably well written. Everyone can definitely benefit having it read for its lessons are ones that have been tested and utilized throughout the history by bold figures.

I really enjoyed this book and learned an intense amount of A book of wisdom, a compilation of tactics, hordes of to-avoid mistakes, rich set of brilliant tested ideas for thriving.

Although many of the rules might seem devilish, they'd better be considered as lessons to be aware of in perilous social life.

This book is unspeakably well written. Everyone can definitely benefit having it read for its lessons are ones that have been tested and utilized throughout the history by bold figures.

I really enjoyed this book and learned an intense amount of knowledge.
...more
1

Dec 28, 2014

The book is little more than a collection of conflicting laws that are supported only by anecdotal evidence. Good for entertainment and historical vignettes but no real substance or takeaways here.
2

Mar 24, 2007

There are some engaging principles here that make you consider the principle of power from different vantage points -- This book is for those who already have a strong moral center as you find that the author meanders and introduces you to novel approaches to accquiring power --- often times at the expense of values. In many ways, this book is Machiavellian in scope and re-modifies many of the same principles in The Prince for our more modern age. If you're looking for a short-cut to get to the There are some engaging principles here that make you consider the principle of power from different vantage points -- This book is for those who already have a strong moral center as you find that the author meanders and introduces you to novel approaches to accquiring power --- often times at the expense of values. In many ways, this book is Machiavellian in scope and re-modifies many of the same principles in The Prince for our more modern age. If you're looking for a short-cut to get to the top and to compromise some values, then this may be the book for you. Otherwise, I recommend books that are more humanistic and ethically aligned.

If you're interested in the "Art of Seduction" --- then again, Robert Greene weaves some interesting anectodes with some of his own wisdom on the subject. ...more
5

May 05, 2015

Let me start by stating that I was EXTREMELY skeptical about this book, though I had heard so much about it prior to reading it (I don't know, maybe it was the mood I was in). My first thoughts while reading the preface were "Oh god...please don't let this be another book written from the point of view of an arrogant, self centered, self absorbed, narrow minded individual who only sees the world from his end of the spectrum, and believes that without his personal philosophy the rest of us mere Let me start by stating that I was EXTREMELY skeptical about this book, though I had heard so much about it prior to reading it (I don't know, maybe it was the mood I was in). My first thoughts while reading the preface were "Oh god...please don't let this be another book written from the point of view of an arrogant, self centered, self absorbed, narrow minded individual who only sees the world from his end of the spectrum, and believes that without his personal philosophy the rest of us mere mortals would be doomed!" I am pleased to say that I was TOTALLY wrong and pleasantly surprised. I loved this book!


I give the author a tremendous amount of credit for even attempting to take on an issue as COLOSSAL as power and sum it all up in 430 pages. As I stated earlier I was extremely skeptical and was under the impression that this book would be mainly propaganda infused and maybe laced with a little personal philosophy here and there. As I dug deeper into this great work though, I found that the author's personal philosophy actually takes a backseat to the historical references and stories that would eventually take center stage and serve as an excellent way to prove his point and drive it home. I found the accounts of the different powerful figures from ancient civilization all the way up to modern times to be very effective, logical, and convincing. It's always hard to disagree with someone when there's a clear cut example to support the claim.


Now I would not recommend this book to the faint of heart. I reiterate that as the author had to have tough skin to address the topic of power, so should the reader in order to read this book and understand it, let alone enjoy it. This book addresses power from every single angle and aspect of it; from exercising power over ones self and his or her own actions, to having power over other people and their actions. I was expecting a lot of sugar coating and flattering words (as you usually get when power is being addressed) but to the contrary there was a boldness and a distinctly honest quality about this book. That had to have taken a lot of courage...salute. The fact that this was Robert Greene's 1st book is commendable in that respect.


The word "game" often resurfaces throughout in reference to power,(to whom it may concern) I found that interesting. Power took on the form of politics(which I'm not usually into) and leadership was addressed in an almost microscopic type fashion which made the read more interesting. Some of my favorite historical figures appear throughout also to add clarity. People like Julius Caesar, Otto Von Bismarck, and Sun Tzu have recurring roles in this extreme display of excellence.



Power is more times than often romanticized and made to seem alluring and seductive, but very few people dare to explore the object of it from every angle and address the dangers that abound when it is abused; making it easy for an author to inadvertently send an unsuspecting reader of one of these "in a perfect world" type books into a merciless, unrelenting, and unforgiving environment only to be devoured due to misguidance and unpreparedness. The 48 Laws Of Power is not one of those books.



Now there are things that I TOTALLY disagree with in this book. There were portions that I read and thought to myself " I would never do anything like that." On the flip side I was glad that those parts were included also because they gave me insight in to the psyche of the person who would and actually does the things that I choose not to do. Then there are also parts that I TOTALLY agree with; parts that I read and got EXTREMELY excited about! I found myself saying "now that's EXACTLY what I would do!" I personally think that's what makes for a great read. Having the notoriously wicked villain only makes you love the heroic character all the more.


The 48 Laws Of Power has a little bit of everything in it. Power is addressed, so naturally there's deceit, greed, treachery, corruption, and scandal involved. There's a hint of romance with ancient tales like the story of Ninon de Lenclos and Marquis de Serigne. There's also a pinch of heartbreak like you'd find in the story of King Henry the 13th and Catherine of Argon: both aspects of power that I just happen to find fascinating. Surprisingly there were also instances in which those who appeared to be powerful were actually powerless for whatever reason. This book addresses power from every angle, legitimate and illegitimate, in an unbiased way and I appreciated and enjoyed that aspect immensely.


I recommend this book to the man or woman who has reached a crossroad in his or her life and has found themselves staring down the barrel of a powerful decision... either become or remain a subordinate: a life where there's a lot less risk, danger, and treachery involved...or Boss Up: take initiative and pursue a position of leadership and endure the hardships, responsibilities, and drawbacks that being a leader entails. I would also recommend this book to the person who has already acquired a position of leadership somehow, whether it be through hard work and sacrifice, or simply through inheritance. I think all such would find this book to be a tremendous help in deciding on whether to simply bask in what has already been given to you and carry on tradition, or blaze your own path and set your own rules...make your mark.


This may be an oldie to some, but I'm sure there are still a few that have yet to take a gander at this and marvel as I did. In conclusion: real will always recognize real and it is impossible for one to miss the realness that resides between the pages of The 48 Laws Of Power... Salute. ...more
5

Oct 25, 2007

This is really an unique book that serves both as a manual as well as a reading of the history of power and how it was used through the ages. I imagine most read this book to get insight into business transactions or self-help - but what is fascinating are the examples that are used to show certain aspects of obtaining or getting power. That and Robert's other two books "The Art of Seduction" and the War one are important studies on the nature of those subject matters.

Really unique and This is really an unique book that serves both as a manual as well as a reading of the history of power and how it was used through the ages. I imagine most read this book to get insight into business transactions or self-help - but what is fascinating are the examples that are used to show certain aspects of obtaining or getting power. That and Robert's other two books "The Art of Seduction" and the War one are important studies on the nature of those subject matters.

Really unique and interesting! ...more
5

Nov 08, 2016

I've seen many people disliking this book because it's evil. What they do not understand that this book is meant to be evil. And in its execution, it was spectacular. This book is a classic.

I think the world is a horrible place because good people don't understand evil scheme, or can't plot evil scheme when its necessary to fight the evil. As evil minds are generally ruthless in executing their schemes, they win most of the time. To fight it, you must play dirty when necessary.

That being said, I've seen many people disliking this book because it's evil. What they do not understand that this book is meant to be evil. And in its execution, it was spectacular. This book is a classic.

I think the world is a horrible place because good people don't understand evil scheme, or can't plot evil scheme when its necessary to fight the evil. As evil minds are generally ruthless in executing their schemes, they win most of the time. To fight it, you must play dirty when necessary.

That being said, this book has enormous seductive power which could transform you to manipulating mind. Here's two laws that I particularly liked..

Law 1: Never outshine your master.
Law 4: Always say less than necessary.
Law 13: When asking for help, appeal to people's self interest, never to their mercy or gratitude.
Law 19: Know who you are dealing with, do not offend the wrong person.
Law 40: Despise the free lunch.
Law 46: Never appear two perfect.

What makes the book a fun read is that each law is bolstered by historical stories, where either observance of the law or transgression of the law is exemplified. So the reader can relate the laws to real life scenarios, even in his own life.

This is an exceptionally well written book. ...more

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