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The Politics of Life: 25 Rules for Survival in a Brutal and Manipulative World Paperback – December 29, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (December 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742552519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742552517
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,036,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Washington journalist and author Crawford (Attack the Messenger) gives Machiavelli a user-friendly 21st century update with this guide to life's struggles for the unwary, the good-natured and the "never met a man I didn't like" gang. Though his perception of the world and his cautionary stance can be glum, Crawford's wisdom, for the most part, is unarguable. A veteran of the barracuda business world, he regales readers with Art of War-like rules from the get-go: "Life is a Filthy Battle," "A True Enemy Should Be Eliminated, Never Tolerated" and "Never Postpone the Inevitable Conflict" among them. The author maintains that people often follow Machiavelli's militant advice without considering the philosopher's admonitions for balance: "People get their way simply by asserting something...with believable-sounding support," whether or not it's true, "manipulating people...not unlike training dogs." To buck up for the fight, Crawford encourages "a positive outlook on pain will help you ease the harm that you must occasionally do to another...cast the experience on character-building." Though his advice isn't groundbreaking, Crawford is adept in his use of anecdotes to illustrate tough truths in a logical framework, providing excellent advice for launching endeavors, moving in a positive direction, surviving the scoundrels and embracing life. Crawford's tone can be harsh, but the slight flinching reaction one might begin with segues to enjoyment and identification as Crawford presents recognizable real-life scenarios, prompting plenty ah-ha moments of practical discovery.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

Washington journalist and author Crawford (Attack the Messenger) gives Machiavelli a user-friendly 21st century update with this guide to life's struggles for the unwary, the good-natured and the 'never met a man I didn't like' gang. . . Crawford is adept in his use of anecdotes to illustrate tough truths in a logical framework, providing excellent advice for launching endeavors, moving in a positive direction, surviving the scoundrels and embracing life. (Publishers Weekly)

Finally, a book that cleverly uses real politics to help people gain ground in their own lives. The ten commandments will get you to heaven, but Craig Crawford's 25 rules will help you survive the purgatory on earth. Read this —before it's too late! (Larry J. Sabato, director, University of Virginia Center for Politics)

Craig Crawford, a Washington pundit, has written a fascinating and insightful guidebook on the use of power in public life, and ways to avoid the pitfalls. He shows it takes a little bit of Machiavelli to play the game in politics—and life—and succeed. (Helen Thomas, Dean, White House Press Corps, Hearst Columnist)

Customer Reviews

Great information and very entertaining, as well.
Dallas
Mr. Crawford was a Senate Page, and has been an observer of this Brutal and Manipulative World for quite sometime.
Colorado Bob
A must have book...pick-up a few copies for your relatives.
Blonde Wino

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Patsi Bale Cox on May 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Craig Crawford's writing. He is to the point and on point. He is unpretentious and smart -- and that's a rarity. The Politics of Life is an antidote to the dumbing down we've experienced in this country of late. This is no good-guys-versus-bad-guys morality play, but an insightful look at working with the realities of everyday life, whether in the hallowed halls of Washington or the Tastee Freeze in Topeka. I'm getting a copy for a young friend who has just graduated with a degree in international studies, and one for another who recently finished her social work degree. I'm also socking one away for the day my one-year old granddaughter may need some good advice. I wish to hell Craig had written it in time for my college graduation....except I think he was still in short pants.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Denise Cohn on May 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a must read for anyone taking their life back albeit in personal or business relationships. Craig hits the nail on the head when it comes to how to negoitiate for a car, get a promotion or learn to stick to your guns and manage your self in conflict. It is not always the loudest voice that is always heard in life. Craig will leave you feeling empowered and ready to be your own personal agent. Cudos for this. I look forward to a formal book tour so I can shake his hand for a job well done.

Dennyco in Cleveland
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Book Lover on May 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Politics is not just for politicians who run governments. So many of us say we hate politics, but we play politics every day. Whether maneuvering for a better table at a restaurant or pushing for a promotion, we are always using power plays for control - the essence of politics. The Politics Of Life: 25 Rules for Survival In A Brutal and Manipulative World matches the 16th Century philosopher, Machiavelli's, ideas in plain English with the secrets and strategies of master politicians throughout history, laying out the 25 rules for playing politics beyond government -- at work, in your family, among your friends and against your enemies. If you are alive, you need to read these rules.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mark B. Cohen on August 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The author, a White House correspondent for Congressional Quarterly, tries here to distill wisdom for everyday living from the lives of the people he covers and those like him. While this can lead to viewing politics as a bigger version of the Jerry Springer show, the author to his credit stays focused on what rules of conduct can be be distilled from the behavior of those under intense media focus.

In an era in which news consumption of all forms except the Internet is declining, this is a bold but subtle effort to add relevancy and purpose to it. The author frequently adds the words of Machiavelli to add gravitas and perspective to his observations. The very first words of the introduction, indeed, quote Machiavelli's observation that "It seems to me better to represent things as they are in actual truth, rather than as they are imagined."

His 25 Rules take the struggles of Washington and beyond into everyday life.
Read more ›
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on August 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"The Politics of Life" provides a 21st-century rewording of the sixteenth-century timeless philosopher's rules. Crawford begins with "Life is a Filthy Battle for Control" - observing that sometimes you can be content without control, and that politics is the art of control. Rule 2 is that it is "Better to Boldly Assert Than Cautiously Deny," using Clinton's Lewinsky experience as a mini-case in support. Rule 3 is that "Love Helps, but Fear Motivates," supported by the assertion that "Rewards Create Passive Fear" of not getting further rewards. And so it goes, through the rest of the 25 rules.

The "bad news" is that it is difficult and dangerous to generalize from a few examples because history never totally repeats itself. Thus, non-examined factors may make what worked once fail in the future. Peters and Waterman's "In Search of Excellence" offers a classic demonstration of this - shortly after publication many/most of those companies featured in the book encountered a severe downturn.

Bottom Line: Read and enjoy "The Politics of Life," but take its lessons with a grain of salt.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Katherine Graham Cracker on May 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The book is an entertaining read as well as being unfortunately true.

Anyone starting to navigate the "real" world will find it an excellent guide.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Colorado Bob on May 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Crawford was a Senate Page, and has been an observer of this Brutal and Manipulative World for quite sometime. It hasn't ruined him yet.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Craig Crawford (http://craigcrawford.com/) was born in 1956 in Owensboro, Kentucky at Davies County Hospital (which happens to be the same facility where actor Johnny Depp took human form some years later). His parents, Bill Crawford, a road builder, and Tabitha ("Toby") Craig, a school teacher, gambled on a new life in Florida when Craig was three years old. To this day, the family calls Orlando home, although work requirements mostly keep Craig and David Blank, his domestic partner since 1987, stuck in the belly of the beast, Washington, D.C. Craig is a blogger, news commentator and author of three books: "Attack the Messenger," "The Politics of Life," and "Listen Up, Mr. President." Follow Craig on Twitter at http://twitter.com/craig_crawford

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