Most helpful critical review
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Catch phrases and anecdotes in abundance, but not useful
on November 19, 2002
It appears to be that this book is nothing more than a collection of catch-phrases thrown together in a haphazard fashion interlaced with anecdotes. For example, Hogan mentions many times in his book that Saddam Hussein is a villain, who uses the same tricks in persuasion as other great leaders. However, his examples are direly lacking in both scientific validity as well as relevance to the theme of the book. Instead of informing the readers *why* Hussein hold power and is able to persuade followers, Hogan uses very bad metaphors, which do nothing but show his own lack of scientific knowledge. In the beginning of Chapter 4, Hogan describes Saddam Hussein as "using and manipulating laws of gravity and aerodynamics...
In addition, Hogan's neat classification of everyone into various sub-categories is entirely too simplistic for the real world. In Chapter 6, he neatly files Americans into Belongers (37%), Emulators (20%), Achievers(18%), Societally Conscientious (22%), and Need Driven(3%). Well, I don't know about the other 200 million Americans, but I personally would like to think that being an "Achiever" doesn't disqualify me from being Societally Conscientious!
Hogan vacillates between walking a scientific path and an empirical one. While to an uninformed reader this trick would elevate his status to sage-level, who is to be revered for both his practical experience as well as his broad and deep knowledge into the bio-physical reasonings for human behavior, to anyone with a basic knowledge in biology or psychology, Hogan is simply reciting the Psych 101 textbook, and adding in his own warped view of the sciences. On page 222, Hogan describes physiology as "our actual body position...and the movement of our eyes." I'll bet that if anyone tries to answer that on a pop-quiz to the question, "What is physiology?" they're guaranteed to fail the quiz.
It is, at least for me, a truly disappointing book. My recommendation is to buy "The 48 Laws of Power" which focuses on an purely empirical approach.