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Customer Review

209 of 226 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fans of Greene's work will be pleased, October 5, 2012
This review is from: Mastery (Hardcover)
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"Mastery" continues in the tradition of Greene's other work, especially The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, and The 33 Strategies of War (Joost Elffers Books). Consider this book, if you will, as a synthesis and application of the principles in those three books: in the "48 Laws," Greene introduced a set of concepts loosely based on Gracian's "The Art of Worldly Wisdom" that assisted readers in determining how to gain and maintain control. In "Seduction," Greene taught readers the principles of gaining and maintaining status as a desire of others; and in the "33 Strategies," Greene shifted the ground beneath our feet from the boardroom and living room to the battlefield, describing how militaristic techniques and approaches could be used to achieve our goals and outcomes.

"Mastery" synthesizes much of this previous work into a larger framework, a longer-term project--a "bigger picture," so to speak. Greene defines "mastery" as the ultimate power: "[A] form of power and intelligence that represents the high point of human potential. It is the source of the greatest achievements and discoveries in history. It is an intelligence that is not taught in our schools nor analyzed by professors, but almost all of us,a t some point, have had glimpses of it in our own experience."

As with his previous works, Greene relies heavily on historical anecdotes to explain his six-step plan to the achievement of mastery:
1. Discover your calling: the life's task
2. Submit to reality: the ideal apprenticeship
3. Absorb the master's power: the mentor dynamic
4. See people as they are: social intelligence
5. Awaken the dimensional mind: the creative-active
6. Fuse the intuitive with the rational: mastery

For each of these steps, Greene includes a detailed explanation of what the step's goal is, relevant historical examples of the step in action, and the strategies for achieving the goal and moving to the next step. For example, in the first step (the life's task), Greene somewhat metaphysically argues that "You possess an inner force that seeks to guide you toward your Life's Task--what you are meant to accomplish in the time that you have to live." Determining what this task is is the goal of the first step. Greene then offers up Leonardo Da Vinci as an example of this search, and provides five strategies for "finding your life's task": returning to your origins, occupying the perfect niche, avoiding the false path, letting go of the past, and finding your way back. Each of these strategies is further accompanied by more historical anecdotes.

Whereas the "48 Laws," "33 Strategies," and "Seduction" had focused on somewhat tighter, more confined situations--and were presented in a rather fragmented, isolated manner that did not necessarily relate each rule or precept to the others--"Mastery" is a conscious attempt to bring together all this information and these principles into a single, directed course of action. This book, more than all the others, is Robert Greene's answer to the question of how to "win friends and influence people" (with emphasis on the latter).

A worthy addition to any library--especially those with well-thumbed copies of Greene's earlier books.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 6, 2012 12:32:13 PM PDT
NoStasis says:
Great review, thank you for the descriptive summation. And as an avid fan of his previous 4 books I can hardly wait to read it too.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2012 3:33:39 PM PDT
kelsie says:
Thanks! I'm glad you found it useful!

Posted on Nov 3, 2012 2:18:12 PM PDT
Jimmy says:
Excellent review. Based on what you have written I will purchase the book. Thank you.

Posted on Jan 23, 2013 10:56:25 AM PST
jimboesq says:
Well-written and concise review! Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2013 2:13:03 AM PDT
Marc says:
I admit the publishers description of this book makes it seem too enticing to pass up, especially to a Self Help and Anthony Robbins junkie like myself. However...nothing personal, but the writing style of this reviewer is too perfect, too polished, if you all know what I mean........... At least to me,anyway. -)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 8, 2014 8:38:35 PM PDT
Greenes books have all but saved my life over the last decade with their enthralling concepts and techniques that come in handy in everyday living!! I will be adding this to my collection!!

Posted on Jul 24, 2015 7:57:10 PM PDT
Phenomenal review! It is concise and very clearly written. Thanks for taking the time to write it!

Posted on Dec 28, 2015 4:54:01 PM PST
Seriously says:
Kelsie, would be great if you can recommend a book or two that you think are similar or complementary to Mastery.
I read the book, read your review, and am thinking you may be able to recommend other such great books.
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