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The 48 Laws of Power Paperback – September 1, 2000
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“Machiavelli has a new rival. And Sun Tzu had better watch his back. Greene . . . has put together a checklist of ambitious behavior. Just reading the table of contents is enough to stir a little corner-office lust.”—New York magazine
“Beguiling . . . literate . . . fascinating. A wry primer for people who desperately want to be on top.”—People magazine
“An heir to Machiavelli’s Prince . . . gentler souls will find this book frightening, those whose moral compass is oriented solely to power will have a perfect vade mecum.” —Publishers Weekly
“Satisfyingly dense and . . . literary, with fantastic examples of genius power-game players. It’s The Rules meets In Pursuit of Wow! with a degree in comparative literature.”—Allure
From the Back Cover
THE BESTSELLING BOOK FOR THOSE WHO WANT POWER, WATCH POWER, OR WANT TO ARM THEMSELVES AGAINST POWER . . .
A moral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this piercing work distills three thousand years of the history of power into forty-eight well-explicated laws. As attention-grabbing in its design as it is in its content, this bold volume outlines the laws of power in their unvarnished essence, synthesizing the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun-tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, and other great thinkers. Some laws require prudence ("Law 1: Never Outshine the Master"), some stealth ("Law 3: Conceal Your Intentions"), and some the total absence of mercy ("Law 15: Crush Your Enemy Totally") but like it or not, all have applications in real-life situations. Illustrated through the tactics of Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, P. T. Barnum, and other famous figures who have wielded -- or been victimized by -- power, these laws will fascinate any reader interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control.
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Top Customer Reviews
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! :)
BEWARE! YOU MUST TAKE THINGS LIKE A GRAIN OF SALT! Robert Greene makes sure you become aware of this, each and every law, when applied on the day to day basis, must be carefully practiced. For everything you do, you musn't exaggerate.
This is a book about getting ahead in a political world. This is a book about advancing in corporate or government politics. I don't really care for these types of books or "playing the game," but if you want to advance in the game, this is the road-map. After working 15 years in a government bureaucracy, I can vouch that these 48 laws are 100% true. It took me many years to realize these were the only rules that matter matter in organizations and it is disappointing news for idealistic people. The book is fantastic information even if you choose not to participate in the game.
My only criticism is some of the dated stories used to support the laws can get boring at times. It's hard to relate our modern reality to times of the past, even if they completely apply.
When reading this book cover to cover, I had SEVERAL moments where I thought "yes! this has happened to me" or "that's what she was up to all along". Greene does an excellent job of demonstrating each law through story and analysis. The analyses are very poignant and I highlighted a LOT.
Biggest takeaway: don't show all of your cards. People don't have to know everything. There is some trend in American society to "be authentic" which has become misconstrued, and often results in immature emotional displays. Be authentic on the inside. This assumes one's aim is not evil, but to move forward with their goals.
Criticism: Almost all of the historical references are extremely old. Would be interesting to get some more examples in 20th century (although he uses Kissinger). Second, in virtually every female example, the woman's LOOKS are taken heavily into account. She had to "overcome" being unsightly or had extreme power because of her beauty. Come on. It was absolutely true for those times but there are plenty of contemporary women who I'm sure had to utilize many if not all of the laws of this book. Courtesans and mistresses, as you pointed out, never actually seal their power as the others had.
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.