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The Art Of Seduction Paperback – January 4, 2004
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From Library Journal
Touted as a "handbook on the most subtle and effective form of power" and "an indispensable primer on how to take what you want from whomever you want," this book is more than a little creepy. Following on the heels of his 48 Laws of Power, this book continues Greene's gross exploration of social power, this time in the realm of sexual politics. In Part 1, Greene, again paired with "packager" Joost Elffers (Play with Your Food), offers a straight-faced description of the nine types of seductive character, from the "Ideal Lover" to the "Rake." Elffers's contribution comes in the form of numerous quotes by famous contemporary and historical figures tucked into the side margins. Part 2 examines the process of seduction, subdivided into four phases, with chapter headings such as "Master the Art of Insinuation" and "Isolate the Victim." This book will have real appeal for power mongers, gold diggers, and heartless manipulators everywhere. Books such as Beverley East's Finding Mr. Write (LJ 5/1/00) and Jama Clark's What the Hell Do Women Really Want? (Island Flower, 1997) offer advice on the same subject without the distasteful exploitative emphasis. David Valencia, King Cty. Lib. Syst., WA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Greene is the author of The 48 Laws of Power (1998), a compilation of quotes from throughout history that prescribe methods of obtaining and wielding power. He now adds seduction to the mix of stratagems for those who feel the need to scheme to get what they want. Given the popularity of so-called reality-based television programs, it is clear there is a large audience of such people. Greene, again providing quotes on his topic from philosophers, scientists, playwrights, and novelists, examines "the achievements of the greatest seducers throughout history" and profiles 10 seductive archetypes. Although the tactics Greene advises may be distasteful to some, his literary survey is fascinating. As was Greene's previous work, this one is billed as "A Joost Elffers Production." Elffers is identified--with no hint of embarrassment--as a book "packager." A "quote" from a Newsweek review of The 48 Laws is used to hype the new book, though the actual article in which the quote appeared challenged Greene's credentials as an editor and playwright and offered only lukewarm praise. David Rouse
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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So, to answer to those who labeled this book dangerous, misogynistic, manipulative, superficial, etc., I'd like to make a few points. Greene is careful to explain that "the art of seduction" originates in the feminine mystique, and that men have adopted it because they recognize the great power that it holds. So, good job ladies. Sure, society still has a ways to go in order to truly honor any REAL notion of equality between genders, but if you see a man reading this book, it is because he is trying to master the art that originated in the depths, mysteriousness and natural power of femininity. (And besides, how difficult is it to seduce most men? Many of us are simple creatures.) The arguments about misogyny also seem to originate in our societal attitudes towards sex - but this book is not about how to get laid. Certainly, sexual interactions play a role in seduction, but this book is more about how to win people over.
Now, the manipulative part. The language in this book certainly suggests that manipulation is really they key to seduction. Greene labels the seduced "victims" and "targets", etc. But here's the thing, in my humble opinion: our society is excessively individualistic. We have all been socialized to think of how to "get what we want". And look at the TREMENDOUS deficit in emotional capital that we find in Western society... This book does not talk about seduction in terms of magically forcing people to do what you want. It talks about LEARNING HOW TO FULFILL THE NEEDS OF OTHERS in order to GREATLY increase your personal seductive allure. According to Greene (and for the sake of argument only) seduction is about learning to be more focused on the other person than ourselves. It is a reality that EVERY last one of us has needs, and to a large extent it would seem that altruism is an ideal that is beyond the grasp of humanity as a whole. Period. Whether it is a woman chasing security, or a man seeking gratification, we ALL have needs that long to be fulfilled. Those whom Greene labels as the MOST anti-seductive are the people who think exclusively of their own needs. What if your need is to find the woman of your dreams, and because of your deep love, keep her in your life? Well, this book suggests ways to keep the mystery and spark that we ALL love in a relationship alive and burning. Are there people out there with far shallower needs than are bred by the lofty ideals of love? Absolutely, most of us included (if we really take a good look at ourselves in the mirror). The manipulative language in this book, is perhaps, an effort by Greene to seduce the reader. He appeals to our self interest by labeling those we wish to seduce as targets and victims, and then proceeds to teach us how to step into the mind and heart of that "victim" in order to find creative ways to fulfill the desires of that person. What you do with that knowledge and power will determine whether you are a manipulative scumbag/gold-digger, or a person who is simply trying to improve your social interactions with NOT ONLY the gender of your preference, but people in general.
What I was most struck by in this book was the chapter on "the Anti-Seducer". This chapter really forced me to look at some of my behaviours and to realize, that ultimately, I am acting a large part of the time out of selfishness. My failures in the relationship realm come down to selfishness. But Greene has helped me understand where that selfishness is simply a real need to move forward with my life, or an utter inability to empathize with others. I would venture that most of us have problems with recognizing the distinction in ourselves and others' behaviours.
The book is easy to read and intriguing, and surprisingly enough seems to work. It's a long read, so I would recommend taking notes on anything you find particularly interesting for your own review at a later date, just as a refresher. That's enough of my windbaggery! Hope you all find what you're looking for.
Social dynamics have such a large vast of skills that need to be learned...fascinating....
Hope you enjoy it as well
Most recent customer reviews
I think the 48 Laws of power is my reference point, which is just hard to top. However, this book had a similar allure.Read more