Customer Reviews: Concise 48 Laws of Power
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on January 29, 2005
This book is a slimmed down version of the original book, which I also own. It is paperback, 4.5 in X 6.5 in, and 195 pages, versus the original, which was 9 in x 6.5 in and 452 pages.

What it leaves out: All of the historical anecdotes and extensive examples of each law.

What it leaves in: The law, the Judgement (a short description), the Keys to Power (the author's direct description of the law and its consequences), the Image (a symbolic representation of the law), and the Authority (a supporting quotation). This book also has some of the stories that were printed in the margins in the original book.

I loved the original book, which typical had three or four long anecdotes, stories or historical references to illustrate each law. This book is useful as a easy-to-carry reference to the laws now that I have read the original. If, however, you really want to learn these laws, I recommend the original.
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on May 20, 2008
This is a guidebook for the ruthless careerist type. Is that you? If so, read the book. If not, beware of how they operate - read the book to avoid being a tool. It definitely DOES contain outstanding advice for dealing with people, regardless of who you are.

There is one law for each chapter. Each 3-5 page chapter states a law of power, explains it, then gives a few examples. It also tries (and fails in my opinion) to create a visual image for each law. Most of the examples are taken from Renaissance or ancient Chinese times, which most readers will have difficulty relating to. If there is a new edition, it could be vastly improved by using modern-day character examples from business or government.

The book is easily readable. The short chapters make it ideal to read when time is limited, e.g. commuting, waiting, etc. While almost all the chapters are surely relevant, it would be a bit difficult to keep all 48 in mind when confronting each situation. So, it's a bit overwhelming. Also, I think to really integrate these laws into everyday behaviors, a reader would have to practice or attend a workshop. Visually, the book is extremely dull - only 1 photo of the author. Any new edition would need serious visual re-design - fonts, colors, real images, etc.

This book is invaluable for aspiring executives. (It's probably required reading at intensely competitive schools like wharton, Harvard, etc. If not, it should be.) Having deduced many of these laws through firsthand work experience before reading this book, I absolutely agree with almost all of the laws the book states. The main caveat is that readers shouldn't expect to be able to apply every one of the 48 laws appropriately to all situations - at least not without a lot of practice!
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on April 6, 2004
Excellent book which is a must for everyone who are spectacular failures in all walks of life. In this book you will certainly find the answers for your failure to attain your potential .It is more than likely that you are violating one or more of these laws and / or you are not following the 48 excellent laws of Power.
The ancient wisdom is distilled in a clear and racy format which keeps your attention through out. Only regret that I did not find this book earlier. Brazenly honest book with none of the idealistic crap. A book to be lived by! for survival and beyond.
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on August 8, 2013
If you're a "do what you love and the money will follow" enthusiast, this book will turn your stomach.

If you're ready to do anything at all, even compromising your values (if you have any) to get ahead, this book is what you're looking for. Waste no time clicking the button to buy this. It's easily one of the very best books for getting ahead in business.

Yes, the print is tiny. That's okay if you want to keep this in a jacket pocket, backpack, attache, or hidden in your desk or locker. In fact, the size of this book makes it ideal for anyone who'll want to refer to it regularly throughout the day... without co-workers noticing. (The red cover wasn't an ideal choice, but you can always cover it with an old-school book cover.)

Sure, if you have scruples, the advice in this book is appalling. Things like not letting your boss know how bright and clever you really are... so you're not perceived as a threat to his (or her) job, until it's too late for your boss to do anything about it.

That is the tip of the iceberg. In fact, the author opens with that kind of advice, building up to more devious tactics.

If you're looking for the very best, tried-and-true Machiavellian ways to lie, cheat, and (maybe) steal your way to the top -- and you didn't learn enough from Othello's Iago -- this is the book you want. It's loaded with tips, background information, and pithy quotations so you'll feel like these are venerable business practices.

(I could counter that by saying -- in true hippie style -- two things: 1) Karma!, and 2) What goes around, comes around, so watch your back if you rise to the top following the advice in this book.)

For many of us who wouldn't think about doing half of what's in this book, it's kind of stomach-turning. Yes, we know we may lose opportunities to people who play by the rules (or lack of them) in this book. It's okay. We'll sleep better at night.

If you're laughing as you read this, thinking, "That poor, deluded, excessively idealistic woman...," you will love every morsel of advice in this book. In fact, buy two copies, because you'll wear out the pages of the first copy.

Me...? I'm keeping this book as a writing reference. When I need a sleazy character, or someone who will reform in the course of my story, this is an ideal guide to understand his characters and the things he might do, on his way to redemption.
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I have always been an individualist type of person and was always suspicious of the motives of those who seek power. This is why I never trusted politicians, attorneys, and other dictators within a society. After reading this book I now realize my suspicious were true. One has to be a dishonest, cunning, and ruthless psychopathic type of person to follow most of these principles. No matter how noble these type of people may appear to the gullible, it is all just a phony mask hiding their true nature, which is a dictator in disguise. This is also why I refer to all politicians (but it mostly applies to all far left collectivists type politicians) as "dictators in disguise" in my book, "Never Trust a Politician."

I admit a very small number of these "The concise 48 laws of power" by Robert Greene may be positive advice for life's battles such as master the art of timing, despise the free lunch, never appear too perfect, win through your actions, never through argument, avoid the unhappy and unlucky, keep your hands clean, and assume formlessness. However, the vast majority of these laws are designed for those people who are unethical and have no qualms about screwing over anyone to gain power. These are not good honest people, but more like depraved thugs. Many of these so-called laws are what organized crime mobsters live by in their depraved lifestyle. Some of the 48 laws in this manual includes the following:

Never put too much trust in friends, learn how to use enemies, Conceal your intentions. Court attention at all costs. Get others to do the work for you, but always take the credit, learn to keep people dependent on you (The far left politicians and Union leaders follow this law to the letter). Pose as a friend , work as a spy. Play on people's need to believe to create a cult like following and finally "Be royal in your own fashion: act like a king to be treated like one."

This is a book not just for those who seek power, but it is also a very important text for anyone who desires to understand the personality and underlying psychological factors of those who seek power. This is a play book Hitler, Mao, Putin and every other dictator in history probably followed to get their power.

Rating: 4 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Never Trust a Politician: A critical review of politics and politicians)
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Our fast-paced complex world demands constant adaptation and a wide repertoire of skills are necessary. On one hand, Greene's book is a integration of many key issues for self-improvement: eg, values, willpower, self-knowledge, creativity and soft skills. The Mr. Greene draws from evolutionary theory, philosophy, the classics and romantic literature to present highly motivational accounts of seduction. This book is for those who already have a strong moral character or it could be mistaken as a guide for evil. Book deals primarily in the gray areas of morality and most of the Laws covered can be used for evil or for good. A recommended reading for business majors.I don't agree with all of anyone person's theories, but I learned a bit of history with this one. I would say that this was written to be a manual of power and how it is to used within higharchy; when you have to be ruthless and cunning.

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on November 16, 2012
This is a superb and POWERFUL TOOL OR WEAPON. Perhaps
the SECOND BIBLE in each and every HOME & SCHOOL LIBRARY.
This handbook should be required reading for any business person
Or anyone who buys or sells anything including him or herself - Ben of HibiscusExpress on
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on October 17, 2016
I have read all of Robert Greene's books and the 48 Laws of Power is my favorite.I bought the concise version to use as a quick reference guide. However, I have read the full length printed version and listened to the unabridged audiobook. I made my teenaged children listen to the audio book. The lessons are well laid out and backed with interesting historical examples. My recommendation is to buy the full length print and audiobook versions. The 48 Laws of Power
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on September 25, 2013
After reading the first five (5) sections in this book, I was amazed at that fact that I could immediately identify three power moves that I had been doing and not realized what it meant. I was engulfed and essentially "sponged" the book up mentally. It was good to see what I can use to gain power...but at the same time, this book has helped me see and understand the actions of others I've come across in Corporate America and other organizations that encompass a Chain of Command. Although my personal constitution has always been to listen first before speaking...but now...I listen for certain "Power" clues in their speeh, actions, etc. Now i know who to watch closer and how to "counter" their power moves. This is a definite read for anybody who needs to understand a harsh work, organizational environment. The Enemy is still out there...
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on March 31, 2015
You will miss out on the very colorful examples from history by reading this tiny pocket book edition versus the full paperback version. Great book, but I wanted the full version and did not discern that "Concise' meant pocket book edition. Highly recommend the FULL Version and the audio book!
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