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The 48 Laws of Power

by Robert Greene

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Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this piercing work distills three thousand years of the history of power into 48 well-explicated laws. This bold volume outlines the laws of power in their unvarnished essence, synthesizing the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun-Tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, and other infamous strategists. The 48 Laws of Power will fascinate any reader interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control.

Customer Reviews

Semi-useful character study of sociopaths

Honestly this book ended up being more funny than anything else.

There are definitely a few useful rules of thumb in here, and it’s a good idea to learn how to harness your inner dark side for use as a situational tool. However most of the material here is of VERY limited practical usefulness.
The “rules” often contradict each other and occasionally are shockingly naive. The author draws some useful insights from powerful historical figures, but intermixes it with downright harebrained ideas based on cheats and con-artists.

My favorite parts are where the author carefully cautions “power” seekers against plain and simple honest hardworking people who are bad “marks” or “suckers” because they don’t fall for elaborate cons. They work hard, put in their time, treat people well and succeed. He makes them out to be too stupid to get it, or “lacking imagination.” I literally laughed out loud when I heard that.
A beautiful illustration of the stupidity of evil people who think they are crafty and smart while trying to make a quick buck. In the end it’s about a bunch of scheming idiots hurting each other instead of just working for success.

- Interesting stories from history
- Some useful lessons on how to look out for number one better
- LOTS of misleading garbage advice
- Occasional laughs at the stupidity of cheaters who try and take shortcuts to success

Honestly you’re probably better off reading “How to win friends and influence people” instead if you want more success in life.

People I know

I love this book. It has helped me not so much manipulate others as it helped me see others futile attempts to manipulate me.



Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power
View in iTunes $16.99
  • Narrator: Richard Poe
  • Published: 2015

Customer Ratings