Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this multi-million-copy New York Times bestseller is the definitive manual for anyone interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control – from the author of The Laws of Human Nature.
In the book that People magazine proclaimed “beguiling” and “fascinating,” Robert Greene and Joost Elffers have distilled three thousand years of the history of power into 48 essential laws by drawing from the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, and Carl Von Clausewitz and also from the lives of figures ranging from Henry Kissinger to P.T. Barnum.
Some laws teach the need for prudence (“Law 1: Never Outshine the Master”), others teach the value of confidence (“Law 28: Enter Action with Boldness”), and many recommend absolute self-preservation (“Law 15: Crush Your Enemy Totally”). Every law, though, has one thing in common: an interest in total domination. In a bold and arresting two-color package, The 48 Laws of Power is ideal whether your aim is conquest, self-defense, or simply to understand the rules of the game.
Greene and Elffers have created an heir to Machiavelli's Prince, espousing principles such as, everyone wants more power; emotions, including love, are detrimental; deceit and manipulation are life's paramount tools. Anyone striving for psychological health will be put off at the start, but the authors counter, saying "honesty is indeed a power strategy," and "genuinely innocent people may still be playing for power." Amoral or immoral, this compendium aims to guide those who embrace power as a ruthless game, and will entertain the rest. Elffers's layout (he is identified as the co-conceiver and designer in the press release) is stylish, with short epigrams set in red at the margins. Each law, with such allusive titles as "Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy," "Get Others to Do the Work for You, But Always Take the Credit," "Conceal Your Intentions," is demonstrated in four ways--using it correctly, failing to use it, key aspects of the law and when not to use it. Illustrations are drawn from the courts of modern and ancient Europe, Africa and Asia, and devious strategies culled from well-known personae: Machiavelli, Talleyrand, Bismarck, Catherine the Great, Mao, Kissinger, Haile Selassie, Lola Montes and various con artists of our century. These historical escapades make enjoyable reading, yet by the book's conclusion, some protagonists have appeared too many times and seem drained. Although gentler souls will find this book frightening, those whose moral compass is oriented solely to power will have a perfect vade mecum. BOMC and Money Book Club alternates. Author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Content good, format bad.
There are plenty of reviews explaining how great this book is.
My beef is that the conversion to ePub format has not done this work justice. It appears as if the print copy of the book was scanned using poor OCR technology. There are entire paragraphs that are almost complete gibberish because lowercase l's are substituted with 1's or backslashes and other similar typos. This seems especially prevalent during sections that are italicized.
The original book would not have been allowed to be released this way so if you're going to charge people for the digital copy some proofreading needs to done.
And those of us who have already purchased the iBooks copy should be entitled to a fixed version once it is released, otherwise why would we continue to support you?
A good book with 1 drawback
This book is good and interesting as described by the others. I have nothing to add to their comments.
I have 1 complaint though. The grammar is terrible, the electronic book is rife with typos and formatting problems. It is inexplicable as to how this could be but but it makes certain passages very frustrating to read. I presume the the hardcopy book is not this way but it is noticeable and pervades the entire text.
Ebook full of errors, unreadable
This book itself is easily a 5-star read. Unfortunately, the iBooks digital version is a mess. What starts as a few confusing typost quickly gives way to bizarre formatting errors. At one point, sentences from two separate parts of a chapter are mixed up on after another, requiring decoding to read. In another place, half a chapter is simply missing and the next chapter begins as if it were over. (Perhaps the over half of that chapter is floating around somewhere else in the book; I’m not far enough along to know it yet.) Even in areas without these egregious mixups, there are frequent typos that make me think the ebook was scanned from a paper copy. Reviews indicate others have noticed these same errors; save your money and get a hard copy instead.