The 48 Laws of Power

The 48 Laws of Power

eBook - 1998
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Penguin Putnam
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.

Baker & Taylor
Artistically designed by the packager of The Secret Language of Birthdays and printed in red and black, a useful and illuminating collection distills the ways of power from history and the writings of Machiavelli, Von Clausewitz, and others. Reprint.

Publisher: New York :, Viking,, 1998
ISBN: 9781101042458
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file,rda
Alternative Title: Power
Forty-eight laws of power

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SkokieStaff_Steven Apr 28, 2020

Robert Greene’s “The 48 Laws of Power” is both diverting and useful if approached in the right spirit. The book purports to be a Machiavellian guide to getting ahead using underhanded methods formulated into laws such as “Conceal Your Intentions” and “Never Appear Too Perfect.” Many of these laws are designed to sound sinister but are only sensible and difficult to argue with. Fortunately for his readers, though, Greene supports and illustrates his laws with innumerable anecdotes drawn from history which show men and a very few women honoring or neglecting these laws. As such, the book reads as a kind of historical anthology of instructive and usually entertaining stories. Most are drawn from European and American history but Greene is idiosyncratic in his reading and shows a fondness for Chinese history and, oddly enough, stories about art dealers. This book is unlikely to turn any reader into an Otto von Bismarck or Henry Kissinger, but readers will enjoy learning about Bismarck, Kissinger, and other crafty wielders of power.

Dec 12, 2019

Great book!

Mar 24, 2019

The 48 Laws of Power is a book on how to get and maintain power among other people and uses various historical examples to show them.It is a very revealing book as the laws have been and still are used by very powerful leaders.This is because this book is inspired by Machiavelli’s book The Prince. Which only focuses on power without moral. Every single law in the book play a crucial role as none of them should be overlooked because throughout life the reader will have to use each of the 48 laws one time or another.With talks of crushing one's enemy and taking over it is definitely an interesting and entertaining read.Robert Greene really emphasizes how important it is to study the great and ruthless leaders in the past and how they gained their power by the laws in the book since each law uses an historical example such as Genghis Khan,Bismarck,Mohammed Ali,Michael Jordan,Napoleon Bonaparte,and King Louis XIV.Throughout the book some of the laws are surprising but over time they make sense since the book also teaches how to manipulate your “enemy.”Overall it is a book that touches topics that have not been touched before and is perfect for someone who is entering a very competitive field.

Aug 28, 2018

This book is seen as a modern take on Machiavellian principles. Robert Greene describes rules that will help maintain a position of power with people loyal to you, whether you are a celebrity, politician, businessman, or want to be the alpha of your friend group this book can applied to all. It uses historical examples from ancient times to the 20th century of when these laws were applied efficiently and when they weren't. This book receives a 4/5 rating from me since it makes learning about the psychology of leader interesting with examples happening to people that we can relate to. I recommend this book to anyone interested in holding a powerful position or wanting to be a leader in your group of friends. I personally love the historical examples in this book since they make it much more entertaining to read.@selfhelpguru of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

A manual is a type of instruction that provides directions to a certain goal. Robert Greene brings a completely new take and perhaps shattering definition of a guide. As a New York Times bestseller, The 48 Laws of Power has its name associated with the philosophies of Machiavelli, Napoleon, and Bismarck. Countless amounts of works from thousands of years of historical events have come together to create an interestingly detailed collection of the laws that determine the control over life. This book is particularly famous for its ruthlessness and cunning ideology: it shows readers the necessity of manipulation in order to achieve true power, or the hidden deceit in the quest for control. It contains thorough discussion of every law and category, with a vast array of historical figures to study and recognize. The moral compass of readers is certainly tested, as the philosophies demand the crushing of enemies, taking control of others, and the time to use selective honesty. Although these ideas are questionable in daily lives, it makes for a fascinating read. It is what makes the book notorious. -@Mercurial_Series of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Sep 15, 2017

A boring manual for sociopaths. There are better ways to be in this life than what this book is going to tell you. Read it and share your thoughts.

Oct 01, 2016

I was gritting my teeth and scowling in moral contempt so much my face was sore whilst reading this. Each 'law' has its own chapter, whose title is the norm to be elucidated in two or three sentences, and then exemplified using historical anecdotes. There are parables, fables, and aphorisms from a wide array of cultures printed in red in the margins; often, these are more interesting and memorable than the historical examples in the main text. When I had studied history there was always something I felt I wasn't 'getting' (ie., comprehending), and what it was, was the drive for power. I found it very helpful to comprehend the power hungry and the competitive social dynamics that play a prominent role in history. It would have been great to read this in order to prepare to study history.

Jan 16, 2016

The working theory of this book is that what everyone really wants is power and more of it. Greene even believes that those who think this idea is crude or outdated are in fact doing a power grab by expressing that. While I do think that part of his rationale for thinking this way is because if you write a book like this and it's goal is to get people to think about every aspect of gaining and keeping power, you can't do so with half measures. He provides no rationale argument against the yearning of power and probably wouldn't be interested in one. The only thing he does provide are reversals to his laws of power. These are examples of how you can mess up using the said rule.
I started this book a while back and came back to it. A lot of it is a little off putting to me. I think I've managed pretty well so far without obsessing over how much control I have over people. Of course to Greene that statement would be a power play in itself. When I returned to the book and finished it, I had to reread the introduction. Greene says one of the uses of this book is really to absorb it and then reflect on your past mistakes and make sure you never make them again. Also that these rules will help you do that. That is the only reason I could digest all of it. The examples of power given are of various charlatans, dictators, con men, and a few people whom history has looked kindly upon, Lincoln and FDR for example. Only in the respect that the book endorses reflection of past mistakes and what I consider just tips to navigate everyday life instead of a rule book to make you the next Fortune 500 CEO can I recommend this book. If you think it's going to change your life and make you a success it won't. That's just one of the tricks Greene uses to promote the book as the charlatans he cites use their old snake oils.

Armdis Sep 09, 2014

This isn't necessarily the type of book that one sits downs and reads from beginning to end. I have had more success approaching it piecemeal, a bit at a time, and not necessarily in the order it was written in. Nevertheless, it is a very important and valuable book that I will definitely be purchasing so that I can refer to it again and again and again.

May 31, 2013

good book with a lot of historical examples

Mar 06, 2013

Loved this book. The short stories about historical figures made me want to learn more about their historical role. This is the kind of book you can read anytime. Just pick it up and open to any random chapter and enjoy

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