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The 48 Laws of Power | [Robert Greene]

The 48 Laws of Power

Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this piercing work distills 3,000 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 great thinkers.
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Publisher's Summary

Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this piercing work distills 3,000 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 great thinkers. Some laws teach the need for prudence ("Law 1: Never Outshine the Master") and the virtue of stealth ("Law 3: Conceal Your Intentions"); many demand the total absence of mercy ("Law 15: Crush Your Enemy Totally"). But like it or not, all have applications in real life. Illustrated through the tactics of Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, P. T. Barnum, and other famous figures who have wielded, or been victimized by, power, these laws will fascinate any listener interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control.

Listen to the companion audiobook, The 33 Strategies of War.

©2000 Robert Greene and Joost Elffers; (P)2007 HighBridge Company

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  •  
    Neal United States 08-16-08
    Neal United States 08-16-08 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Incredible"

    What can i say that hasn't already been said...

    I was walking through the books store and this one called me out. I flipped through it and realized how dark and sinister it seemed, yet i felt the draw to check it out.

    When i got home and saw it was on Audible i got it.

    Let me say this... If history class had been more like this book, i would have LOVED IT! A lot of great info and the narration adds to the enthrallment.

    One thing is for sure, power takes commitment.

    Great read, highly recommend.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Kissimmee, FL, USA 07-11-08
    John Kissimmee, FL, USA 07-11-08
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    "Great Book"

    This book is a great buy. I own the audio and print versions. The narrator does a good job.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    anthony new york, NY, United States 02-21-13
    anthony new york, NY, United States 02-21-13 Member Since 2014
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    "The Most Cynical Book I have Ever Read"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This book might be enjoyed by a person who is paranoid, because it may help to confirm their paranoid world view.


    Has The 48 Laws of Power turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It offered some brief history lessons


    Any additional comments?

    The title is misleading. First, it implies there is a discrete number of laws of power - 48, no more, no less -- and the author is revealing them. I got the impression that the author could have consolidated a few of the "laws" or perhaps thought up a few more. Or maybe the author just nodded off after the first 48 and stopped writing. Second, these aren't so much as laws as they are lessons or reflections or heuristics or suggestions. Calling them laws is akin to calling "You must cover your mouth when you yawn" a law. Which brings me to the narrator, who is terrible. His melodramatic inflections, speaking the lessons that imply high stakes, made me feel like I was hearing the pitch of a snake-oil salesman. "Buy what I am selling, or face the consequences!" And what's up with the cheesy violins that swell up between each chapter? Needlessly distracting. Don't waste your time with this book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Montalto Chicago, IL 02-14-13
    Michael Montalto Chicago, IL 02-14-13
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    "Worth Reading"
    Any additional comments?

    The 48 Laws of Power makes quite a lot of sense as told and understood by the author. Greene references 12th - 18th century figures to illustrate his points and he does it well.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gare Washington, DC, USA 04-13-08
    Gare Washington, DC, USA 04-13-08 Member Since 2012
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    "Dark, literate, historical"

    A back-story of politics personal and public. Abundant secondary references thrilling for the history buff, less so for others.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anton bridgeport, CT, USA 05-30-07
    Anton bridgeport, CT, USA 05-30-07
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    "love it"

    i listen this book. And loved it, i will admitt not all of what the book had to offer made sense to me, but it really hits home. Most book hint at a point, but this book went all the way it tells you step by step how to follow each law. Try it!!!!

    8 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark GILROY, CA, United States 05-02-07
    Mark GILROY, CA, United States 05-02-07 Member Since 2006
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    "Smarmy"

    The narrator is really smarmy and the whole thing seems to be written and recorded for the misfit adult that is desperate for power. ie.the adult that played too many hours of Dungeons and Dragons as a kid and feels the need to be superior to the world. The narration should have been done straight to be taken seriously at all.

    Another downside is that the stories have been abridged and the whole thing comes across as a put on.

    Last downside: I went to the author's website to see what his background was. I wish that I went there first. This guy is marketing himself to the hip hop/gangsta rap community. In other words: Desparate people with destructive lives.

    36 of 60 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 03-08-12
    Chris 03-08-12
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    "I've wasted 9 hours of my life. I want them back."

    Nothing but a broken MP3 player could have made this a better listening experience. This is 25% history which was ok and 75% how to be a liar and over all bad person. If teaching yourself how to stroke your ego while stepping on and hurting everyone as you go is your goal, this book is perfect!

    14 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray Glendale, AZ, United States 12-17-09
    Ray Glendale, AZ, United States 12-17-09 Member Since 2008
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    "Very Wise Advice"

    Everything he suggests hinges on self-control, particularly control of emotions, and since an overwhelming majority of the population is incapable or unwilling to do attain to such discipline, this book is unlikely to become the Machiavellian tool of the 21st century.
    Ironically, most of what is suggested in this book can be found in the Bible, old and new testament. Mainly Proverbs and the new testament "fruit of the Spirit."
    So if one strips away the devious, even evil intent of what is proposed here, what is left is much the same philosophy that is found in the Bible. Discretion of speech, self-control, show humility when appropriate, boldness when appropriate, not to make enemies with your harsh words, not to hold grudges or live in the past, even meekness is proposed in the book.

    15 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darin Peoria, AZ, USA 12-09-07
    Darin Peoria, AZ, USA 12-09-07
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    "whacked"

    Lots of examples of how people didn't use a "Law of Power". It could have used more examples of sucessful examples of the "Law's of Power" being practiced. Maybe I am not made to have "Power", but many of these principles directly contradict my beliefs. In addittion one "Law of Power" will contradict another "Law of Power". I did get some insight relative to a few of the laws, but many of them just aren't very applicable as described. Save your money.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
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