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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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Gare
  • Washington, DC, USA
  • 04-13-08

Dark, literate, historical

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

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Anton
  • bridgeport, CT, USA
  • 05-30-07

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!!!!

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mark
  • Aptos, CA, United States
  • 05-02-07

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.

47 of 87 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Worth listening

Loads of great history in here. I interesting to listen to yet still something I can fall asleep to.

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  • Story

Many missing sections from the printed version

Narrator did an excellent job. The stories that illustrate the laws using historical events are entertaining and effective, unfortunately many of the stories from the printed version. are missing

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  • Story

Deception is Power

This book is all about how to use manipulation and deception to amass power. The examples are extremely old and the rules often contradict other rules. It is worth a listen but don't expect to learn a whole lot.

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  • Story

I'm pretty sure your gonna read it

It's hard to really have an opinion on the content in this book. Basically if you go in to this book unprepared you will leave feeling like everyone is trying to make a power play on you.

With that said I liked that for every law there was a story that went along with it. The stories show you a real life example of a transgression or adherence to a law. I thought this was a great touch and helps put things in perspective. (Plus I love history).

I think the narrator was a perfect fit for this book. his voice and inflection brought life to the historical references. This can still be a very dry book but the narrator helped to alleviate some of that.

Overall, it is really hard to give an opinion on the content. I'm assuming if your looking for this book your going to read it. But the narration was great!

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  • Story

Part of the holy trinity

This book, (the 48 laws of power) Seduction, and 33 Strategies of war are an essential part of everyone’s library abridged or unabridged they are all winners. Truly a classic.

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AMAZING READ!

i loved it because it gave previous examples of power leaders and cultures. Ribert Greene tells us in detail how with specific strategies and mind set, you can and will be a powerfull leader.

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A truly awful book!

I feel sorry for people who feel like they need to live up to this horrid advice. One might as well call this book "How to be a dishonest, conceited, abusive, manipulative jerk."