Robert Greene - The 48 Laws Of Power (copyrighted book, review only)
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Robert Greene is author of three savvy books covering seduction, war, and power. His interest in topics that others overlook because they appear greedy, manipulative, and condescending have caused people to frown upon his work. However, on the opposite side of his reviewers are those who are greatly thankful for his teachings on the power, manipulation, and the seduction games that take place regardless of whether you like the topics or not.The 48 Laws of Power is divided into 48 chapters and starts off with a fascinating di... More >>>
Robert Greene - "The 48 Laws Of Power" is copyrighted and can't be downloaded or ordered on DVD, you can try to find it at amazon.com
Robert Greene is author of three savvy books covering seduction, war, and power. His interest in topics that others overlook because they appear greedy, manipulative, and condescending have caused people to frown upon his work. However, on the opposite side of his reviewers are those who are greatly thankful for his teachings on the power, manipulation, and the seduction games that take place regardless of whether you like the topics or not.
The 48 Laws of Power is divided into 48 chapters and starts off with a fascinating discussion in the preface on the arguments many people have against power. The author says many people think that the laws of power are immoral or unfairly differentiate people. It would be unfair for all people to have equal power because each of us are unique and have different skill sets. People who unconsciously use moralistic arguments against power, openness, and attempts to be fair, actually further their own power or bring someone else's power down. Robert Greene goes on to say:
To some people the notion of consciously playing power games no matter how indirect seems evil, asocial, a relic of the past. They believe they can opt out of the game by behaving in ways that have nothing to do with power. You must beware of such people... they are often among the most adept players at power.
Power games are inevitable. However, I won't say that all the 48 laws are useful in all your relationships because power isn't everything though many people do underestimate the importance of power in everyday living. From personal relationships to dealing with customers, having more power will benefit you and when you use it correctly, it will benefit the relationship. Thinking otherwise is just using the same moralistic arguments Robert Greene discusses in the preface. Nonetheless, even to me some laws of power seemed harsh, but this is the reality of power. Power isn't always meant to be pretty. We are talking about power not a book about fairies and pixey-love.
Moving on, the historical research within the book is phenomenal. The author and his team of researchers have dug through many books on history to provide hundreds of stories from those who have used the laws of power. The reader is given insights into powerful historical greats like Sun Tzu, con artist Joseph Yellow Kid Weil, and seducer Casanova.
With the large number of references to Niccolo Machiavelli and Baltasar Gracian, I assume these were Robert Greene's primary figures of authority from which he developed most of his principles. Even if you do not have much interest in history, such as myself, you should still find the stories interesting. The stories are used in each chapter to show how the law of power being discussed was used to increase power and when it was disobeyed to decrease power. An interpretation section is provided after each observance and transgression of the law to help you understand the interpersonal dynamics and power games being played by those in the story. The author's interpretation of the story provides a great way of understanding the keys to power and adapting the principles to your everyday life it isn't fluff.
Most of the chapters use the following structure: transgression of the law using a story from modern history, interpretation of the story, observance of the law using a story from modern history, interpretation of the story, keys of power which discusses the relevant law of power in depth, an image to memorize the law, and the law's reversal which discusses when the law shouldn't be used. Here's one example of an image used for law 20 (Do not commit to anyone): A Thicket of Shrubs. In the forest, one shrub latches on to another, entangling its neighbor with its thorns, the thicket slowly extending its impenetrable domain. Only what keeps its distance and stand apart can grow and rise above the thicket.
Initially it may appear some rules contradict each other such as law 15 (Crush your enemy totally) and law 47 (Do not go past the mark you aimed for in victory, learn when to stop) as well as law 16 (Use absence to increase respect and honor) and law 18 (Do not build fortresses to protect yourself isolation is dangerous). However, discussing the latter, you can see that they aren't really contradicting. Absence and connecting with people each has its usefulness in specific circumstances. You are advised to be flexible and use common sense to determine each law's application. Each law has a context in which it should be applied.
Most of the pages within the book have fables, quotes, and small interesting stories which distill three thousand years of the history of power. Anecdotes line one side of the pages to nicely complement what you are learning on the law of power in the chapter. At a large 450 pages, the book mimics a textbook. You can expect to discover many great techniques to increase your power, stop yourself from being manipulated by others, and get what you want.
Best-selling author and public speaker, Robert Greene was born in Los Angeles. He attended U.C. California at Berkeley and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he received a degree in classical studies. He has worked in New York as an editor and writer at several magazines, including Esquire; and in Hollywood as a story developer and writer.
Greene has lived in London, Paris and Barcelona; he speaks several languages and has worked as a translator. In 1995 he was involved in the planning and creation of the art school Fabrica, outside Venice, Italy. There he met Joost Elffers, the New York book packager and discussed with him his idea for a book on power and manipulation, the ultimate modern version of Machiavelli's The Prince.
Greene and Elffers became partners and in 1998, The 48 Laws of Power was born. The book has been a national and international bestseller, and has been translated into 17 languages. In 2001, Greene's second book, The Art of Seduction, is more than a sequel to The 48 Laws; it is both a handbook on how to wield the ultimate form of power, and a detailed look at the greatest seducers in history.
The third in this highly anticipated series of books, The 33 Strategies of War, hit bookstores January 2006 and offers a strategic look behind the movements of War in application to everyday life. In addition to having a strong following within the business world and a deep following in Washington, DC, these books are also being hailed by everyone from war historians to some of the heaviest hitters in the rap world (including Jay-Z and 50 Cent).
The popularity of these books along with their vast and fiercely loyal audience proves these are profound, timeless lessons from historical leaders that still ring true in todays culture. Robert Greene currently lives in Los Angeles.