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The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

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The 48 Laws of Power (PDF)

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by Robert Greene  (Author)

The 48 Laws of Power Formats: PDF and ePUB

The New York Times Bestseller

Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, The 48 Laws of Power is the definitive manual for anyone interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control. 

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.

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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.


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Customer Reviews

Book for General Life Review by Shao Lin
I can honestly say this book changed my outlook on life. I think this is a good read for anyone and at any point in their lives. Greene outlines his 48 rules and backs them with interesting historical anecdotes. Sometimes, when I feel like something is not going as well in my life as t should, I refer back to this book to see which rule can be improved upon. The book is designed for just that, review and improvement. Cannot stress enough how important this book is to me.

(Posted on 10/16/2018)
Funny, informative and imminently insightful Review by Jody Johnsen
No one needs to know how to form a cult. The books explains how, in broad strokes. If that doesn’t prove this book is intended to entertain I don’t know what would.

The rest of the stories, they are stories loads of great stories, teach us how to identify predators, defend against them and gain confidence when dealing with any problem people.

I wish I’d had this book in college. Just knowing how to undermine clinging leeches would have been worth the price.

If you’re afraid the book teaches how to use and abuse you can relax. There isn’t enough detail for that. This book teaches how to identify users and their primary methods and motivations in story format that are laugh out loud funny sometimes and insightful at all times.

I recommend it to anyone but particularly people who have trouble dumping takers.

(Posted on 10/16/2018)
I am Powerful!!! Review by Ms. Camay
This book teaches you about your "Power" and how to recognize it in everything you do, especially your profession. It teaches you humility and humbleness and how powerful that is when it's applied. I have two other books in this series and am in the process of reading them all. This particular book does not need to be read cover to cover. You can read on the "48 Laws" as they interest you, not only as the book is written.

(Posted on 7/2/2018)
Five Stars Review by Moe Rees
Great book to understand why people do the things they do and how you counter

(Posted on 6/13/2018)
If you love psychology and history this book is for you Review by Brandon
Review long overdue. If you love psychology and history this book is for you. Not your typical psychology book. It straight forward and it tells you how to apply it in your everyday life. A must read

(Posted on 6/13/2018)
An Essential Wisdom Book Review by Little Mouse
Great book about understanding necessary principles. Whether you agree with the principles in the book or not, one cannot help but heed the great practical insight and wisdom..not so much for manipulative purposes but more so for understanding and defending yourself from predatory energies on your life path.

(Posted on 6/12/2018)
I really like Review by Brenda
I heard about this book on one of my favorite radio talk shows. The host encouraged listeners to not use this book to harm others but as a tool to identify behaviors in others so you will know how to respond and conduct yourself around people with agendas. So Amazon was the first place I came to get a feel on what folks really think. I bought the book and began reading it with the intent as suggested by the talk show host and I am enjoying it. I enjoy the historical transgressions and observances of each law and the interpretations. I still see the scriptures as a blueprint on how to conduct myself in every aspect of my life, but I do enjoy this book.

(Posted on 6/2/2018)
Thank you Robert for telling it like it is Review by SunShine
Thank you Robert for telling it like it is. I wish I have read it many, many years ago. It should be taught to children who want to make something of themselves. I have to say that it is not that I am applying these rules; it is just that they made me more realistic.

(Posted on 6/2/2018)
You must-read this book Review by Esteban P.
Must-read for anyone interested in acquiring power. Robert Greene's masterpiece, hands down.

(Posted on 6/2/2018)
So you think you're a brilliant schemer? Review by Jonathan Dufault
Didn't really buy this to read. But it mainly so I have an "f off" gift to give someone else. As other viewers of stated the book is self-contradicting and perhaps a middle schooler's take on Machiavelli. Perfect for the self-important Manchild in your life.

(Posted on 6/2/2018)
Actually got my son to read! Review by Tacha Mac
I purchased this book for my son, whom I have tried for years and years to get interested in reading for pleasure. He first read the 33 Strategies of War by the same author and finds this book to his liking as well. That's all I need to know.
I will read it after he finishes

(Posted on 6/2/2018)
Book.. literally changed my life. Gotta read ... Review by By Jazmin
Book ..literally changed my life.
Gotta read with understanding, if you are just reading to read your doing yourself a disservice.

(Posted on 5/27/2018)
I'm 21 in college, and I feel that this book helps me navigate through life and deal with people. Some say this but can be very manipulative which I understand, but I think these laws are applied through certain cases. Besides, that's life, people can be very individualistic and may try to manipulate you, that book can help you spot the bs. Overall, a solid book, my copy is will always be at hand for reference.

(Posted on 4/13/2018)
Favorite book (after the Bible) Review by By Tiesha
This book is filled with cunning strategies and easily adoptive techniques. I can't apply all of them to my daily life (Jesus wouldn't have it), but for the most part, this is the tool I use to stay ahead of the curve...

(Posted on 4/10/2018)
The truth we may not want to know Review by By Chuck Rylant
Growing up we are taught to get good grades, work hard, etc, and you will move up. That's the lie. It's really these 48 laws that matter IF you want to advance in an organization. ALL organizations are political even if you don't see it or want to see it. This is a book about getting ahead in a political world. This is a book about advancing in corporate or government politics. I don't really care for these types of books or "playing the game," but if you want to advance in the game, this is the road-map. After working 15 years in a government bureaucracy, I can vouch that these 48 laws are 100% true. It took me many years to realize these were the only rules that matter matter in organizations and it is disappointing news for idealistic people. The book is fantastic information even if you choose not to participate in the game. My only criticism is some of the dated stories used to support the laws can get boring at times. It's hard to relate our modern reality to times of the past, even if they completely apply.

(Posted on 4/5/2018)
The stories are priceless Review by By Jon Brown
Robert Greene makes a lot of claims in this book but backs them up really nicely. Not only did I learn a lot about people but I learned a ton of history! The stories in this book are what makes it so great! The principles taught are essential to understanding the behavior of those around you and if nothing else, help you defend against people who are power seekers and manipulators.

(Posted on 3/20/2018)
Can you handle the truth... Review by sandra
If you can't handle the truth, don't read this book. The foundation and logic in this book applies to economy.
Those who play by the rules, will be consumed by those who don't. Sad but true...

(Posted on 8/13/2017)
The 48 laws of power Review by Cisco Julian
Great book to read to understand the nature of things that happen in life. I would recommend it to others who want to expand their knowledge.

(Posted on 8/7/2017)
Getting ahead!.. Review by Peter Garcia
I'm the type who, "buys me now, reads me later..." type of book buyer. I first tried to read Robert Greene's book some time back, I couldn't get into it. So I put it to the side for the time being....

A) In 2012 I began reading "Sun Tzu For Success" by Gerald Michaelson and Steven Michaelson. As a result my eyes were opened to the possibilities in how to see the big picture in the success planning. As well as how thinking in proactive mode can produce stronger results than reaction thinking like most of us would do.
B) So when I finally read "48 Laws", it was like life-lessons reading in how to get along with people. Or how immature people will behave toward you. Which I never understood since most of us know about morals, ethics and family-values in our civilized society of the 21st century.
C) The biggest chapter for me was Law#24; "Play the Perfect Courtier". It's how to play internal politics either at work or in social groups. Wow!, what an eye opener.
D) Or how about Law#46: "Never Appear Too Perfect". Your efforts to be ambitious, successful or even just plain charming can create envy and people hating you for no reason but for you being at your best.
E) Another is Law#18:"Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself-Isolation is Dangerous" It's what happens when you are work alone and cut yourself off. You lose "being out of the loop" from very important information to dominate from.
F) Even if you are a person of high character and a good person. Your friends and working peers won't always see the world the way you do. So protect yourself from these bad people.

So now I'm reading "The New Boss" by Peter Fischer. "How To Survive the First 100 Days" whether starting a new job or new to a group. I'm using "48 Laws" like a reference book for when I observe a behavior and ask why are they?... Combined I stand a better chance to not just survive but thrive in my ever changing environments!

Enjoy! (Posted on 8/6/2017)
Understand Power or Be Controlled Review by Fred Fifield
This is an excellent study of how power is used. I really liked the format. You can either read it cover to cover or pick out the laws that apply to your situation. There are many laws that I would never engage in myself but it's good to know them so that you can see when they're being used against you. It will surprise you how often that happens in social transactions that you normally wouldn't give much thought to.The other thing I liked about this book is how the author used snippets from the literary world in the margins of the book that pertained to the law being explored. This was a novel approach to make the points he was trying to make.

(Posted on 7/29/2017)
It's a good book, apparently Review by By M. Vance
My 14 year old requested I purchase this after the one she had checked out at the library was overdue and she didn't want to return it. I ordered it, it's the same book, she loves it. I noticed in her room she had paper taped up by her bed with notes about each law of power and other key points/thoughts about it. I am going to try to sneak it from her and read it, because I'm worried she will start a cult or a business or attempt to run for president despite not being qualified. Anyway, It's a good book, apparently. So 5 stars.

(Posted on 5/13/2017)
Good book for midwest people Review by Misha
Extremely valuable book. As a female born and raised in the midwest, we were socialized to be transparent, to make way for others and remain completely (at times blindly) loyal. This all sounds nice, but it was to a level where I was pretty ineffective in my own life, where no one takes you seriously. As I became an adult, I would still allow others to choose first, share all of my plans in detail, keep ties that were clearly using me, etc etc. As one can imagine, I became extremely unhappy and frustrated. I could tell there was a game going on around me, and I was clueless.

When reading this book cover to cover, I had SEVERAL moments where I thought "yes! this has happened to me" or "that's what she was up to all along". Greene does an excellent job of demonstrating each law through story and analysis. The analyses are very poignant and I highlighted a LOT.

Biggest takeaway: don't show all of your cards. People don't have to know everything. There is some trend in American society to "be authentic" which has become misconstrued, and often results in immature emotional displays. Be authentic on the inside. This assumes one's aim is not evil, but to move forward with their goals.

Criticism: Almost all of the historical references are extremely old. Would be interesting to get some more examples in 20th century (although he uses Kissinger). Second, in virtually every female example, the woman's LOOKS are taken heavily into account. She had to "overcome" being unsightly or had extreme power because of her beauty. Come on. It was absolutely true for those times but there are plenty of contemporary women who I'm sure had to utilize many if not all of the laws of this book. Courtesans and mistresses, as you pointed out, never actually seal their power as the others had.

(Posted on 5/1/2017)
I would recommend this book to anyone who is into politics Review by bestbooksales customer
Man this book has helped me out in every single aspect of life. It has literally helped me understand how you can come to power not necessarily to dictate people's lives but how to be able to run a country. It helped me be more prepared for when someone is trying to run their power trips on me, I absolutely 100% know what is going on. I am no longer blind to the power games that people try to play on you on a day to day basis you could say.

It is a very thick book with a lot of content however the content in it goes back to history and how that law of power was used to influence different areas of life. It is absolutely worth the price, I will reread this book and gain more knowledge as I will catch certain criteria that I may have missed on the first read.

In conclusion, I would recommend this book to anyone who is into politics, preventing power trips, history, power, and likes an interesting read. This book will keep you interested from beginning to end, I can't say that about a lot of books. 'May the Frame be with You!'

(Posted on 4/17/2017)
HERE BEGINITH THE LESSONS~~~~!!!!! Review by Michael A
This is a book that is NOT for the foolish. Power is something that sadly people give away all the time which is a waste. To be empowered is far better than to be powerless. You don't even have to be obvious about it. Ever have an idiot who is constantly a pain in the neck whenever you deal with them? Just put on your velvet glove over your iron fist and tune them up. It's a skill that will certainly help make your life easier. This is a text that cries out to practice, practice, and practice as much as you can while living your life. Repetition is the mother of skill. It must also be remembered to not become haughty as this will potentially cause you damage along with possibly others who may really matter to you that you love and further cause you to be consumed and victimized by somebody elses garbage. You must further make self-awreness an ingrained habit so you can anticipate well. Take whatever time you need here to master that which is within this text. It doesn't happen over night, but is a must in your arsenal in handling various people and situations you may encounter in a lifetime. You'll learn how to diffuse BS pretty quickly. Why have a headache when you don't need one? A great stratagist is also a master psychologist. Behvaior can be indicative of almost anything yet not nessessarily a cookie-cutter approach to life, but rather it should be understood that you end up seeing the universality of things, so there in, you will remain empowered and away from the dysfunction that people try to involve you

(Posted on 3/23/2017)
Literature with Value Review by Esteban
I remember a friend at work recommended reading this book. He was going to let me borrow it(I bought the Art of Seduction and planned on reading it before reading this) and I would let him borrow the Art of Seduction; a book exchange. Unfortunately, my friend was fired so I didn't get the chance to borrow the 48 Laws. I had remembered this, and went ahead and bought it. I thought it was better to read this first before the Art of Seduction. Before reading the 48 Laws, I began the Art of Seduction, but couldn't get into it.

As soon as I began 48 Laws, I was intrigued. This was kind of book I was looking for. Because of my interest in the 48 Laws, I began the Art of Seduction again; reading these two books, side by side(not literally), I saw connections, and wanted to finish them; because of my curiosity, I wanted to see if these principles can be applied. I like the author's style of writing, explaining historical events, describing classical literary works; he would then explain observances and transgressions of these Laws, and how they can be interpreted. I really liked this book, and will come back to it again for another read

(Posted on 3/23/2017)
Ignore at your own peril. Review by kingshuk Mukherjee
Robert Greene is well respected, and his books are all held in high regards- and rightly so. Instead of rehashing what everyone else has said, I'll briefly explain why this book should be a cornerstone on which to base your life.

-This book will introduce you to the greatest Kings, Queens, Generals, Monks, Conmen, Magicians, Strategists, Seducers, scientists...the best the world has ever known. Should you find something to dig deeper into, you will already have a name to start your research with.

- This book is not written as an academic exercise. There is nothing theoretical about this book. What you read can be directly applied in life.

- These laws are timeless. Contrary to popular belief, the generations that come after us are no smarter than those who precede us.Technology, rules, governments, and societies as a whole may change, but people will remain inherently the same. To master this book is to be able to navigate through the masses and get to where you want to go in life.

- You will learn to have direction. If you have dreams and goals, this book will help you figure out the basics of reaching out for help, for contacting others, knowing who to trust, etc. Law 13 alone can change the course of a man's career- "When Asking for Help Appeal to People's Self-Interest, Never To Their Mercy or Gratitude."

Study the book. Memorize the Laws. Highlight, take notes, and read seriously-You owe it to yourself. If you want to be the best, make it to the top of whatever field you're in- you will need this book. (Posted on 3/20/2017)
It's like history's greatest hits! Review by edsetiadi
What is the best strategy book of all time? The Prince by Machiavelli, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, The Book of Five Rings by Musashi? What about where the greatest war stories come from? Ancient Greece, medieval Europe, or perhaps China's dynastic period? Throw in any ancient war strategy and political history book, and most likely Robert Greene has analysed them in the contextual manner within 48 theories that become his laws of power.

It has the brilliant war strategies used by Napoleon Bonaparte, George Washington and Mao Tse Tung, the ruthlessness of Ivan the Terrible, John D Rockefeller and Henry VIII, and the wisdoms of Roman Emperors and ancient Japanese tea masters. It is heavy with the tricks and lies used by Henry Kissinger and Otto Von Bismarck, the masterclass diplomacy of Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill, or the seductive techniques of the mythical Mata Hari and the many European mistresses. It also analyses the mistakes made even by great men like Xerses and Cyrus the Great, the fraud by con artists such as Panco Villa and Yellow Kid Weil, the camouflaging move made by Ethopian emperor Haile Selassie and Elizabeth I, and the behind the scene moves by Cosimo de Medici to rule Florence.

In between the stories there are writings by the likes of Leo Tolstoy, Machiavelli, Sun Tzu and Baltasar Gracián, and many fables, proverbs and quotations fittingly appropriate within the subject matters. And between the myths, frauds, scandals and tragedies we'll learn about the structure of past societies and how it changes overtime. Indeed, Robert Greene has successfully managed to bring the biggest characters in history to life and even able to portray them as ordinary emotional human beings, but, crucially, human beings who posses winning strategies.

It is by far the most comperensive history book I've ever read, and it got to be the book I've read at the slowest pace. I read and re-read it, highlighted and made lots of notes, and actually made several changes in the way I analyse things, in the way I behave and in understanding other people's behaviours.

Einstein once said that the secret of creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. This book has become an analysis tool so valuable that I hesitated for a while on whether or not I should write a review and reveal my sources. You know what, don't read this book. It's a waste of time and it won't do you any good. (Posted on 3/20/2017)
Great read, from start to finish! Thanks, Robert Greene ;) Review by EJ Lohbeck
This is a controversial book, mostly because the average person wishes the world were peaceful, friendly, and not full of chaos and drama...

Well, unfortunately, wishes don't make it a reality, and there are people out there who prey on the weak and take advantage of those who are too trusting. The 48 Laws of Power (by Robert Greene) illuminates many ways that those predatory people can gain power over anyone who is not aware of the manipulation and power games they play. And while it may take some practice, study, and a keen eye for detail, anyone can learn to spot these (often subtle) power struggles and often even turn the tables on the enemy at hand!

Please, if you are considering reading this book but are 'on the fence' about it because of the people saying negative things about it, just read it! This has become one of my favorite books in a short period of time, and it has given me a new way to perceive the world around me. Robert Greene is a great author, and the way this book is formatted / written makes it educational, entertaining, and compelling, all at the same time. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to every single person in the world, because it is not for the faint of heart; but if you've ever been taken advantage of, shut out of someone's life, lost control of a situation, had someone feign authority over you (successfully), had relationship problems, problems in the workplace, etc, you deserve to give this a read-through at LEAST once. Don't take everything at face-value... and by that I mean don't decapitate anyone for "transgression" of any of the laws, but definitely think about times you have seen these laws at work, and how a grasp on a relevant law from the book could have changed the outcome of that particular scenario.

.Long story short, this is an amazing book! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! :) (Posted on 3/20/2017)

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