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The 48 Laws of Power [Paperback]

Robert Greene , Joost Elffers
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (338 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 24.00
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Book Description

Sept. 7 2000
Before Mastery, came The 48 Laws of Power—the New York Times bestseller that started it all
 
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.
 
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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The 48 Laws of Power + The Art of Seduction + Mastery
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Review

Praise for The 48 Laws of Power:

“It’s the rules for suits . . . Machiavelli has a new rival. And Sun Tzu had better watch his back. Greene . . . has put together a checklist of ambitious behavior. Just reading the table of contents is enough to stir a little corner-office lust.”
New York magazine
 

“Beguiling . . . literate . . . fascinating. A wry primer for people who desperately want to be on top.”
People magazine
 

“An heir to Machiavelli’s Prince . . . gentler souls will find this book frightening, those whose moral compass is oriented solely to power will have a perfect vade mecum.”
Publishers Weekly
 

“Satisfyingly dense and . . . literary, with fantastic examples of genius power-game players. It’s The Rules meets In Pursuit of Wow! with a degree in comparative literature.”
Allure

About the Author

Robert Greene has a degree in classical studies and is the author of several bestselling books, including The 48 Laws of Power, The 33 Strategies of War, The Art of Seduction, and Mastery. He lives in Los Angeles.

Joost Elffers is the packaging genius behind Viking Studio's Secret Language series, Play with Your Food, and How Are You Peeling?. He lives in New York City.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Nicolas Fouquet, Louis XIV's finance minister in the first years of his reign, was a generous man who loved lavish parties, pretty women, and poetry. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Only thing you cannot get in life... July 12 2004
Format:Paperback
...is something for nothing.
Yes, it is possible to achieve financial success and political power using the laws in this book, but at what cost? I have read extensively on the principles that successful, powerful people both past and present have used to access power. The greatest people of all time have realized that unlike what Mr. Greene suggests, real, sustainable power comes from within--it cannot be had be had through the manipulation of external conditions, i.e. effects not causes. The most powerful people (some who used their power for good, others for not so good), accessed the power we all have WITHIN us.
My analysis has demonstrated to me that the only people who are able to become very powerful in business, politics and socially and yet still have excellent health, great relationships and above all PEACE OF MIND, accessed the power within.
I believe that all those who want to rise to positions of power and authority (and enjoy the associated benefits of such) yet still maintain good friendships, good marriages, have good health and peace of mind, should spend more time accessing the power within because this is the only power than enables one to "have it all".
This book was good because it enables those who live by certain ethical principles to identify and protect themselves against those ideas that are discussed (and very likely used) by many readers of this book.
I would recommend reading Joseph Murphy's book Power of The Subconscious Mind for a better understanding of the true source of power.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars May be unethical, but it's true and it works April 28 2004
Format:Paperback
I am not earning over a million bucks a year so I might not be qualified to judge the value of the book. However, as somebody in his late thirties and always stuck in the middle of world class big corps, I can tell just knowing the laws can greatly improve your ability to defend against arrows shooting at your back.
For your easy reference, the laws are:-
1. Never outshine the master
2. Never put too much trust in friends, learn how to use enemies
3. Conceal your intentions
4. Always say less than necessary
5. So much depends on reputation - guard it with your life
6. Court attention at all cost
7. Get others to do the work for you, but always take the credit
8. Make other people come to use - use bait if necessary
9. Win thru your actions, neer thru argument
10. Infection: Avoid the unhappy and unlucky
11. Learn to keep people dependent on you
12. Use selective honesty and generosity to disarm your victim
13. When asking for help, appeal to people's self interest, never to their mercy or gratitude
14. Pose as a friend, work as a spy
15. Crush your enemy totally
16. Use absence to increase respect and honor
17. Keep others in suspended terror: cultivate an air of unpredictability
18. Do not build fortresses to protect yourself - isolation is dangerous
19. Know who you are dealing with - do not offend the wrong person
20. Do not commit to anyone
21. Play a sucker to catch a sucker - seem dumber than your mark
22. Use the surrender tactic: transform weakness into power
23. Concentrate your forces
24. Play the perfect courtier
25. Re-create yourself
26. Keep your hands clean
27. Play on people's need to believe to create cultlike following
28.
Read more ›
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Negative strategies to attain success... July 4 2004
Format:Paperback
In our world of political correctness and appearances, where society is depicted as fair, democratic, at times altruistic and transparent, the reality of the situation is far different. And as Greene proposes, no one wants to be seen as power hungry, and those that do, are generally scorned. Power is a game. And to play this game successfully, duplicity is the key: to win power, we must, on the surface, at least appear to be fair, altruistic and transparent, however we must scheme, manipulate, deceive, charm and seduce, if we are to get what we want...to achieve power, as Napoleon suggested, we should use an iron fist with a velvet glove, smiling as we stab our opponents in the back. Attaining power is war, though according to Greene, a civilized war.
Any person with an essential good nature should find this book a little disturbing. The message from Greene is clear - living the virtuous life is the road to failure and powerlessness. Appealing to the better angels of our natures is a lost cause and will get us nowhere but the bottom of the food chain. In other words, "nice guys finish last." The only way to the top is through treachery, seduction, observing others' weaknesses to then play on those weaknesses to your advantage. Greene's advice is basically a negative strategy to power and success. And to be sure, there are other positive strategies out there to attain power and success without resorting to deception and covert manipulation. But none are presented here.
That said, understanding the 48 laws presented here, at least will make us aware of the depths some people will go to in order to get what they desire. In this regard, this text is worth the time, energy and money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must own business title Aug. 10 2007
By J.B.
Format:Paperback
This title makes you pump your fist and feel like Caeser in his prime. An alternate title could be the Devil's Guide to Success. Anyone who has ever felt tired of being manipulated and played by smooth words (and discovering it far too late), will tear through these pages. It is a clear bombshell into analyzing effective influence and deception, via lessons learned from recent to centuries past. Psychological warfare in the business world is a very real thing, and you can either uses the tools to your advantage, or get taken to the cleaners. The choice is yours, and this book will break down every facet in great detail. The author writes with good intentions, and arms you with protecting yourself from being a victim, and selectively using the skills to your advantage.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Selfish
This book does not need to be nearly as thick as it is. The contents of this book are not the result of a scientific research and yet are presented as such. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ghazi Rasheed
4.0 out of 5 stars Do we take it seriously or laugh at it?
Once again, I listened to the book on my Android phone and after many hours of meditation, I’m still not sure whether the author wanted us to absorb his message literally or if he... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Alain
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, direct and highly useful in todays world.
I skimmed over a few reviews and some people say that this book is a negative way to live ones life and that the information laid out in the book is ruthless, hurtful and... Read more
Published 9 months ago by NateKowalski
5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be taken litterally
This book to be taken with a grain of salt, but it sure is highly entertaining, and at times hysterically funny.
Published 10 months ago by Maccabi
5.0 out of 5 stars the writing is as bold as the title
the book is worth the money and the time you will indetify and learn new things everytime you read it!
Published 12 months ago by Raul
5.0 out of 5 stars Real and to the point
The book is a very fascinating read.
I could not stop reading.

Every law is explained by several historic examples and anecdotes. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Alexander Arav
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Helps you correct wrong behaviors you had in the past. Great examples of real people. Tells you the hard truth about human interactions
Published 13 months ago by karlito
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book and easy reading
I like the examples and style. It has a real bearing on the real world. These are lessons you can really apply.
Published 13 months ago by john parkin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great and powerful
This book is really powerful you can understand everything about power...about your evolution and more...wahoooo this author is amazing thanks
Published 15 months ago by Mikozou
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and educational
An entertaining read about the ways of living and succeeding in life. Don't be turned off by the title. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Dennis Ralston
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