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The 48 Laws Of Power: Robert Greene (The Modern Machiavellian Robert Greene) Paperback – 20 Nov. 2000
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Drawn from 3,000 years of the history of power, this is the definitive guide to help readers achieve for themselves what Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, Louis XIV and Machiavelli learnt the hard way. Law 1: Never outshine the master Law 2: Never put too much trust in friends; learn how to use enemies Law 3: Conceal your intentions Law 4: Always say less than necessary. The text is bold and elegant, laid out in black and red throughout and replete with fables and unique word sculptures. The 48 laws are illustrated through the tactics, triumphs and failures of great figures from the past who have wielded - or been victimised by - power.
(From the Playboy interview with Jay-Z, April 2003)
PLAYBOY: Rap careers are usually over fast: one or two hits, then styles change and a new guy comes along. Why have you endured while other rappers haven't?
JAY-Z: I would say that it's from still being able to relate to people. It's natural to lose yourself when you have success, to start surrounding yourself with fake people. In The 48 Laws of Power, it says the worst thing you can do is build a fortress around yourself. I still got the people who grew up with me, my cousin and my childhood friends. This guy right here (gestures to the studio manager), he's my friend, and he told me that one of my records, Volume Three, was wack. People set higher standards for me, and I love it.
From the Publisher
- ASIN : 1861972784
- Publisher : Profile Books; Main edition (20 Nov. 2000)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 480 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781861972781
- ISBN-13 : 978-1861972781
- Dimensions : 16.8 x 2.4 x 23.4 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 67 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 September 2021
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However, this book has helped me in ways that I did not expect. I am more aware of what other people are doing, I am actually more concerned with the welfare of others, and I realised that it is important to at least have power over your own life so I am now a much more in control person who is more disciplined. I am also more excited about life somewhat, knowing that you can have fun improving yourself and your position in life and in the world.
I am not sure that I will follow each and every rule of the book, but it's an interesting read and some of the laws are fairly neutral such as being careful about what you say to people, not always showing all of your cards and never appearing or being smarter than those above you, especially in a professional work situation. Laws such as these are good for self-preservation, if nothing else.
But if you take everything in this book as gospel, then you may lose your humanity (as other reviewers have said) and/or you may realise that the heights of power are not what you wanted after all. Ultimately, take this book with a barrel of salt and maybe go for the more morally neutral laws, lest you be completely corrupted by the dark side of the world.
Here the 48 Laws are thoroughly discussed, with lots of interesting stories making the book a real page turner.
Of course, it is not difficult to find criticisms of each Law; I found and disagreed with some myself. But I think Greene, on the whole, recognises this and even puts in a ‘Reversal’ section for each of the 48 Laws to show that this can be the case. Besides, you don’t have to take each Law seriously. I certainly didn’t. I thought they were just fun to read, though they did make me think about how self-interested the human race actually is.
Even so, I haven’t read a book as good as this since reading Benjamin Hoff’s The Tao of Pooh & the Te of Piglet some years ago, and I shall certainly be looking out for more works by Robert Greene in the future.
I hope you find my review helpful.