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This book has controversy, but most of it stems from reviewers that believe all people are good inside and unicorns deliver their vegan low fat cappuccino with cream. Well, most people aren’t kind, and this book prepared me for reality. It doesn’t teach one to be self absorbed or evil or a heretic. It teaches one to stand your ground and to protect yourself from taking unnecessary burden, unfair treatment, and manipulation from corrupt people.
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.
except this book. this book is changing my life in ways i never thought possible. Originally, i wanted to use this as a way for revenge. To make the narcissist suffer, finally. But from Revenge turned into Understanding… Now, i pity my tormentor. He is lost and without hope. I am thankful for this book because I know what to look out for now in behaviors and steer clear of them.people that hate this book with their 1 star reviews dont understand that this is not a HOW TO it is a WATCH OUT FOR.perceive it any way you’d like. The law of gravity is not at fault for a deadly fall. the laws of power are not at fault either. there is no way to not play this game of power. the only way to not play is isolation. and we know humans were not designed for isolation.nearly every person in my life has hurt me and i can now Identify who the narc. is . This is a powerful tool and it keeps me safe. Hate all you want but i purchased every book Robert Greene ever wrote, even 50 Cent’s. These book will help somebody like me, who grew up without boundaries and no understanding of them. Who grew up and got into adult relationships with abusers. I am a man. A broken man. Never will I allow another person to hurt me again. I want to love, i want to trust. Now with this filter – I can.from the bottom of my heart, thank you Robert Greene.
Many of us are told growing up that the world is a utopian place and to adjust our behaviors accordingly. We told to “treat others how you want to be treated”, “turn the other cheek”, “everything happens for a reason and works out in the end” and “pardise awaits us after we die”.Most people realize that this view of the world, especially once they leave the nest, is in fact false. There is suffering and death occurring on scales at the moment that are beyond human comprehension (nature has a 99% extinction rate). People are, and quite willing, to hurt and use you for their own ends. And that if you expect to get anywhere in the world you have todo more than work hard and be kind, you must hustle, be lucky and sometimes use and push people aside.Robert Greene in “The 48 Laws of Power” is first and foremost making you aware of the way the world is. Not as we want it to be but as it is. He goes through 48 “laws”, which are really just techniques/actions, that people use to protect themselves, advance their own interest and “gain power”. Each chapter starts with short description of the law and then proceeds to detail the law through accompanying stories and reasoning.Overall I feel the author has created an absolute masterpiece. He’s engaging, articulate, funny and smart in his writing. Personally once I really got into the book I couldn’t put it down. I found myself reflecting back on my own experiences, those close to me and society at large and I saw people utilizing the laws all the time (whether they know they are is a different story). I was also suprised, in a good way, at just how diverse and applicable they were to so many different areas of your everyday life.The only real downsides I found with the book is that it is long (probably unnecessarily so) and a bit depressing (since the laws can and often are used for evil). But that’s a complaint about human nature, not the authors fault.So what is the real purpose of the book, what do people take away from and use it for? Well the laws are really just like a diverse tool kit to be used at different times in your life. So first and foremost it’s about awareness and protecting yourself. Even if you don’t use the laws, or at least don’t intend to use them in a bad way, other people will try to use them on you and you can adequately defend and protect yourself. As they say “a ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” to any problem/conflict.Second it’s about using them to advance your own interests. And this where the negative reviews are entirely unwarranted. Any weapon or tool, such as a car, is not itself good or evil. Only the person wielding it is. So you can use them for good or evil. And at the end of the day really is their anything wrong with protecting and advancing you own interests (if they are noble)? The answer is no and if you want to do anything meaningful in life you must both defend and attack.Another thing, for those still hesitant on reading the book, is this. In recovery from any major problem there is typically five steps people go through (whether they know they are going through them or not). They are “Denial”, “Anger”, “Bargaining”, “Depression” & “Acceptance”. This is what you will likely go through with this book. At first you’ll “deny” the laws, you’ll become “angry” as you see that they are in fact true and be utilizing people (how awful they are for doing so), you will start to use them for yourself and see results (“Bargaining”), “depressed” as you come to terms that they really work and used for evil in some cases (why does it have to be this way) and lastly you’ll “accept” that this is just how the world works and your better of knowing about them and using them for both defense and offense.Do you want to be a victum the rest of your life and be used, abused and hurt and left behind? Or do you want to Man (or Woman) Up to the world so you can survive and thrive in it? The answer is obvious. I have seen people, including myself, get used, abused and hurt (in some cases ending in death) because they were unaware of these laws or refused to let go of the utopian/disney view of the world. Grow up or get left behind.As Saint Paul said “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”.I would recommend you check out Greene’s other books in particular “The 33 Stratgies of War” and the “The 50th Law” (with 50 Cent). The help complete your personal technique arsenal for effective defense and offense.My last piece of advise is to follow the unwritten “49th law” which is “to not talk about the laws of power”. It is to your advatge for others not to know this stuff as they will often use it agaist you or they will resent you because they may think your using it on them. (This is the real motivation behind a lot of the negative reviews, they don’t want you to know them because they put themselves at a disadvantage). I would only educate perhaps your children and a long term significant other as you want them to be protected and thrive as well. However if you can be sure you safe from harm you may want to pass it on (as someone likely did to you since your reading this review). But again be wary, when so many other people suck it makes it easier for you to stand out. As they say a good magacian never revels their secrets.
Ramblin’ Man –
This book is a must for anyone working for the corporate leviathans of our age. The scholarly research for this book is immense and impressive. It contains more non-fiction anecdotes from over thousands of years of human history than any book I have ever read.I graduated college in engineering in1996 right as the treasonous two decade plus mass movement of plants and entire industries began in earnest to China and Mexico. As millions of American jobs have been lost, dwindling work forces have been fighting like junkyard dogs over scarce resources.I was naive and tended to believe the best in people as I was born and raised in a small and relatively isolated enclave in Southern Appalachia. The last 24 years of Hard Knocks has made me a different person. I have been betrayed, knifed in the back, shut out by cliques, blind-sided publicity, etc. Nobody is after me in particular but absolutely EVERYONE is looking out after number one and don’t care who goes down in the process. Humanity has not changed over the millennia!I have unwittingly learned some of this book’s techniques over the years and have been a survivor of many mass layoffs that were inflicted on the workforce (during times of record profits I might add in case you might want to argue the business necessity of the firings). I am not using this book as a climb to the top as the upper echelons are much less secure and overrated than many tend to believe. Being a manager in a giant global conglomerate is like being the head football coach of a team where you control nearly nothing yet have all the responsibility for success or failure.This book teaches survival. I reject that these principles are amoral. They are true reality. The folks who are pretend religious with Jesus coffee mugs and Bibles on their desks will put a thousand working families on the street if that’s what it takes to get their own personal bonus for the year. That’s just the way it is.Take what you need from this book and sweep the rest under the table. Use the principles according to your needs, organizational structure, market conditions, and personal strengths. I wish I had this book when I graduated college but would not have paid attention to it. I was full of optimism and Pollyanna positive thinking. The harsh reality of how the world works has set in and this book is a nightly reader for me as a result.
William J. Bahr –
Almost like a certain biblical tree, this highly popular book impresses me as almost akin to the “Book of Good and Evil,” maybe even a close cousin to Machiavelli’s “The Prince.” As I read through this 452-page collection of 48 power laws, I personally rated them into the following categories (one law was split): Good (27%), Bad (30%), and Ugly (43%, which could go either way to follow the crowd). As far as archetypes, one could translate this split into a good George Washington, a bad Hitler, and maybe a run-of-the-mill, somewhat unprincipled modern politician. Also, some of the laws looking to be Bad on the surface appear to be just Ugly, given that the examples of the law subsequently provided soften the apparent top-level advice to do harm. And some laws seem to contradict other laws, leaving one wondering which ones to follow.Yes, these strategies are said to work to accrue power, but to what end? Are you trying to build up a positive world for everyone, or raise yourself up while destroying it and hoping you’re dead and gone before it comes crashing down upon you and everyone else?As you may recall, Machiavelli’s “The Prince” is one of the first works of modern political philosophy, purporting to share “the truth” rather than ideals. The term “Machiavellian” is now viewed as a pejorative. However, if one recalls George Washington’s words, he frequently used the word “interest” to determine how people and peoples (nations) are motivated. Indeed, even Machiavelli urged princes to construct compelling arguments. Thus, power is always and ultimately about persuasion, whether convincing others to work with you or to explain to adversaries the consequences if they do not. Addressing “interest” then is frequently just a “carrot and/or stick” proposition.However, on the positive side about the book’s negative side, at least it helps one with Good character learn about what Bad characters might try! Therefore, all in all, I highly recommend even Good guys take a tasteful bite of this good/evil book!Of possible interest:
Strategy Pure and Simple: Essential Moves for Winning in Competition and Cooperation
George Washington’s Liberty Key: Mount Vernon’s Bastille Key – the Mystery and Magic of Its Body, Mind, and Soul
, a best-seller at Mount Vernon. “Character is Key for Liberty!”
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.
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…
Not everything in here is pretty, good, or pleasant. Then again, this is about power, not about being a “good person”, whatever that means.I wish I had read this when I was in my teens. It would have prevented me making a lot of naive mistakes as a young man.
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! 🙂