2021 · nonfiction

Book Review: The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

Title: The 48 Laws of Power

Author: Robert Greene  


Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this multi-million-copy New York Times bestselleris the definitive manual for anyone interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control – from the author of The Laws of Human Nature.

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.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Usually I’m not the person who enjoys Nonfiction, however Robert Greene’s books have definitely changed that. This book in particular displays all the ways we can bend power in our advantage, using examples of more or less popular historical figures. I can see why this book is supposedly banned in prisons, it’s truly a manipulation handbook.

Through 48 laws of power Greene shows us how easy it is to gain power. You are an actor and the world around you is the scene. Other people are there just to be used to gain that power. Even though this theory sounds very raw and ruthless, it gave me a different perspective to the world because it shows how easy we are to manipulate. I can see how this book can be dangerous when it comes into wrong hands, but to me it was a moment of enlightenment which will help me read people around me better and not let others manipulate me.

I have read The Art of Seduction in the past and I also enjoyed it but I can see how Greene’s books are not for everyone. That is mostly because they portray the world and human relationships as a raw thing and not something mystical.

My favorite thing are definitely the historical examples, and when you compare them to this modern world, there is little to no difference. When you come to think of that, many of today’s celebrities, public figures and politicians use these exact laws to gain popularity and liking, and it’s honestly a bit scary.

I’d recommend this book to everyone who is interested in understanding power and manipulation but please take these laws with a grain of salt. For me this book was a very interesting experience but it’s also an eye opener. I really want to hear all of your opinions on this book if you’ve read it so definitely write your comments down below!

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