Book Review: The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene (Hosnain R. Sunny)

Feeling powerless is a peculiar experience of an one individual. If there is an option for being in power; might be all people will be in a war. Now-a-days, it’s true everyone is in a war with their opponents. But who will win in this power game? In an open minded view, If given the choice, everyone would opt for more rather than less power. Yet, to be so overt in attempts to gain power is frowned upon. To attain power, you need to be subtle, cunning, and democratic yet obvious. Consequently, in a most controversial book, “The 48 Laws of Power,” best-selling author Robert Greene argues that if you manage to seduce, charm, and deceive your opponents, you will attain the ultimate power. To Greene, power is amoral. It’s a game. A social game. To master it, you must be able to study and understand people. Yet, you must always take the most indirect route to power. “The 48 Laws of Power” is a handbook in the various arts of indirection.

What Everyone Should Know About this Book

Robert Greene shows a very old picture of human psychology and described every law with reflect such an amazing style of real incident starting from 3000 BC to present; including all kinds of civilization. From old Chinese regime, Egyptian, Babylon including Greek, Roman and also Ottoman Empire. To me, Robert Greene have created an covert picture to Machiavelli’s famous book ‘’Prince’’, espousing principles like, every human being wants and concentrate more power than he has. Machiavelli shows us emotions, including love, are detrimental; deceit and manipulation are life’s paramount tools. Robert Greene also. Anyone striving for psychological health will be put off at the start, but the authors counter, saying “Honesty is indeed a Power Strategy,” and “Genuinely Innocent People may Still be Playing for Power.” Amoral or immoral, this life changing aims to guide those who embrace power as a ruthless game, and will entertain the rest. Each law of this book, with such allusive titles as “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy” from where the book is the most controversial in that a pure sense moral issues. This book examples illustrated are drawn from the courts of modern and ancient Europe, Africa and Asia, and devious strategies culled from well-known personae: Machiavelli, Talleyrand, Bismarck, Catherine the Great, Mao, Kissinger, Haile Selassie, Lola Montes and various con artists of our century. These historical escapades make enjoyable reading, yet by the book’s conclusion, some protagonists have appeared too many times and seem drained.


Law-01: Never Outshine Your Master.

Law-02: Never Put too Much Trust on Friends, Learn how to Use Enemies.

Law-03: Conceal Your Intentions.

Law-04: Always Say Less Than Necessary.

Law-05: So Much Depends on Reputation – Guard It With Your Life.

Law-06: Court Attention at All Costs.

Law-07: Get Others to Do the Work for You, but Always Take the Credit.

Law-08: Make Other People Come to You – Use Bait if Necessary.

Law-09: Win Through Your Actions, Never Through Argument.

Law-10: Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and the Unlucky.

Law-11: Learn to Keep People Dependent on You.

Law-12: Use Selective Honesty and Generosity to Disarm Your Victim.

Law-13: When Asking for Help, Appeal to the Self-interests of Others, Never to Their Mercy or Gratitude.

Law-14: Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy.

Law-15: Crush Your Enemy Totally.

Law-16: Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor.

Law-17: Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability.

Law-18: Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself – Isolation is Dangerous.

Law-19: Know Who You’re Dealing With – Don’t Offend the Wrong Person.

Law-20: Don’t Commit to Anyone.

Law-21: Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker – Appear Dumber Than Your Mark.

Law-22: Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness Into Power.

Law-23: Concentrate Your Forces.

Law-24: Play the Perfect Courtier.

Law-25: Recreate Yourself.

Law-26: Keep Your Hands Clean.

Law-27: Create a Cult-like Following by Playing on People’s Need to Believe.

Law-28: Enter Action With Boldness.

Law-29: Plan All the Way to the End.

Law-30: Make Your Accomplishments Seem Effortless.

Law-31: Control the Options: Get Others to Play With the Cards You Deal.

Law-32: Play Into People’s Fantasies.

Law-33: Discover Each Man’s Thumbscrew.

Law-34: Be Royal in Your Own Fashion: Act Like a King to Be Treated Like One.

Law-35: Master the Art of Timing.

Law-36: Disdain Things You Cannot Have: Ignoring Them is the Best Revenge.

Law-37: Create Compelling Spectacles.

Law-38: Think as You Like, but Behave Like Others.

Law-39: Stir Up Waters to Catch Fish.

Law-40: Despise the Free Lunch.

Law-41: Avoid Stepping Into a Great Man’s Shoes.

Law-42: Strike the Shepherd, and the Sheep Will Scatter.

Law-43: Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others.

Law-44: Disarm and Infuriate With the Mirror Effect.

Law-45: Preach the Need for Change, but Never Reform Too Much at Once.

Law-46: Never Appear Too Perfect.

Law-47: Don’t Go Past the Mark You Aimed For: In Victory, Learn When to Stop.

Law-48: Assume Formlessness.





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