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Shvoong Home>Books>The Concise 48 Laws of Power Review

The Concise 48 Laws of Power

Book Review   by:RGopinath     Original Author: Robert Greene
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The author Robert Greene is of the opinion that there is a big bad world out there.

He seems to be highly influenced by thinkers like Machiavelli, Sun Tzu and our own Chanakya (Kautilya). So in this book he offers you 48 ready made tips (laws) to cunningly, ruthlessly and unscrupulously scheme and manipulate your way to power in corporate, political or social settings.

While these laws may be effective in meeting their objectives, readers with strong sense of ethics, morality and consciousness will not be inclined to follow most of the laws mentioned in this book. However this book may be still be helpful for them since it may help them to be on guard against the unethical, immoral, deceptive people whom they meet in their lives.

Though I don't agree with most of the laws described in this book, I cannot deny the fact that this book is fairly well written. Also maybe since this is the concise edition each law is described very succinctly in 4-5 pages , well illustrated with examples, stories and apt quotations, though they are not very contemporary (hardly any example/story/quote from a period after 1980s).

Read the 48 laws below and decide yourself whether you want to read this book. Many of these laws as stated look deceptively pragmatic and seem the right thing to do. You need to read author's interpretations of them to get the complete picture. The book as such is not a bad read and was an international bestseller.

The 48 Laws of Power:

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

Law 5 So Much Depends on Reputation. Guard it with your Life

Law 6 Court Attention at all Cost

Law 7 Get others to do the Work for you, but Always Take the Credit

Law 8 Make other People come to you, use Bait if Necessary

Law 9 Win through your Actions, Never through Argument

Law 10 Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and 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 People's Self-Interest, 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. Do Not Offend the Wrong Person

Law 20 Do Not Commit to Anyone

Law 21 Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker. Seem 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 Re-Create Yourself

Law 26 Keep Your Hands Clean

Law 27 Play on People's Need to Believe to Create a Cultlike Following

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 to 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 Perfect

Law 47 Do not go Past the Mark you Aimed for; In Victory, Learn when to Stop

Law 48 Assume Formlessness

Published: March 27, 2010   
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