THE 48 LAWS OF POWER
The 48 laws of power by Robert Greene has 452 pages and it was published in the United States of America by Viking Penguin in 1998. Each of the 48 laws of power contains in the book is assigned a full chapter of the book. The book contains valuable ideas and information that are useful for those who want power or want to arm themselves against falling victims of absolute display and exercise of power. The author, in this book, carefully documents for prosperity, the events, the theories and practice of power, covering three thousand years and he distills it into forty-eight well explicated laws. This piercing work in letter and spirit outlines the laws of power in their unvarnished essence. Attempt is also being made by Greene to synthesize the philosophies of Machiavelli, Suntzu, Carl von Clausewitz and other great thinkers.
The book brings into focus and awareness the nature of power and how it is being exercised by the holders. He argues that some laws require prudence, some stealth and some the total absence of mercy. All essentially have implications in real-life situations. He illustrates this further using the examples of Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger. P.T. Barnum and other famous figures who have wielded power in their life history or who have fallen victims of power play.
His description of power is comprehensive and elaborate. He considers power as amoral and one of the most important skills to acquire in his analysis of power is the ability to see circumstances rather than good or evil. He views power as a game in which you cannot judge your enemy by their intentions but by the effects of their actions.
According to him, you measure the strategy and power of your enemy by what you see and feel.
The laws are extracted from the writings of men and women who have studied and mastered the game of power. These writings in the words of the author "Span a period of more than three thousand years and were created in civilizations as disparate as ancient China and Renaissance Italy; yet, they share common threads and themes". It is a product of accumulated wisdom derived from the writings of the most illustrious strategists like Sun-tzu, Bismarck, Castiglione etc.
The 48 laws of power when read may not have direct bearing to your life but it certainly have some application. It can serve as a guide to those who might be interested in evaluating the extent of their power and their mastery of power game. Candidly, a thorough reading of the book will inspire thinking and re-evaluation of past, present and possibly lead to projection of a more engaging future for persons seeking for power. The book in reality does not set a limit for absolute power play and could expose one to act of wickedness. The strategies for power acquisition which are highlighted in the book are seem to be achievable. The book is therefore recommended for the politicians and students of strategic studies.