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  • 48 Laws of Power

  • Written by: Robert Greene
  • Narrated by: Richard Poe
  • Length: 23 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (1,229 ratings)

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48 Laws of Power

Written by: Robert Greene
Narrated by: Richard Poe
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Publisher's Summary

Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this piercing work distills 3,000 years of the history of power into 48 well-explicated laws. This bold volume outlines the laws of power in their unvarnished essence, synthesizing the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, and other infamous strategists. The 48 Laws of Power will fascinate any listener interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control.

©2000 Robert Greene and Joost Elffers (P)2015 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What the critics say

It's The Rules for suits.... Machiavelli has a new rival. And Sun-tzu better watch his back." ( New York Magazine)

Editorial Review

Less a self-help book and more an analysis of how people’s self-interest has gained them powerful positions, 48 Laws of Power will open your eyes to the steps it takes to gain ultimate power.

Robert Greene breaks down the main mantras, rules, and ideas behind gaining - and holding - power in his audiobook 48 Laws of Power. This inspiring and powerful listen will teach you all you need to know about how figures in history created power roles for themselves, from meeting people’s needs to offering selective honesty and how to exact the best revenge.

Considered by many to be a ‘cult classic,’ this New York Times and Los Angeles Times best seller has sold over a million copies. Learn how to understand the minds of others, cultivate and meet people’s fantasies, make people dependent on your leadership, and go all the way to the top of the power pyramid. Learn about laws like ‘never reform too much,’ ‘the art of seduction,’ or how to ‘act like a king,‘ as well as old-world thoughts on the laws of human nature, and how to use them to your advantage.

48 Laws of Power not only offers insight into powerful people and the power game at large but looks at the history - both informative and often twisted - that was the basis for so many of these laws. Often ruthless and very much ‘of the times,’ these laws must be viewed within their historical context. However, by analyzing them, we can see patterns and movements that can be applied today (with some adjustments); or critique those less-than-ideal laws used to oppress and keep others down. From Law 1: Never outshine the master, through to Law 15: crush your enemy totally and beyond, the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene is an impressive breakdown of power politics throughout history.

What listeners say about 48 Laws of Power

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Hard to finish

I feel you would need to be a history buff to truly appreciate the book. The history given to prove the laws is always interesting, however the listening length made it hard to pay attention to.

Transitions between laws were also hard to follow for me. As their are 48 laws, going back to review one is very hard as an audible.

I finally bought the book paperback. Good book, hard to listen to. 3* as audible, 4.5* as paperback.

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32 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

Save your money, save your wellbeing.

I've listened to the first several chapters. I can not make time or subject my soul or my mental wellbeing to these immoral "laws". Agree there are people out there who live and breathe these values (one need look no further then the Whitehouse). This book or type of guidance will not serve the "know your enemy to protect yourself crowd". Rather, it will implant unprincipled, dishonorable, iniquitous, corrupt, devious thoughts. Save your money and save yourself the karma this way of being brings. Don't be fooled by $6.95 price like I was, it's cheap for a reason.

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20 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

a psychopaths nightmare

im a fan of R. greenes book the laws of human nature but this one is not my cup of tea. its a stark reminder that the world is indeed full of evil manipulators with alterior motives for control...greed, and ego is the bane of mankind. But it seems to me this book is made for sociopaths and people who yearn to deceive people. Maybe im a fool but many things i do is out of kindness to bring joy and lend a hand to others without having a sinister motive in my mind of using people for my benefit...

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13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It’s Not What You Think

I was very weary to read this book bc I was reading many reviews accusing the author of teaching readers how to be manipulative. But I decided to read it anyway and I’m glad I did.

This book is incredible. First, yes, there are elements of manipulation. But, you can use this to your advantage so that you can recognize when someone is doing it to you! Second, the incredible historical stories that he tells to provide context is...I have no words. I would love to know the process of selecting the stories used.

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7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

Nonsense.

Anyone listening to this thinking they will rule anything, from work to family or team is living in another time. The examples given are from outdated times where kings and magnates had not earned their power, but inherited it.

Refer to the great, modern dictum, A's hire A's, B's hire C's and if you believe this book will make tou an A, you may want to think about your real aptitudes in life. Not sure Warren Buffet, Tim Cook and many more great leaders of this era followed the cunning way portrayed here to the top.

Hopefully the author wrote it to make money, as there is a vast clientele for this type of stuff.

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7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Powerful!

This is probably the best audiobook I’ve ever listened to in my lifetime. Not only is the book itself is compelling, the narrator is also the best I’ve ever heard. Recommended!

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7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Not for me

If you have ethics, values and a moral compass, you may find this book of very little value. It is very well written and read tho

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4 people found this helpful

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  • RP
  • 2019-10-25

Long and boring.

The author identifies a series of ways to manipulate people around you and create a false sense of power. Machiavelli's The Prince provided better insights to power than this book. I could not finish it. Some ideas even conflict with each other.

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3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

For con men and charlatans, maybe courtiers


What I hoped for in this book was really about how to be a leader, or a better leader. I was disappointed. The premise of this book is that you can gain power through deceit and trickery. While the lessons might be applicable in a Royal Court, or maybe Politics, except for in the most dysfunctional company, most of the lessons taught in this book would not be useful. It is really about tricks, deceit and backstabbing but never about how to produce anything or motivate people beyond fear. There are a lot of anecdotes to illustrate the rules that the author expounds, but I know at least one of them was wrong. The author states that both Tesla and Edison were up to share the 1914 Nobel Prize in Physics. Rather than give Tesla any publicity, Edison refused and the the prize went to somebody else. Actually it went to Max von Laue for the discovery of the diffraction of X-rays by crystals. But Nobel Prizes don't work that way. Even if Edison had refused they both would have been awarded the prize and Edison would have just refused. But all the publicity would still be there.

The inability to get facts right, the lack of methods of motivation, the focus on deception make me feel this book is for the stupid, sociopaths and or morally bankrupt. Only where power is based on a popularity contest, like politics, or bestowed such as a royal court, would any of this be useful. I guess within the corporate environment it could be used to move up the ladder but you better vacate the spot as soon as possible and sell short on the stock because once you achieve any sort of power, you will be in a position where you don't have a loyal team supporting you and you have no idea how to product anything. Also if you pay attention every "Rule" has a contradictory "Rule". "Crush your enemy utterly and completely" is a rule as is "Show mercy to your enemies you will gain a most loyal ally".

If you are ever hiring somebody that has risen in previous companies but never stayed anywhere more than two years, they are probably the kind of bottom feeder that adheres to the advice in this book. I guess on positive aspect it does have is it elucidates the tactics so you can shut that scum down when you see it.

The last 3 or 4 chapters are potentially useful for regular people who aren't working towards a career as a con man

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3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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boring, cold-hearted rhetoric

did bill gates,jeff bozoz, Warren buffet use this, cold-hearted victory just makes it seem seductive

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3 people found this helpful