Get a free audiobook

48 Laws of Power

Written by: Robert Greene
Narrated by: Richard Poe
Length: 23 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (299 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    219
  • 4 Stars
    52
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    5

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    195
  • 4 Stars
    37
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    176
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    7
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I'VE GOT THE POWWWWEERRRRR

Loved this book and listen to a law daily since I have finished. The story telling, especially using historical figures, brings the laws to life.
#Audible1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Deep insight

I am not even done with this book but am enjoying every second of it so far !!! Amazing insights into histories greatrest minds and lessons from grave mistakes. #Audible1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well narrated book - extremely informative

I loved listening to this as an Audiobook because the read was so mundane and information driven. The narrative is smooth and flows with the content and context of the book. For anyone looking for a guide on how to use power for gain in various situation, and when NOT to use power, this is a good and comprehensive guide on tact and strategy.

I would strongly recommend to other audible users #Audible1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely exceptional and life changing!

Never again will find myself trudging through the quagmire of the social battle for power.

Richard Poe masterfully narrates the valuable lessons expressed by the author, Robert Greene.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

life changing.

A must read. It just needs more females & female or neutral references. It discludes 1/2 the audience. It reads as if women would never read this book. The narrator highlights many of the powerful women examples in a derogatory tone & speaks poorly of womens intelligence & capabilities outside of their appearance, and "womenly" charm.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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...

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

This book helped me to understand the Power politics at work. Strongly recommend to read and this book and Laws of Human Nature

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

if wisdom was a book, it would be this one.

so much to be learn from that book. even if many tactic may sound evil they are grounded in reality. this book as aplication to all domain and ages. trully worth the time.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gaggleframpf
  • 2016-02-25

You don't have to be a psychopath to like this.

This is an absolutely amazing book. It will help you to tell your true friends apart from people who just want to use you. It will tell when to give more to your employer, or when to tone down your enthusiasm. It will warn you about going too far in your quest for power.

If you really are a power-hungry maniac, this book will do just as much to help you reach your goals as it will if you are an average joe with no ambitions. I'm an idealist myself - I like to see the good in everyone and I don't like to think of myself as someone who wants "power" over other people.

But that is not an excuse to avoid encountering the incredibly valuable information in this book. At the very least, it will keep you from making poor moves that will cause you to fall out of favor with others. At the most, you will be able to spot when someone else is playing "the game" and use their techniques against them.

I don't like to play the game myself; I don't think power is a game. But I sure as hell like to watch the people who DO live like it's a game spin their wheels as they try and fail to pin me down and make themselves look totally incompetent in the process.

If you're an honest person and if you think rewards and status should be earned by merit and not by raw power or deception, then your reputation and character will go before you and these laws of power will walk behind you.

Don't use this book to grow in power for power's sake. This is a fool's errand, and ends in your annihilation. Rather learn the laws of power to attain mastery over your own spirit, and to defend against those who would prey upon your honesty and integrity.

795 of 835 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Juan
  • 2016-02-14

Good Road Listen

being a trusting person by nature... and working amongst a bunch of sharks. Listening to this has helped me gain perspectives I've never considered.

189 of 202 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • G. Gregg Petty
  • 2016-02-22

They saved the best part for last

I am sure a lot of people will find this book to be cynical in philosophy, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I especially found the 46th and 47th law to be most salient. The reading was done well, and it was a good listen. Probably something that would have to be listened to a few times in order to gather the nuances of what the author is trying to convey, but there is lots of wisdom found in this book. Well done.

36 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • V. Taras
  • 2018-09-12

Interesting stories blur into a useless flood

As I wrote in my review,

The book is a compilation of very interesting stories.
However, after several chapters, all those stories blur into an easily-forgettable flood of dates, names, and facts.

All you will be able to recall a day later that someone killed or betrayed someone, or lied, or spread rumors, or did something else Machiavellian.

What's presented as "Laws" is is a collection of random, often mutually exclusive observations. Some people lied to get to the top, some were articulate and said a lot and tried to be in the public eye. Others got to the top by being secretive and never seen in public. Some were generous and that helped them succeed, others were greedy and ruthless.

The book is definitely worth reading if you just want to hear a bunch of entertaining historic anecdotes. However, unless you're a student of history and know enough history to recognize the names from these stories and put them in context, if you're like most, you'll forget 95% of these stories the moment you move on to the next chapter.

Treat this book as a great collection of interesting historic stories, but do NOT expect that you will receive a practical advice on how to influence others and achieve your goals.

32 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • DC
  • Davis, CA United States
  • 2016-03-18

Learn from lessons from the past. Great narration!

This book tells a story of lessons that can be learned from examples of things that have happened in history. All of the lessons revolve around a theme of what you should and shouldn't do to put yourself in the best position for power. A little philosophical, but if you enjoy philosophy you will like that piece of it. You don't have to have ambitions of being a power monger to get a lot out of this book. It may make you re-think how you approach things on a day to day basis. It's a little long, but it found it to be engaging and enjoyable the whole way thru.

92 of 103 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Marlon
  • 2016-07-07

Interesting

As a Christian I find myself struggling with these laws and approaches to power. Maybe I am naive when it comes to power, or too idealistic. This book seems to outline all the dirty tricks played by politicians to stay in power. The author seems to recommend some of the behavior we naturally disapprove of as an acceptable means to power.

So why did I listen to the whole thing? I thought about returning the book after listening to the first chapter. But I realized that even though I may dislike these "laws of power" they are at play in the world I live in. And even thought I do not believe I will ever live by the majority of these laws, being aware of them has helped open my eyes to what is going on around me.

So I would not highly recommend this book because there is little emphasis, if any, in character. But the book is useful in pointing out how people acquire and maintain power, and there is a benefit to being aware of how power can work.

104 of 119 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • DBruno1987
  • 2016-04-28

Not all laws are created equal

The information in here is useful and enlightening, not necessarily because you want to use it yourself, but because many others act selfish and Machiavellian all the time. It's good to spot someone using these tactics, and unless you're a sociopath, you can stop yourself from going over board. These could be dangerous if you seriously lack empathy (not sure if that's the type of person this author is).

The format is my biggest complaint. I found myself skipping to the next chapter whenever the historical anecdotes got boring. Some of the stories were better than others, some of the laws were better than others, and some of the stories applied to the laws them selves better than others.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • 2017-06-26

Psychopathy Manual

This book would be more aptly titled: How to be a Psychopath: Strategies of Manipulation and Deceit.

It is an entertaining and useful, yet highly disturbing book. Now that I know the true scope of the drive for power, I see the world through suspicious eyes. If you are someone who seeks power at the expense of all else, this historical guide book will likely thrill you. If you are a normal light hearted good natured sort, you may find this book appalling, as it reads like it was written by the devil himself. Yet you should probably listen to it anyway. If nothing else, it will alert you to the strategies of the wolves around you.

Besides all the rules themselves and the commands to use, manipulate, control, trick and destroy everyone that crosses your path, this book is primarily a collection of historical antidotes. Listening to it will increase your knowledge base of the history of some of the world's most influential power players. It will also help you be alert to such tactics in use in the present.

The narration of this book was perfect. It could not have been done better. The narrator captured the sadistic domineering feel this book requires to a tee. He was engaging and clear with a very agreeable voice and cadence.

56 of 66 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kami
  • 2016-04-27

Lessons To Learn

Whether you intend to use the lessons outlined in this book or not, it would behoove you to know them.

39 of 46 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dan Collins
  • Katy, Tx United States
  • 2016-09-14

Was Hoping for a Simpler Approach

Once you get beyond 10 laws of anything, what do you expect? This book is much more of an exhaustive treating of how power works than a "how to be powerful" self-help book. And the lesson the listener quickly learns is that power is highly situational. The laws of power are not mutually exclusive. They overlap in a complex landscape in which the author shares many stories about how things can go wrong. Any one law is later refuted by another law and it is never simple to know which one is the better way.

This is not lost on the author. I believe this is much more of a reference book. An encyclopedia of power that one should keep handy and review every once in a while. Listening to it, front-to-back is not the best way to approach and appreciate this book.

63 of 76 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • yegue
  • 2016-06-18

Riche en enseignements

À relire plus d'une fois pour capter, et assimiler les leçons. J'aime bien la méthode utilisée pour la transmission du savoir. Reco

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • mikus
  • 2019-03-14

Long and repetitive, quite dated

First of all the book is far too long. With a bit stricter selection and less repetitions it could easily fit in half of the time, with the same message. With every next chapter the conclusions become more and more blurred and inconsistent with the 'laws'. I'd risk that they would perfectly make up 10 laws instead of shady 48 of them...

The tone of the book suggests clearly that it pretends to be a guidebook, yet almost all of the historical examples date to the events of 5 century BC to early XX, with next to none references to the modern times. It is true that most of the mentioned mechanism never change, but the application of the books laws per se are quite unrealistic in the times where conflicts are not anymore solved with swords and if you are not born a king of XVII century France. It also completely skips the moral part of moves like intentionally killing all your siblings or using your best friends as scapegoats... if one would care.

As long as I really enjoyed the short historical anecdotes which are really plenty in this book I still don't really see who is the target of it. It is a too simplistic and unstructured to be a resource for any social studies, yet too too old-fashioned and lacking any modern life references to be a popular lifestyle guidebook. It is also neither light nor relaxing to listen, as it constantly tries to be instructional and greatly covers wars and killings. I guess it would make a perfect study for a young prince in XVII century Europe, or if you're a control freak, but not sure how to make it real.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Client d'Amazon
  • 2018-12-29

How to be a sociopath

The author has dedicated time and effort to mislead people. True power comes from within you, from authentic being, from living life according to your values.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Client d'Amazon
  • 2018-11-19

Un incontournable !

Ce livre est absolument a lire pour toute personne qui souhaite mieux comprendre les relations de pouvoir ! Excellent livre.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tarek Alabras Alashkar
  • 2018-01-19

great book! weak story!

great book, valuable insight to the game of power however chapters don't feel logically connected with a powerful story which makes it harder to remember the context precisely.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • #Limo
  • 2017-11-27

De l'or en loi

écoutez la version abrégée, la version longue contient plus d'anecdotes et d'exemples historiques. intéressant pour l'analyse historique mais lourd pour étudier les mécanismes de pouvoir