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  • 48 Laws of Power

  • By: Robert Greene
  • Narrated by: Richard Poe
  • Length: 23 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (2,899 ratings)

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48 Laws of Power cover art

48 Laws of Power

By: Robert Greene
Narrated by: Richard Poe
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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
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic reviews

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

What listeners say about 48 Laws of Power

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Too little nuance

Pros: The book depicts sometimes ugly yet interesting parts of human nature, often conveniently ignored or hidden.

Cons: Some of the examples are old tales with no bearing in reality. There is no unifying set of ideas, but a collection of pieces of advice modeled after most despicable historical figures.

Most importantly, this book lacks the nuance to distinguish pure power struggles from mutually beneficial value creation. Don't believe power games are all there is to life, unless you are one of those who fill the examples in this book: warlords, con artists and politicians.

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75 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Despots Guide to Power!

This book is really very interesting. However the examples of power are mainly from Shakespeare and folklore. This book is not scientifically based and although it is engaging and well narrated, the learning is largely negative and refers to battles that occurred hundreds of years ago. This is a despots guide to power.

I gave up after a few hours as I felt my time could better be engaged on a positive learning experience and one that perhaps had more current relevance.

However the book is very interesting.

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29 people found this helpful

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

Read it...or don't

This book has made me interested in classical history, when every move was critical to your power and often your survival too. Humans inherently become amoral when they decide to become effective. You're a member of this species, so learn these principles; play or be played.

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18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Favourite book of all time

I could write 10,000 words about how much I love this book. But I won't

If you struggle to influence people in your life and get your own way. This is the book for you.
Just be open minded to concepts that "seem" new but you always knew in the back of your head.

I've studied this book over and over for over a year and I'm sure you came here because you read how great it is.

And yes. It is all it's cracked up to be and more!

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17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great for be history!

Hard to get into at first, but the author tells great stories. Upon realising that this has nothing to do with my life whatsoever, I enjoyed it for learning about the power plays of famous and not so famous people from history.

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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

Could easily turn you into a megalomaniac!

Great analysis of the rise and fall of power throughout history. Insightful tidbits for thought. Brilliantly read. I feel well equipped to take on the world now.

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13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Lots of anecdotes, not enough evidence.

Good list of ideas but no attempt was made to back any of them up with science or game theory. In many places, laws contradicted with each other and the concept of each law having a 'reversal' was indicitive of the laws being too broad and simplistic.

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Just amazing!!

I wouldn't change a thing about this. I especially loved the narrator he was perfectly chosen

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

just another book to manipulate others

Nothing new, very repetitive. But he has a lot of interesting examples from history.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

First book I ever finished. Loved it

Stayed engaged all through. Formless my favourite of all. It goes without saying, careful application of the laws in this day and age is paramount.

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7 people found this helpful