'The 48 Laws of Power' by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

'The 48 Laws of Power' by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers

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Some play with power and lose it all by some fatal mistake. Some go too far or not far enough. Some make all the right moves.

For those of you who watch power, want power, or want to arm yourselves against it, it is recommended that you read The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers.

The book deals with each of the 48 laws with a very wide selection of parables, myths, anecdotes and stories from all over the world and from all times, illustrating the unchanging dynamics of power over the centuries. It features Chinese warlords, Roman and renaissance-Italian power-mongers, American and European conmen, famous courtiers from the French courts before the Revolution, and even musings by Thomas Edison. And of course, the book pays tribute to the power-writer of all time, Niccolo Machiavelli.

The 48 Laws of Power is very cynical and depicts a world without mercy. Apparently the writer himself (Greene, not Elffers) bears a grudge as he starts the book thanking old enemies for doing to him what they did, since it has only made him wise to the world and inspired him to write. The book is written in a manner so as to inspire the reader to achieve great power with an iron fist by talking directly to the reader, much like a self-help tape.

Despite this belligerent and unabating tone, and the fact that it takes over 500 pages to get through all the laws, it is very readable, very clear in its message and the laws in it are not to be easily refuted.

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