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48 laws of power

A book by Robert Greene , ISBN 978-1861974044

Sophisticated expert of human psychology, Robert Green will help you master the art of seduction and power, to attract love and skillfully manage the thoughts and moods of others. Following the advice collected in this book, you will be able to turn every smile, every gesture, every word into a crushing weapon, to achieve boundless trust and respect of your superiors, colleagues. You will be able to charm any woman (or man) and become a confident, bright, successful person.

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48 laws of power by Robert Greene

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How do you manipulate people and gain power over them? This question was tried to be answered by Robert Green, an American writer and speaker known for his books on strategy, power and seduction, who together with Jost Elffers has studied the three-thousand-year history of power, drawing on the philosophy of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, Carl von Clausewitz and many other historical figures such as Ludwik XIV, Talleyrand, Otto von Bismarck, Catherine the Great, Mao Zedong and Haile Selassie.

Based on the information he studied, he identified 48 laws of power. Many of which are highly controversial, one might even say immoral, and involve the use of manipulation, intrigue and lies to gain advantage and pave the way to one's own goals, power, honor and authority.

Power is a deliberate struggle against circumstances beyond our control, the ability to turn adversity into advantage. Why do we need power? To gain confidence and to assert my own dignity. And also, at least, to squeeze reality into a fist and change it according to one's will.

I hope you don't want to apply everything Robert Green describes in his book.

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene: Summary

Even though the laws described were basically formed thousands of years ago, unfortunately they still work and apply.


Always make sure that those in charge feel comfortable at the top. Don't go too far in trying to please them or impress them by showing off your talents, otherwise you risk doing the opposite: instilling fear and insecurity in them. Make your bosses seem more brilliant than they are, and you will reach the heights of power. 


Be wary of your friends - they are more likely to betray, as they easily succumb to envy. In addition, they quickly become patsies and tyrants. But enlist a former enemy, and he will be more loyal than a friend because he has something to prove. Indeed, you should be more wary of friends than enemies. If you have no enemies, find a way to make them.


Keep people in the dark, in a state of unsteady equilibrium, never revealing the background of your actions. By keeping them in the dark about what you want to do, they won't be able to protect themselves. Lead them astray, put them on the wrong track, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late. 


When trying to impress with your speeches, remember: the more you say, the more you seem ordinary and without real power. Even when uttering platitudes, you will appear original if your speeches are vague, incomplete, and enigmatic, like a sphinx. Influential people impress and inspire fear by what they understate. The more you talk, the more likely you are to say something stupid.


Reputation is the cornerstone of power. You can use your reputation to inspire fear and win. But if it falters, it leaves you vulnerable and under attack from all sides. Make your reputation unshakable. Always be alert for possible attacks and deflect them before you are attacked. Learn how to incapacitate your enemies by finding gaps in their reputations. Then step aside and leave public opinion to deal with them.

6. Attention at all costs.

Stand out. Try to stand out, no matter what it costs you. It's better to be the center of attention than to be ignored. Never allow yourself to get lost in the crowd or to be forgotten. Attach your name and reputation to an image larger, more colorful and mysterious than other people's.

7. Get others to do your work, but always give them credit

This saves you time and resources. Never do by yourself what others can do for you. Your helpers will be forgotten and you will be remembered.

8. Make others reach out to you. Use bait when necessary.

It is always wise to lure your opponent into your territory and then get him to abandon his plans.

9. Win by your actions, not by your arguments.

Any short-lived victory you think you are winning by arguing is an illusion. It is more effective to get others to agree with you by your actions, not your words.

"Show, not tell."

10. Avoid the unhappy and the unlucky.

Unhappy people bring misfortune upon themselves. They also bring it upon you. Do not try to help the afflicted, or you will cry for it. Helping a drowning man will turn out to be a disaster for you.

11. Learn to keep people dependent on you.

Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity.

"Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life." - DO NOT TEACH.

To maintain your independence, you must always be needed and wanted.

12. Show selective honesty and generosity to disarm the victim

One sincere and honest move will hide dozens of dishonest ones. Even the most suspicious people can be disarmed by gestures of generosity and honesty. Once they let their guard down, you can manipulate them at will.

13. When asking for help, appeal to people's self-interest, not their charity or gratitude

14. Present yourself as a friend, but be a spy.

Know your enemies. Learn to look for other people's weaknesses and intentions.

15. Destroy your enemies completely.

16. Use your absence to build honor and respect

Create value at the expense of scarcity. If you have become part of a group, your temporary absence will make others talk about you. At the beginning of a relationship, you need to reinforce your presence in the eyes of the other person. If you "disappear" too soon, you may be forgotten. But once your lover's emotions intensify and feelings of love grow, your absence will only inflame him. And the lack of an explanation for your absence will make him reach for you even more.

17. Keep others in a suspended state of fear: Create an atmosphere of unpredictability.

Be intentionally unpredictable. Established patterns of behavior are a powerful force, and you can throw others off-balance by disrupting their predictability.

18. Don't build fortresses, for protection. Isolation is dangerous.

19. Always know who you are dealing with. Don't hurt the wrong person.

Not everyone will react to your actions in the same way. After all, there are so many different people. When starting a battle, choose your opponents carefully.

20. Don't interfere in anyone's business.

21. If you want to catch a fool, pretend to be a fool yourself.

Make your victims feel smart. Make them feel smarter than you. Once they believe it's true, they won't be able to figure out what you're really up to.

22. Use surrender tactics: Turn weakness into strength

People trying to demonstrate their authority are easily fooled by surrender tactics.

Our natural reaction to aggression is aggression. But the next time someone pushes you and you find yourself getting angry, try this: don't resist, give in, turn the other cheek.

You'll have time to wrap yourself around your enemy and hit him with your fangs at close range.

23. Don't squander your energy too much.

24. Pretend you are the perfect subordinate.

Practice flattery and indifference. Give in to those who are stronger. Assert authority over others in the most graceful way possible. Manage your emotions. Never deliver bad news.

25. Create a new self.

Take control of your image or others will. Create a new identity that attracts attention.

26. Keep your hands clean.

Hide your mistakes or use a scapegoat to hide your involvement in them. You must maintain an impeccable appearance.

27. Play on people's need to believe to create loyal and blind followers.

Five rules for creating cults:

Make the information (description) vague and as simple as possible; Emphasize the visual and sensational rather than the intellectual; Use forms of organized religion to structure the group; Hide your source of income; Convince everyone that "we are against them."

28. Act boldly.

Shyness is dangerous. People admire courage.

29. Plan things to the end.

30. Let others think that your accomplishments come easily to you.

Act effortlessly, as if you could do more.

31. Manage your choices: let others play the cards you deal

Convince people that things will fall apart without you, and offer them a "choice": you stay out and they suffer the consequences, or you come back in, provided things go your way. Offer three or four choices for each situation and present them in such a way that the one you prefer always seems to be the better choice over the others.

32. Play on people's fantasies.

People rarely believe that problems arise because of their own misdeeds and stupidity. Someone or something outside is to blame--the other, the world, the gods--and so salvation also comes from outside.

33. Look for people's weaknesses.

Everyone has a weakness, a breach in the wall of the castle. Once you find it, you can use it (the person) to your advantage.

34. Be kings in your own way: act like a king so that you will be treated like a king

35. Become the right person at the right time.

Always be patient and keep things under control.

36. Ignore the things you can't change.

Remember: only you can keep things from bothering you. You may as well ignore the annoying abuser, consider him unworthy of your attention. Desire often creates paradoxical effects: the more you want something, the more you chase after it, the more it escapes you. The more you show interest, the more you push away the object of your desire. That's because your interest is too great-it makes people feel uncomfortable and even afraid. Uncontrolled desire makes you seem weak, unworthy, pathetic.

37. Create mesmerizing spectacles.

Create an aura around yourself.

38. Think what you want, but act like everyone else.

39. Tap the water, getting in the way of catching fish

Never get angry or agitated; it's counterproductive. However, if you can make your opponents angry while remaining calm, it will be a huge advantage.

40. Always pay for lunch.

The value of money is not in its possession, but in its use.

41. Don't pretend to be a great man.

Getting lost in the shadow of a great man is a dangerous trap. Create a name for yourself on your own terms. Go your own way.

42. Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will scatter.

Usually in a group of people, one person is the source of the problem. If you let him exist, he will infect the whole group. Get rid of him before you let him ruin everything.

43. Influence the hearts and minds of others.

Play on what people are afraid of. Don't force it. Agree with their emotions, but use them to your advantage.

44. Disarm and enrage with the mirror effect

The mirror effect: By holding up a mirror to their souls, you seduce them with the illusion that you share their values. Few can resist this.

45. Preach the need for change, but never reform too much at once

If change is necessary, make it an easy improvement

46. Don't try to appear too perfect.

Envy is dangerous. One way to get rid of envy is to appear human. It's wise to appear vulnerable and occasionally and acknowledge shortcomings.

47. Don't go beyond the goal you were trying to achieve; if you're winning, know where to stop 

Don't let arrogance blind you and make you give up on what you were striving for. When you reach your goal, stop.

48. Take a formless form.

Remain opportunistic. Accept that change is the only constant

48 Laws of Power Review

At first the book "48 Laws of Power" may seem like a certain textbook of cynicism, a manual for hypocrites and even crooks. But on second glance you realize that it is not so straightforward.

While working on the translation of this book, I naturally continued to follow what was happening in the world. Very soon I found myself comparing it with the material in the book when I heard about the extravagant antics of one of our politicians or the unexpected statements of another. Every now and then I cried out to myself: "Well, now it's pretty clear what he was trying to accomplish," or "Oh my God, there's just Law 6 (or 13...) behind this bizarre event!"

Not only does the book help us better understand what is behind this or that move by party leaders, deputies, or government representatives. It is also useful in analyzing some confusing situations in your service, conflicts with acquaintances, and so on.

Although the author appeals to the reader as if teaching you the tricks of court life, very soon you realize that he is not actually teaching you meanness, but warning you and helping you to recognize it in life.

The book is indispensable for those who have decided to begin their advance into power, and for those who, not wishing to be deceived by big words and false gestures, hope to be able to recognize what a particular potential servant of the people is.

Well, if you are not interested in politics, but you enjoy reading historical anecdotes, then you will find them here in abundance: textbook and little-known, paradoxical, funny and instructive - they will bring you joy. Some stories you read for the first time, in others, well-known events will appear before you in a completely new light. For the author, recounting the events of the past, which can be read in other books, gives them a completely original, original and unconventional treatment, making unexpected and non-trivial conclusions.

48 Laws of Power: Preface

The feeling of having no power over people and events is usually unbearable for us--powerlessness makes us feel miserable. No one aspires to have less power; everyone wants more. In today's world, however, it is not safe to appear too eager for power, not to hide our desire for it. We should appear glorious, honest and humble. So we have to apply the subtle art of being well-meaning but cunning, democratic but insincere.

This constant ambivalence is most reminiscent of the games that took place in the court of royalty in ancient times. In the course of history, the court was always formed around a person in power - a king, a queen, an emperor, a leader. Court, which constituted the court, were often in a very, very delicate situation: it was necessary to serve their masters, but if it looked outright sycophancy, too blatant ingratiation, the other courtiers did not miss the chance to turn it against them. So tricks had to be used to make sure that their attempts to win the lord's favor did not seem too blatant. And even experienced courtiers, capable of such subtlety, still had to be mindful of defenses against rivals who were ready to push them away at any moment. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)


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48 laws of power reviews
Margaret Alabama

I found this book very helpful - Robert Greene is a great teacher and writer. Probably 48 laws of power is the one of the best on the topic
48 laws of power reviews
Paul D. Hu Totonto

48 laws of power ebook PDF is a good option for a student. Personally I bought a hardcover version, my colleague has also purchased a kindle PDF version. Robert Greene is one of my favourite authors from now.
48 laws of power reviews
financeguy?2008 Wilde London

Robert Greene is the best! 48 laws of power is certainly a good one for MBA students