The 48 Laws of Power
|the 48 Laws of Power By Robert Greene|
|The 48 Laws of Power (2000) is the first book by American author Robert Greene. The book, an international bestseller, is a practical guide for anyone who wants power, observes power, or wants to arm himself against power. |
BackgroundGreene initially formulated some of the ideas in The 48 Laws of Power while working as a writer in Hollywood and observing that today's power elite shared similar traits with powerful figures throughout history. In 1995, Greene worked as a writer at Fabrica, an art and media school, and met a book packager named Joost Elffers. Greene pitched a book about power to Elffers and six months later, Elffers requested that Greene write a treatment.
Although Greene was unhappy in his current job, he was comfortable and saw the time needed to write a proper book proposal as too risky. However, at the time Greene was rereading his favorite biography about Julius Caesar and took inspiration from Caesar's decision to cross the Rubicon River and fight Pompey, thus inciting the Great Roman Civil War. Greene would follow Caesar's example and write the treatment, which later became The 48 Laws of Power. He would note this as the turning point of his life.
SynopsisThe 48 Laws of Power are a distillation of 3,000 years of the history of power, drawing on the lives of strategists and historical figures like Niccolò Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, and P.T. Barnum. The book is intended to show people how to gain power, preserve it, and defend themselves against power manipulators. Each law is its own chapter, complete with a "transgression of the law," "observation of the law," and a "reversal." Those laws are:
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