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48 Laws of Power

Written by: Robert Greene
Narrated by: Richard Poe
Length: 23 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (78 ratings)

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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

Critic Reviews

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

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That's one of the great Books I have listened to

If you don't know about these laws, then you will be a prey in this society rather than the predator

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Must read for leaders and anyone who wishes power

You want power? Want to influence people around you? Want to earn respect and admiration of all around you? Want more loyalty from your subordinates? Want your enemies to fear you?
You are in luck for you have found the perfect book. These lessons are crux of lifetime experiences of monarchs, dictators,bureaucrats, leaders in short anyone who handled power masterfully. Save decades of your precious time and save yourself from con artists and deceivers by reading this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Subject matter is great.

It helped me gain confidence in learning something about strategic thinking. It's great to learn about ancient wisdom.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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excellent book

excellent narrative and examples. very informative. even if we do no practice it would help to understand world better way.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A well researched and must read book.

An astonishing insight into history and drawing lessons both good and bad. It not only brings out the importance of social skills but also guides to sharpen them. A must read for people who enjoy games of power.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Captivating, engaging and addictive.

You can learn a lot from this book, enhance your social skills and gain power in every sphere of life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Best for Self Development

We had this book title but its so much better to listen to here, while working or travelling. These laws will change the way people behave towards you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Remarkable

A remarkable collection of ideas on how to succeed in an ever more political world.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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need local language HIndi.

only English is not understandable every one if it is available local language amazon will get good revenue from audible.

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Briliant book

One book that I kept on listening at every given opportunity. Best use of my commute time.

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  • Gaggleframpf
  • 25-02-16

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.

825 of 867 people found this review helpful

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  • Juan
  • 14-02-16

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.

196 of 211 people found this review helpful

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  • V. Taras
  • 12-09-18

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.

42 of 47 people found this review helpful

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  • DC
  • 18-03-16

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.

95 of 108 people found this review helpful

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  • Marlon
  • 07-07-16

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.

114 of 130 people found this review helpful

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  • G. Gregg Petty
  • 22-02-16

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.

39 of 44 people found this review helpful

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  • Peter
  • 26-06-17

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.

61 of 71 people found this review helpful

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  • Kami
  • 27-04-16

Lessons To Learn

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

40 of 47 people found this review helpful

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  • Dan Collins
  • 14-09-16

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.

66 of 80 people found this review helpful

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  • DBruno1987
  • 28-04-16

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.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Santiago
  • 17-10-16

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.

42 of 47 people found this review helpful

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  • Rocky
  • 17-02-17

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!

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Bernice
  • 07-07-16

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.

21 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • catrix
  • 19-08-16

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.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • biscuitfiend
  • 23-06-16

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.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Joshua Offer
  • 30-11-15

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.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • habab Mohd Mustafa
  • 12-03-19

excellent

what a thrilling and interesting listen. very dark yet very factual. a useful guide to power in this century

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Christina
  • 02-01-19

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • cmj123
  • 11-03-16

Very interesting and insightful

Useful insight to power. Need to rethink the implementation of the laws in my life.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • K. Nwangwu
  • 04-09-19

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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  • Tom
  • 23-04-18

Just try 3 Laws

Where does 48 Laws of Power rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best books, if you're one who strives for a better life

What did you like best about this story?

Wonderfully organised and sequenced

Any additional comments?

Just pick 3 laws that really hit you hard. Try them in your everyday interactions.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • blanchard0b
  • 12-10-17

Amazing

Great performance, great content, great author. Amazing sums it up well. Robert Greene is a very good writer and thinker

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Villa
  • 02-04-19

How to be successive

I have learnt so much in this book. This book has taught me how to be a better version of myself and helped me understand the reasons behind many actions we make today. It does not hold back on some of the brutal truths. A crucial book that teaches the essence of what makes a person powerful and influential. Honestly, you will make better choices after reading this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • mr
  • 03-04-18

a very interesting book

This book has some great insights into how politics affect your every day life and how a bit of thought about how you operate can have significant impact on your outcomes

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jack
  • 03-09-19

Might have been good enough in 2000, but not today

This book works to a degree as a guide for life, but it's just so impractical and removed from the way that things work nowadays. It's so machiavellian but its examples are so abstract. Also, its laws tend to contradict themselves or could be applied in numerous ways to modern solutions. I think it's good general knowledge for the beginner though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-06-19

Temporary power

Interesting opinion, books based on manipulation and deceit. I don’t believe these laws will bring lasting power.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael Cassius
  • 08-08-19

PERFECT ... for anyone, everyone, for all reasons

This book should be considered as staple reading for everyone who sees value in knowing the personalities they will inevitably come to deal with - its incredibly written, historical examples are accurate, entertaining and easily digestable in their own right.

I've purchased hardcopies for myself that we're loaned but never to returned lol, copies as gifts and copies on most digital book channels.

I can't gush enough how this book prepared me in business and in social situations ... if only I discovered this book sooner.

All I can say is just read it, learn it, love it, live it... (and you'll thank the author 'Robert Greene' later).



2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-09-19

The two horses

Two horses were carrying two loads. The front horse went well, but the rear horse was lazy. The men began to pile the rear horse's load on the front horse; when they had transferred it all, the rear horse found it easy going, and he said to the front horse: "Toil and sweat! The more you try, the more you have to suffer." When they reached the tavern, the owner said; "Why should I fodder two horses when I carry all on one? I had better give the one all food it wants, and cut the throat of the other; at least I shall have the hide." And so he did.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-09-19

Intriguing, informative and seductive, but beware!

Beware the underlying assumptions, some of which are slickly promulgated in the Preface. For instance:
“.. all of us hunger for power…”;
“Learning the game of Power requires..a shifting perspective….”;
“Love and affection are.. potentially destructive in that they blind you…”; and
“You cannot supress ..love, but it should not affect your plans or strategies in any way….”

Beauty goodness and truth seem to be despised as useful only as tools of deceit.
Be wary of darkness masquerading as light and enlightment. The type of role models esteemed by the author,should provide a cautionary note to any thinking person!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-07-19

Inspiring!

Robert Greene presents a concise presentation of all the ways in which we can get ahead in live, truly the 48 Laws of Power are laws to live by.