THE BESTSELLING BOOK FOR THOSE WHO WANT POWER, WATCH POWER, OR WANT TO ARM THEMSELVES AGAINST POWER . . .
A moral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this piercing work distills three thousand years of the history of power into forty-eight well-explicated laws. As attention-grabbing in its design as it is in its content, this bold volume outlines the laws of power in their unvarnished essence, synthesizing the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun-tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, and other great thinkers. Some laws require prudence ("Law 1: Never Outshine the Master"), some stealth ("Law 3: Conceal Your Intentions"), and some the total absence of mercy ("Law 15: Crush Your Enemy Totally") but like it or not, all have applications in real-life situations. Illustrated through the tactics of Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, P. T. Barnum, and other famous figures who have wielded — or been victimized by — power, these laws will fascinate any reader interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control.
Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this piercing work by the bestselling author of "The 33 Strategies of War "and "Mastery" distills 3,000 years of the history of power in to 48 well-explicated laws As attention-grabbing in its design as it is in its content, this bold volume outlines the laws of power in their unvarnished essence, synthesizing the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun-tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, and other great thinkers. Some laws teach the need for prudence ("Law 1: Never Outshine the Master"), the virtue of stealth ("Law 3: Conceal Your Intentions"), and many demand the total absence of mercy ("Law 15: Crush Your Enemy Totally"), but like it or not, all have applications in real life. Illustrated through the tactics of Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, P. T. Barnum, and other famous figures who have wielded—or been victimized by—power, these laws will fascinate any reader interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control. Also look out for Robert Greene's latest book, "Mastery," and discover just what it takes to be great.
Robert Greene, author of "The 48 Laws of Power" and "The Art of Seduction," has a degree in classical studies.
Joost Elffers is the producer of the bestselling "The 48 Laws of Power" and "The Art of Seduction,"
"Machiavelli has a new rival. And Sun Tzu had better watch his back. Greene . . . has put together a checklist of ambitious behavior. Just reading the table of contents is enough to stir a little corner-office lust."--New York magazine "Beguiling . . . literate . . . fascinating. A wry primer for people who desperately want to be on top."--People magazine
"An heir to Machiavelli's Prince . . . gentler souls will find this book frightening, those whose moral compass is oriented solely to power will have a perfect vade mecum." --Publishers Weekly
"Satisfyingly dense and . . . literary, with fantastic examples of genius power-game players. It's The Rules meets In Pursuit of Wow! with a degree in comparative literature."--Allure
Praise for The 48 Laws of Power : "It's the rules for suits . . . Machiavelli has a new rival. And Sun Tzu had better watch his back. Greene . . . has put together a checklist of ambitious behavior. Just reading the table of contents is enough to stir a little corner-office lust." - New York magazine
Table of Contents About the Authors Title Page Copyright Page Dedication Acknowledgments PREFACE LAW 1 - NEVER OUTSHINE THE MASTER LAW 2 - NEVER PUT TOO MUCH TRUST IN FRIENDS, LEARN HOW TO USE ENEMIES LAW 3 - CONCEAL YOUR INTENTIONS LAW 4 - ALWAYS SAY LESS THAN NECESSARY LAW 5 - SO MUCH DEPENDS ON REPUTATION-GUARD IT WITH YOUR LIFE LAW 6 - COURT ATTENTION AT ALL COST LAW 7 - GET OTHERS TO DO THE WORK FOR YOU, BUT ALWAYS TAKE THE CREDIT LAW 8 - MAKE OTHER PEOPLE COME TO YOU-USE BAIT IF NECESSARY LAW 9 - WIN THROUGH YOUR ACTIONS, NEVER THROUGH ARGUMENT LAW 10 - INFECTION: AVOID THE UNHAPPY AND UNLUCKY LAW 11 - LEARN TO KEEP PEOPLE DEPENDENT ON YOU LAW 12 - USE SELECTIVE HONESTY AND GENEROSITY TO DISARM YOUR VICTIM LAW 13 - WHEN ASKING FOR HELP, APPEAL TO PEOPLE'S SELF-INTEREST, NEVER TO THEIR ... LAW 14 - POSE AS A FRIEND, WORK AS A SPY LAW 15 - CRUSH YOUR ENEMY TOTALLY LAW 16 - USE ABSENCE TO INCREASE RESPECT AND HONOR LAW 17 - KEEP OTHERS IN SUSPENDED TERROR: CULTIVATE AN AIR OF UNPREDICTABILITY LAW 18 - DO NOT BUILD FORTRESSES TO PROTECT YOURSELF-ISOLATION IS DANGEROUS LAW 19 - KNOW WHO YOU'RE DEALING WITH-DO NOT OFFEND THE WRONG PERSON LAW 20 - DO NOT COMMIT TO ANYONE LAW 21 - PLAY A SUCKER TO CATCH A SUCKER-SEEM DUMBER THAN YOUR MARK LAW 22 - USE THE SURRENDER TACTIC: TRANSFORM WEAKNESS INTO POWER LAW 23 - CONCENTRATE YOUR FORCES LAW 24 - PLAY THE PERFECT COURTIER LAW 25 - RE-CREATE YOURSELF LAW 26 - KEEP YOUR HANDS CLEAN LAW 27 - PLAY ON PEOPLE'S NEED TO BELIEVE TO CREATE A CULTLIKE FOLLOWING LAW 28 - ENTER ACTION WITH BOLDNESS LAW 29 - PLAN ALL THE WAY TO THE END LAW 30 - MAKE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS SEEM EFFORTLESS LAW 31 - CONTROL THE OPTIONS: GET OTHERS TO PLAY WITH THE CARDS YOU DEAL LAW 32 - PLAY TO PEOPLE'S FANTASIES LAW 33 - DISCOVER EACH MAN'S THUMBSCREW LAW 34 - BE ROYAL IN YOUR OWN FASHION: ACT LIKE A KING TO BE TREATED LIKE ONE LAW 35 - MASTER THE ART OF TIMING LAW 36 - DISDAIN THINGS YOU CANNOT HAVE: IGNORING THEM IS THE BEST REVENGE LAW 37 - CREATE COMPELLING SPECTACLES LAW 38 - THINK AS YOU LIKE BUT BEHAVE LIKE OTHERS LAW 39 - STIR UP WATERS TO CATCH FISH LAW 40 - DESPISE THE FREE LUNCH LAW 41 - AVOID STEPPING INTO A GREAT MAN'S SHOES LAW 42 - STRIKE THE SHEPHERD AND THE SHEEP WILL SCATTER LAW 43 - WORK ON THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF OTHERS LAW 44 - DISARM AND INFURIATE WITH THE MIRROR EFFECT LAW 45 - PREACH THE NEED FOR CHANGE, BUT NEVER REFORM TOO MUCH AT ONCE LAW 46 - NEVER APPEAR TOO PERFECT LAW 47 - DO NOT GO PAST THE MARK YOU AIMED F∨ IN VICTORY, LEARN WHEN TO STOP LAW 48 - ASSUME FORMLESSNESS SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX ABOUT THE AUTHORS Robert Greene has a degree in classical studies and has been an editor at Esquire and other magazines. He is also a playwright and lives in Los Angeles. Joost Elffers is the producer of Penguin Studio's bestselling The Secret Language of Birthdays, The Secret Language of Relationships, and of Play With Your Food. He lives in New York City. PENGUIN BOOKS Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A. Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pry Ltd) Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi-110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Mairangi Bay, Auckland 1311, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England First published in the United States of America by Viking Penguin, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. 1998 Published in Penguin Books 2000 Copyright © Joost Elffers and Robert Greene, 1998 All rights reserved A portion of this work first appeared in The Utne Reader. CIP data available. ISBN: 9781101042458 The scanning, uploading and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated. A Treasury of Jewish Folklore by Nathan Ausubel. Copyright © 1948, 1976 by Crown Publishers, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Crown Publishers, Inc. The Chinese Looking Glass by Dennis Bloodworth. Copyright © 1966, 1967 by Dennis Bloodworth. By permission of Ferrar, Straus and Giroux. The Book of the Courtier by Baldesar Castiglione, translated by George Penguin Books (London). Copyright © George Bull, 1967. The Golden Dream: Seekers of El Dorado by Walker Chapman; Bobbs-Merrill. Copyright © 1967 by Walker Chapman. The Borgias by Ivan Cloulas, translated by Gilda Roberts; Franklin Watts, Inc. Copyright © 1987 by Librairie Artheme Fayard. Translation copyright © 1989 by Franklin Watts, Inc. Various Fables from Various Places, edited by Diane Di Prima; Capricorn Books / G. P. Putnam's Sons. © 1960 G. P. Putnam's Sons. Armenian Folk-tales and Fables, translated by Charles Downing; Oxford University Press. © Charles Downing 1972. The Little Brown Book of Anecdotes, edited by Clifton Fadiman; Little, Brown and Company. Copyright © 1985 by Little, Brown and Company (Inc.) The Power of the Charlatan by Grete de Francesco, translated by Miriam Beard. Copyright, 1939, by Yale University Press. By permission of Yale University Press. The Oracle: A Manual of the Art of Discretion by Baltasar Gracián, translated by L. B. Walton; Orion Press. Behind the Scenes of Royal Palaces in Korea (Yi Dynasty) by Ha Tae-hung. Copyright © 1983 by Ha Tae-hung. By permission of Yonsei University Press, Seoul. The Histories by Herodotus, translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt, revised by A. R. Burn; Penguin Books (London). Copyright © the Estate of Aubrey de Sélincourt, 1954. Copyright © A. R. Burn, 1972. Hollywood by Garson Kanin (Viking). Copyright © 1967, 1974 by T. F. T. Corporation. Fables from Africa, collected by Jan Knappert; Evan Brothers Limited (London). Collection © 1980 Jan Knappert. The Great Fables of All Nations, selected by Manuel Komroff; Tudor Publishing Company. Copyright, 1928, by Dial Press, Inc. Selected Fables by Jean de La Fontaine, translated by James Michie; Penguin Books (London). Translation copyright © James Michie, 1979. The Romance of the Rose by Guillaume de Lorris, translated by Charles Dahlberg; Princeton University Press. The Complete Essays by Michel de Montaigne, translated by M. A. Screech; Penguin Books (London). Translation copyright © M. A. Screech, 1987, 1991. A Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi, translated by Victor Harris; Overlook Press. Copyright © 1974 by Victor Harris. The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, revised standard version, edited by Herbert G. May and Bruce M. Metzger; Oxford University Press. Copyright © 1973 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Makers of Rome: Nine Lives by Plutarch, translated by Ian Scott-Kilvert; Penguin Books (London). Copyright © Ian Scott-Kilvert, 1965. The Rise and Fall of Athens: Nine Greek Lives by Plutarch, translated by Ian Scott-Kilvert; Penguin Books (London). Copyright © Ian Scott-Kilvert, 1960. Cha-no-yu: The Japanese Tea Ceremony by A. L. Sadler; Charles E. Tuttle Company. © 1962 by Charles E. Tuttle Co. Amoral Politics: The Persistent Truth of Machiavellism by Ben-Ami Scharfstein; State University of New York Press. © 1995 State University of New York. Caravan of Dreams by Idries Shah; Octagon Press (London). Copyright © 1970, 1980 by Idries Shah. Tales of the Dervishes by Idries Shah. Copyright © Idries Shah, 1967. Used by permission of Penguin Putnam Inc. and Octagon Press (London). The Craft of Power by R. G. H. Siu; John Wiley & Sons. Copyright © 1979 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. The Subtle Ruse: The Book of Arabic Wisdom and Guile, translated by Rene R. Khawam; East-West Publications. Copyright © 1980 English translation East-West Publications (U.K.) Ltd. The Art of War by Sun-tzu, translated by Thomas Cleary; Shambhala Publications. © 1988 by Thomas Cleary. The Art of War by Sun-tzu, translated by Yuan Shibing. © 1987 by General Tao Hanshang. Used by permission of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 387 Park Avenue South, Ne
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