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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  4,207 ratings  ·  343 reviews
The eagerly anticipated new book from the author of the bestselling The 48 Laws of Power

What did Charles Darwin, middling schoolboy and underachieving second son, do to become one of the earliest and greatest naturalists the world has known? What were the similar choices made by Mozart and by Caesar Rodriguez, the U.S. Air Force’s last ace fighter pilot? In Mastery, Rober...more
Hardcover, 318 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Viking Adult (first published November 1st 2012)
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Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power is his most notorious work, so blatantly amoral that many of its adherents are rumored to hide in the closet. But since its publication, his work has gradually taken a moral turn. In his follow-up, The Art of Seduction, Greene mentions having compassion for one’s “victim”—he or she being seduced. The 33 Strategies of War instructs readers that there is no moral value in ignoring certain tenets. In Mastery, which concerns the pursuit of virtuosity in one’s fie...more
Courtney Rene
We all are searching for power of some type. We may not say it out loud, but deep inside we all know that this is a true statement. Whether it’s power through success or power through knowledge or whatever, we are all searching. On this quest for power we usually find that we have personal obstacles that get in our way, that we struggle to overcome, and block us at every turn. This book, Mastery by Robert Green wants to teach you how to overcome one of the biggest obstacles we face. The obstacle...more
Dave Bolton
Unfortunately a mess of ideas and misconceptions (did you know that Albert Einstein discovered relativity due to spending a badly estimated 10,000 hours thinking about it over 10 years?) that did little to illuminate mastery. Lord, even the table of contents is confusing.

Some of the profiles are interesting, but they are also repetitive. Each time a profile is incrementally built on, one has to read all the parts that were earlier presented, which is a ridiculous way to treat a studious reader.

Drawing lessons from the lives of accomplished people, this book offers practical, organized advice for how to realize your own Life's Task.

If a friend had not recommended this book to me, I doubt I would ever have given it a look. I bought Greene's The 48 Laws of Power a few years ago but quickly found it to be repugnant. It struck me as being a manual for psychopaths: handsome, well laid out, well thought out--and chilling. I wondered what sort of a person Robert Greene must be.

I probably stil...more
I spent almost as much time getting myself to write a review for this book as I have reading it. Is it a five star book? Is the repetition of featured stories (you know what I'm talking about if you've read it) such a big deal? Am I just getting fooled by Greene and riding an emotional high of "anything is possible to master if you set your mind to it"?

I've slept on it for long enough to conclude that this book indeed IS brilliant.

It completely shatters the myth of iconic people being destined...more
Ben Lever
Definitely one of the greatest books I've ever read.

Greene brings together the stories of various masters over the centuries - from scientists to pilots to boxers to writers - to show how one truly masters a field. Combating the pernicious myth of the naturally-talented genius who comes out of nowhere with the world-changing idea, he shows how an intense apprenticeship is necessary for the deep insights these masters produce - even though this apprenticeship does not often take the route of a co...more
Richard Gazala
Each of us has a passion. For a variety of reasons within and outside our control, very few of us pursue our respective passions to the point of achieving mastery over them. Author Robert Greene's great new book, "Mastery," can't help us defeat objective limitations truly beyond our control that prevent us from mastering those passions. Barring such limitations, however, "Mastery" is brilliant. It's nothing short of a concise, elegantly written, well-researched and deeply inspirational guide to...more
This book is one of the better ones I have read. The book contains, for example, useful advice as well as several good examples of what masters such as Albert Einstein and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart did. Reading the book, I learned, for example that a deep inclination toward a particular subject / niche / field lies at the core of mastery. This inclination is a reflection of a person’s uniqueness. To find your path to mastery, you need first to listen to whom you are, listen to what dominates your...more
David Bradley
Robert Greene's Mastery explores the lives of many historical Masters (Mozart, Da Vinci, Proust, etc.) and explains how their Mastery is attainable for everyone. By ignoring societal constraints and complications, following our own interests, serving time in an apprenticeship phase, and staying committed to our craft, Greene believes that everyone can become a Master and make lasting contributions to society.

While I like Greene's message and find his writing to be absorbing, I have some serious...more
I read this with lots of reservation. After all, I've read so many self-help and enlightenment sort of books before, so what could be new in this one right?
Well, there were plenty. It offers plenty of examples so it's more like a show than tell sort of approach, which I appreciated. There are a lot of nuggets in it that will allow the reader to reflect on the unifying theme of what Mastery is about. In my case, it was relevant because I have mastered (no pun intended) the jack-of-all trades conc...more
“To the extent that we believe we can skip steps, avoid the process, magically gain power through political connections or easy formulas, or depend on our natural talents, we move against this grain and reverse our natural powers. We become slaves to time – as it passes, we grow weaker, less capable, trapped in some dead end career. We become captive to the opinions and fears of others.” (9) “This intense connection and desires allows them to withstand the pain of the process – the self-doubts,...more
Doug Lautzenheiser
On my bookshelf are four books by Robert Greene covering Power, War, Seduction, and Mastery. Greene has an amazing ability to research and summarize the great people and topics of the world.

In this particular book Greene explores Mastery, providing insight into the lives of amazing people of whom we have all heard: Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Benjamin Franklin, and Leonardo da Vinci. But Greene also includes some modern day geniuses and heroes of lesser renown, such as: John Coltrane, Freddie...more
Ryan Deluca
One of the best books I've ever read. Should be required reading for every teenager that wants success in life.
I had high hopes for Mastery because I really and truly loved The 48 Laws of Power and The 33 Strategies of War (also by Greene) and I also enjoyed Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. There is some minor overlap between Outliers and Mastery, but these are definitely two different books.

I like Greene's approach of using successful historical and current-day "masters" to outline his ideas about how to achieve mastery (I found the Charles Darwin and Benjamin Franklin episodes especially illuminating), a...more
Like his other books: well written and inspiring, illustrated with great historical examples. What sets Mastery apart is that it's about getting the best out of yourself, instead of getting the best out of the world around you, making this his best book so far.
Aaron Goldfarb
If you're a Greene fan, you're going to like this one. But it's also a good starting point if you've never read any of his works before. Personally, I still think 33 STRATEGIES OF WAR is his all-encompassing masterwork, but MASTERY is still highly valuable.
This book in a nutshell is a compilation of masters in their field and their individual story on how they each achieved Mastery. The author elaborates on how you too, the reader, can reach Mastery. There is a specific path you must follow in the field of your choice to be, one day (7-10 years later), recognized as an expert in your field.

First and foremost, you must have an intrinsic desire to learn more, and become more in that particular passion of yours; and a magnificent obsession at takin...more
For a book that received mostly 4-5 stars on amazon and audible, this was particularly bad. So many other books on what drives success are so much better. For instance, Talent is Over-rated. Or Outliers. Or Drive. And the message is work hard and find something you are passionate about so that you work hard. Two main reasons why the book is so terrible.

First, it was meandering and long-winded trying to tie stories about evolution and human history to 'mastery'. And that was mostly nonsense and...more
I won this book as part of Goodreads' First Reads program in exchange for my honest review.

This book is really 2 distinct parts. The first is a series of biographies on modern and classic 'masters' in their respective fields. The second part is examining what lessons can be learned from these masters and how they can be applied in our everyday lives to become masters in our own rights.

I really enjoyed the biographies, they were a series of short, concise examinations of great people that was enj...more
*Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the Goodreads First Reads Program.*

I have never read anything similar to "Mastery" before and approached Greene's book with an open mind. The lessons in these pages are invaluable. Greene uses examples of household names to convey the idea that mastering something is so much more than an innate talent or uncanny ability. The book is well organized. The one thing I wasn't a fan of was the font size. Being that this reads almost like an academic text, the t...more
Arjun Ravichandran
'Mastery' is not of the same ilk as the supremely concise and concentrated '48 Laws' ; neither is it the deep psychological excavation of fear that was 'The 50th Law' ; It is an altogether different beast.
Fans of Greene's previous work who were expecting a manifesto (that is to say, a clear and sharp work) will be disappointed. The book is more diffuse, more abstract, and altogether, more difficult to get a good hold of.
That's not to say the book isn't without value. It's just different from Gr...more
Srl Leguisamo
Demostró el punto desde el principio despues el libro se volvió redundante, debo calificar este libro la primera mitad 5 estrellas la segunda mitad un tres, al final debido al afán por repetir una y otra vez las mismas historias me quedo con el tres, pero la primera mitad debe ser leída.
When you read a great book at the right time, it can only go in the category of Supremely Fucking Awesome.
Chris Craddock
The Greene is Always Grasser

I haven't read any of Robert Greene's other books yet, as I probably will given how much I enjoyed Mastery, but the closest thing that I could compare it to is Macolm Gladwell's Outliers. They both offer case studies of great men or women and showcase how that greatness was attained. Mastery offers more of a formula on how you can achieve mastery whereas Gladwell's main point was the 10,000 hour rule, that you need to spend at least 10,000 hours devoted to your chosen...more
Abdul Malik Omar
Apr 05, 2013 Abdul Malik Omar rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Abdul by: 48 Laws of Power
Mastery by Robert Greene enables You to know Thyself.

As you read through the book, you will come to fully realize and appreciate the hard work that is needed in to accomplish one's Life's Task. You may call it your Definite Purpose in life-as famously coined by Napoleon Hill-and by right this book is somewhat an expression of a modern age "Think and Grow Rich". Contained in Robert's book is a seminal idea, borrowed from the wisdoms from ages past and present, whose time has finally come.

This book is my new personal bible for self-development.

"In our culture we tend to equate thinking and intellectual powers with success and achievement. In many ways, however, it is an emotional quality that separates those who master a field from the many who simply work at a job".

"Finally, you must not see this process of moving through the levels of intelligence as merely linear, heading toward some kind of ultimate destination know as Mastery. Your whole life is a kind of apprenticeship to w...more
William Darpinian
To preface this, I'm not the book's intended audience. Mastery is aimed at people who're looking to make sense of their passions and pursue a direction in life, and a lot of the book's prose is nuanced with those people in mind. Where they might find it inspiring, I found wading through it for the useful bits irritating.

I thought Greene's other books (The Laws of Power, the 51st Law, the Strategies of War and the Art of Seduction) were all absolutely spot on and very insightful. The writing in t...more
Just like "42 Laws of Power" and the "Art of Seduction", this book is definitely an interesting read... but you really won't walk away with any specific tactics to apply to your own life when you're done with the book.

"Mastery" argues that apprenticeship as the purest, most concentrated vehicle of learning... yet its significance (and its very existence) is lost in modern society. The book also provides some pretty in-depth case studies of successful apprenticeships throughout the ages, from Mo...more
Josh Masterson
This was a pretty good book, laying out a very basic principle: to become a master at anything, you have to work your ass off. The 10,000 hour / 10 year rule is Robert Greene's maxim, and the evidence he lays out is fairly compelling. He argues that there are no real 'freaks of nature' - that so-called geniuses like Einstein and Mozart actually put in at least 10,000 hours of work before they really hit their stride.

At times he can be a bit simplistic, and he casually dismisses the notion that...more
I really, really, really, really wish that I could have given this book 5 stars. The information in this book was really mind-blowing and it really made me seriously stop and think about some of the choices that I have made in my life. It pointed out to me some of the things that I could have done differently. This book is better than a lot of self-help books that I have read in terms of success. One of the reasons why I couldn't give this book a higher rating was because there was a lot of info...more
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More examples of Mastery 1 7 Jun 23, 2014 04:50AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect grammar 2 43 Jan 28, 2014 02:48PM  
Must I "adore" my Life's Task? 2 43 Apr 23, 2013 03:51AM  
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There is more than one author by this name on Goodreads.

Best-selling author and public speaker, Robert Greene was born in Los Angeles. He attended U.C. California at Berkeley and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he received a degree in classical studies. He has worked in New York as an editor and writer at several magazines, including Esquire; and in Hollywood as a story developer and...more
More about Robert Greene...
The 48 Laws of Power The Art of Seduction The 33 Strategies of War The Concise 48 Laws of Power The 50th Law

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“Think of it this way: There are two kinds of failure. The first comes from never trying out your ideas because you are afraid, or because you are waiting for the perfect time. This kind of failure you can never learn from, and such timidity will destroy you. The second kind comes from a bold and venturesome spirit. If you fail in this way, the hit that you take to your reputation is greatly outweighed by what you learn. Repeated failure will toughen your spirit and show you with absolute clarity how things must be done.” 72 likes
“In the future, the great division will be between those who have trained themselves to handle these complexities and those who are overwhelmed by them -- those who can acquire skills and discipline their minds and those who are irrevocably distracted by all the media around them and can enver focus enough to learn.” 41 likes
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