Sara's Reviews > Concise 48 Laws of Power 2nd Edn

Concise 48 Laws of Power 2nd Edn by Robert Greene
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Apr 03, 09

Read in May, 2007

This book does not have to be construed as a means to cruel and heartless power any more than Sun Tzu's The Art of War should be viewed as such. Are some power tactics manipulative? Yes. Does getting to the top sometimes involve taking an opportunity away from someone else? Yes. Is power necessarily a bad thing? No. Often, yes. Though this is not necessarily the case. Greene outlines a number of the aspects of power, giving concrete and interesting examples from history.

For those that say they cannot stomach this book I say they have dich0tomous view of the world, for there is nothing on this earth that is purely good or purely evil. Even the taking of a human life, murder, has circumstances under which it is not viewed as an evil act. Altruism is not always done with the intent of doing good selflessly; though it may sound like an oxymoron there is such a thing as selfish altruism.

To read this book is to gain knowledge, specifically knowledge of power, and unless you intend to use that knowledge for evil reasons, it is nothing more than information as one can find in another book. Dale Carnegie's famous How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the most popular and best-selling psychology/self-help books of all time - and yet I doubt the same critics whose stomachs turn in the reading of this book would say the same of the former. The information in that book involved power tactics and social manipulation to more an extent than does this book.

Some power tactics that are employed or described herein may be viewed as immoral or unethical, but the author does not sanction nor encourage them. And they are not all unethical - this would mean every person that has gained power is in some way immoral, and while this may be true on many counts, I believe certainly there are many exceptions. He simply has simply done his homework and can speak knowledgeably on the subject of power. Whether the reader intends to use this knowledge for good or bad is up to them.

I might also add that, for one to have such a visceral, negative reaction to this book - perhaps there is something unacknowledged within yourself that caused such a reaction? It is that which we do not acknowledge about ourselves that rules us all.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Virochan (new)

Virochan good review
one should not hate this book, but read and then see how the world works


message 2: by Ken (new)

Ken Very insightful review. Some people will walk away after reading this book or any others mentioned in the reviews, will become more 'evil'; while some will walk away 'wiser'.


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