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The Laws of Human Nature

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  6,523 ratings  ·  683 reviews
From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power comes the definitive new book on decoding the behavior of the people around you

Robert Greene is a master guide for millions of readers, distilling ancient wisdom and philosophy into essential texts for seekers of power, understanding and mastery. Now he turns to the most important subject of all - unders
Kindle Edition, 624 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Viking
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Ryan Boissonneault
Pros: a great primer on the psychological tendencies that pull us all in certain directions, mostly to the detriment of our rational goals. Robert Greene identifies 18 such “laws,” providing historical and biographical sketches that demonstrate each law in practice. He then provides strategies for turning each law—with its inherent self-destructive tendencies—into an advantage. The author draws on a vast storehouse of examples, and his emphasis on rationality and examples from ancient Greece are ...more
Dec 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: waiting
Robert Greene again looks at everything from distance. He mentions a lot of names, so his story can hold to something, but in fact, his research is awful.

When he mentions Disney park in Paris, he mentions that the park wasn't a success because people in France "don't like to stay in lanes. They also expect beer and wine in theme parks, and there was a lack of such a beverage.

I recently read another book, also mentioning this park. The author saw that Paris Disneyland was set up the same way USA
Gary Moreau
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
So much of discovery is a search for patterns. What links to what? Which variables are related? But patterns aren’t always signs of connection or influence. They can be causal or merely coincidental. And they are seldom universal.

Which is exactly why such a high percentage of scientific discovery turns out to be incorrect, or at least not complete. There is a pattern, but it’s not THE pattern – or at least not the only pattern. And, of course, patterns tend to change over time for a nearly infin
Gary  Beauregard Bottomley
Apr 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
See if you can spot the flaw with this: The law of aggression is universal. Everyone has aggression. Those who don’t admit to their own aggression are frustrated. The frustrated are angry and therefore become aggressive. Obviously, it’s tautological (the conclusion is within the premise), it’s pseudo-scientific (there is no way to refute the assertion), it sounds so wise and meaningful until one considers it says nothing of substance and there is no way to refute such nonsense unless one removes ...more
Dustan Woodhouse
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: personal-dev
Just hit repeat once you’re finished it.

And again.
And again.

This content is the stuff of life, business, love, etc.

Robert Greene will be looked back on hundreds of years from now as one of the great thinkers of our time.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I don't think I've ever highlighted as much in a book as in this one. It gave me answers to probably 90% of questions concerning humans that I have floating around my mind.
Akhil Jain
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My fav quotes (not a review):
-Page 29 |
"In his conception, the human mind has to worship something, has to have its attention directed to something it values above all else. For most people, it is their ego; for some it is their family, their clan, their god, or their nation. For Pericles it would be nous, the ancient Greek word for “mind” or “intelligence.” Nous is a force that permeates the universe, creating meaning and order. The human mind is naturally attracted to this order; this is the s
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Okay book on the topic. I would call them tendencies instead of strict laws especially because some are not really universal. Also there could have been more evolutionary psychology for there is nothing more fundamental to our nature plus the cognitive biases could have been added (some are mentioned like the most fundamental pain avoidance/ pleasure seeking). But all in all really enjoyable book.
Kair Käsper
Apr 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: human-psychology
Welcome to the Dark Side. This book is written by a man who lives in a hostile world where every day is a power struggle with other divisive beings like yourself. If you think manipulating with others to get what you want is morally wrong, you are detached from reality… and lazy (yep, the author actually says this outright).

What you’ll find in this book are Greene’s interpretations of human tendencies uncovered by psychoanalysts 70-100 years ago spiced up with captivating mini-biographies of fam
Laura Noggle
*2020* Update I find myself referencing and recommending this book to people quite often. Might need to do a reread soon.

Similar in many ways to both The 48 Laws of Power and Mastery. Lots of short "common tendencies" vs any true or rock solid "laws." Still very interesting, I can see myself revisiting this one in the future.

In fact, I've decided I want to add this one to my physical collection. A good book to jump in and out of.

Here's an excellent overview of the 18 laws Greene covers in the b
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Robert Greene is a great collector of information and a great writer. His snippets of history are interesting and his lessons are also good ones and when you first read it, it feels very insightful. But with just a little reflection, the connection sort of falls apart. The lessons don't really match the stories--and the lessons aren't all that new. I read it not in one sitting--just here and there when I was in the mood and that was not a bad way to read. Just interesting reminders to pay attent ...more
Jonathan Metze
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
must read if you have to interact with... anyone
Jan 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
One of the few books I had to put down. The author simultaneously expresses that we need to hide our real self, wear masks, and essentially manipulate others while also reducing historical figures to one-dimensional jungian caricatures for critique.

I'm not sure if he is aware of the hypocritical nature of what he is saying, addresses it towards the end of the book or is just the perfect example of the duality of mind in criticizing others while justifying ones own acts.
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I judge how much I enjoy a book based on how well it does one or more the following:

1. Gives me new and interesting ways of looking at the world.
2. Gives me new and interesting ways of looking at myself and others.
3. Challenges my values is some way.

This book satisfies all three of my criteria. It satisfies the 2nd more than any book I've ever read. Robert really gets under your skin with this one.

This is by no means a perfect book. I found the book a little repetitive/stale at some points. Robe
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe Greene's whole oeuvre has been an elaborate plot to decrease chaos in the world. He has written some of the most popular apologies for cynicism since Machiavelli, but then his last book was a brilliant manual for competent creative people on how to be productive despite all the unethical jerks out there.
Mastery by Robert Greene

This newest book, while still full of interesting historical anecdotes, is something of a mess. Some of the comments Greene makes indicate that he has understood that a culture of corr
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The latest book of Robert Greene is bound to become a classic. The author of 48 laws of power, Seduction, Mastery and Power has brought out a near comprehensive study of the human dimensions. These are complex at the same time contradictory and changing as well. The author delves deep into the life story of select individuals who had reached the pinnacle of their careers. Distils the essence of their human nature. And also summarises the actions one needs to take as an apprentice while being com ...more
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology, wisdom
"If you come across any special trait of meanness or stupidity you must be careful not to let it annoy or distress you, but to look upon it merely as an addition to your knowledge-a new fact to be considered in studying the character of humanity. Your attitude towards it will be that of the mineralogist who stumbles upon a very characteristic specimen of a mineral."
--Arthur Schopenhauer

Understand. Like everyone, you think you are rational, but you are not. Rationality is not a power you were bo
Arina Novik
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The select man, the excellent man is urged, by interior necessity, to appeal from himself to some standard beyond himself, superior to himself, whose service he freely accepts. . . . We distinguished the excellent man from the common man by saying that the former is one who makes great demands on himself, and the latter the one who makes no demands on himself, but contents himself with what he is, and is delighted with himself. Contrary to what is usually thought, it is the man of excellence . . ...more
Geoff Bartakovics
Nov 03, 2018 rated it liked it
My favorite kind of self-help read. The Robert Greene books are like Plutarch's Lives of famous people for the modern age: each "law" of human nature is demonstrated by an anecdote from history or literature. Not as good as Law of Power or Laws of Seduction, because this is much broader and therefore more rambling. But a lot of fun.
Temoc Sol
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Incredible work by author Robert Greene. Check out my full book review on “The Laws of Human Nature” on my Booktube/authortube channel on YouTube. ...more
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
I've enjoyed Robert Greene's previous books immensely. The 48 Laws of Power was my introduction to the Machiavellian world of power and intrigue. Each page of the book was filled with useful ways to create an aura of power and become a more powerful social creature. His later book, Mastery focused more on an improvement of the self. In this book Greene explored the ways one can learn from the various Masters who have lived before us and have made a profound impact in various areas. And it was wi ...more
Joc Cing
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Caution! Reading this book from cover to cover will change you. For managers, this is a book that provides greater insights to why people behave the way they do, so that we may approach a science of HRM, founded on these laws, which allow analysis into any human and social context. If you are tired of simply following the typical ‘N steps/ways to manage this or that’ which HBR likes to churn out, this is the foundation to start with.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Another great work by one of my favourite authors. Honestly, the book could finished on page 400, what follows is a fascinating narrative told through many seemingly random stories to prove certain points of human nature. Never have I expected to find an elaborate biography of Chekhov or a 40-page French Revolution 101 course in this book.

A must read for all the fans of 48 Laws of Power.
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a real treasure when it comes to know the various features of human nature influencing the wellbeing of human being. It convincingly gives the detailed account of how in a complex web of human relations humans can play pivotal role to personal achievement and satisfaction. The book certainly is for every humans on the planet wishing and dreaming ever the success moments barring failures. In the journey of life there are wise signs to each of the human beings which have to be picked ...more
Lady Jane
I am already a fan of Robert Greene's works, so naturally I had been anticipating the release of this book ever since he announced on Twitter that he was working on a new book on human nature. Laws of Human Nature didn't disappoint! It is an unabashed exposé of one of my favorite subjects, the contemplation of what it is to be human in all its wonders and inconsistencies. It is neither a critical judgment of nature nor a defense; it is simply a forthright and unaffected analysis of the human con ...more
Farhan Khalid
Instructive guide to human nature and people’s behavior, based on evidence rather than a particular viewpoint or moral judgment

It is a brutally realistic appraisal of our species, dissecting who are we so we can operate with more awareness

Read More
Noor Ali
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Reading a book written by Robert Greene always proves to be a fun experience. I enjoy these kind of reads and I like the way he articulates his ideas into words. I'm always fascinated by his fresh perspectives on things. This book was no different from his other works but I still think that nothing he had written so far will ever top The 48 Laws of Powers.
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved every part of Robert Greene's book!
Included it in my growth mindset books selection.

Poor Bjorn
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Greene puts a lifetime of studies of human nature into one huge and important volume.
This book covers: character, toxic personality types, narcissism, cognitive biases, archetypes, childhood trauma, desirability, shortsightedness, the Shadow, attitude, group dynamics, leadership, persistence, fearlessness, purpose. The list goes on...
📝 You are more like than Louise XVI than you think!
📝 What you and me try tell ourselves: “I’m different. I’m more rational than others, more ethical as well.”
I got mine on the 18th from Chapters Indigo! I was worried they would deliver it late but I got mine before release!

I do miss the layout style of his other classic books however I can see this as a move to make them even more timeless. I do sense the typical Hollywood Anti Trump anger at times, which betrays the wisdom of the book, not because I stand on either side but the principles of power, war, and seduction are fact, not opinion. Why editorialize? Overall, it's great, he's still the master
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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

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