This book came to me when I was trying to figure out nuances of human behaviour. I don’t remember, if I bought this book or was passed on to me…. But I am happy that it remained with me. It took me 6 months to figure out the book is really about. I think, I have got what it is trying to say.
When it comes to morality and ethics, people are used to thinking in terms of black and white. Conversely, “The 48 Laws of Power” deals primarily with the grey areas. At the risk of sounding melodramatic and trite, I say that most of the Laws covered in this book can be used for great evil or for great good. It depends on the reader. There is really nothing wrong with most of the Laws.
Each Law comes with true stories from history about those who successfully observed it and those who foolishly or naively transgressed it. Robert Greene has an interpretation for each story. Though each Law is self-explanatory, Greene’s explanations are not padding, fluff or stuffing to make the book longer. They actually give greater clarification and depth. Greene’s insight even extends to crucial warnings about how the Laws could backfire.
There are two reasons to read this book:
1. For attack: To gain power, as have others who have carefully observed the Laws;
2. For defence: To be aware of ways that people may be trying to manipulate you.