Robert Greene

I came across a chapter from Robert Greene’s The 50th law when looking up a quote from Machiavelli and thought his work was pretty interesting. Has anyone read any of his work? If so, what would you recommend for a start?

I read the 48 Laws of Power back in like 2006 or so, haven’t read anything else by him since. I don’t think I’m manipulative enough to make much use out of it.

I have the 48 Laws of Power and I read some of it. I think he also wrote 33 Laws of Seduction or something. I bought it for entertainment value. It wouldn’t do much for me, because I’m old, fat, poor, ugly, and married. If I were a young BSD like WYG, BWYF, or Systematic, I’d be getting strange every night with it!

^Why is my name not first on that list?



48 Laws of Power is a must read. Even if you don’t plan on using those tactics, it’s good to know what they are so that you can guard against it when someone tries to use it on you.

“Mastery” is another great book from Greene. So far I’m only 1/4 through it, but it’s good stuff so far.

The books are pretty amazing. Really amazing actually. I think you need to be something of an intellectual to really get the most out of them though since most of the books are structured with chapters that are each composed of a story where Greene makes key points throughout or at the end but doesn’t provide an explicit road map. He doesn’t say, “Do X and then Y specifically in order to pwn people,” it’s more like food for thought that you could then later apply creatively or be aware of. That might be frustrating to some people. However, if you enjoy well crafted stories with some unique insights and have an active mind, this is a great collection of books.

I think the books get an unfairly bad rap in some ways which is partly Greene’s own fault for the sensational titles he gives them (which are probably required to maximize sales of the books – so maybe that’s his publisher’s fault). If you’re the kind of person who wants rail against all things potentially devious, deceptive, etc. then you will have an easy case here. Personally though, I think the main appeal of the books (for me at least) is that they can be used offensively or defensively. You don’t have to be a sociopathic manipulator to benefit from the knowledge imparted in the books, you can benefit by knowing how other people might be trying to manipulate you.

My own experience is that there is a lot of trolling in general that happens in business and it’s good to be aware of the range of possibilities for when you run into a troll, so I’d recommend any of the books on that basis, except possibly Mastery which I haven’t read yet.

Highly recommend you read his book “The 33 Strategies of War”; surprised no one mentioned it. Don’t let the title fool you- its really all about the principles of warfare as applied to business and relationships. You will get blown away by this book. I’m reading it now, and its been a great ride so far. Page after page filled with the wisdom of master strategists like Sun Tzu, von Clausewitz, Napoleon, etc… Its all about how we can apply those principles to survive and prevail in the Corporate jungle. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. I compared this to Mastery, and found the latter to be drier, more verbose and fewer real life examples. My two cents.Cheers!