The 48 Laws of Power was written by Robert Greene, who is also known for writing bestselling non-fiction books such as The 33 Strategies of War, The Art of Seduction, Mastery, The 50th Law, and The Laws of Human Nature. His debut book, The 48 Laws of Power, was critically acclaimed. However, the book was equally controversial due to the author’s take on several aspects such as power, money, and fame.

In addition to having an almost cult-like following within the business world, especially in Washington, D.C., Greene’s books are sought after not by just businessmen, but also war historians and some renowned figures in the music industry such as Jay-Z and 50 Cent.


In his handbook, Robert Greene lists down The 48 Laws of Power on the art of indirectly obtaining power based on the rules set forth by successful men and women for over thousands of years. These are compiled from the writings of strategists as great as Sun Tzu and Clausewitz, statesmen as illustrious as Bismarck and Talleyrand, and some of the other powerful personalities to have walked the earth. The premise of the laws is that certain acts always augment power while others curtail it.

He states each of his laws in detail along with examples of how to handle a situation and work smart (and not hard) to achieve power. Greene says that power has been the most sought-after trait for time immemorial, and it is only fitting that one seeks ways to acquire it.

Some laws such as Law 9: Win through actions, never through argument, Law 13: When asking for help, appeal to people’s self-interest, never to mercy or gratitude, and Law 25: The past is not your identity: recreate yourself expound the need to believe in yourself, to always strive to be a better version of yourself, and to know that you can always rise from the ashes.

While others such as Law 29: Planning all the way to the end is a must, Law 36: Ignore the things you cannot have, Law 40: Don’t fall victim to free things, and Law 34: Act like royalty to be treated like one speak about being practical, planning for failures in advance along with the strategies to overcome them, and seeing the potential in yourself before you confidently showcase it to others.

Some laws even touch upon the gray areas of leading a successful life. Some of these are: Law 17: Keep others suspended in terror by cultivating unpredictability, Law 27: Take advantage of people’s needs to create a cult-like following, and Law 32: Take advantage of the fantasies of other people.

Ultimately, it is the readers who make or break the book, and, despite some of its seemingly scandalous laws, The 48 Laws of Power strikes an undeniable chord with a worldwide audience.


Readers of the self-help genre will benefit immensely from the tips and techniques shared by the author. These apparently sly tricks have aided men and women all across the world in proving their mettle in their respective fields.


While the author does reaffirm that his strategies are more of ‘a necessary evil’, it still leaves room for doubt if they are craftier than necessary. As entertaining and insightful as it might be, when in the wrong hands, the book is bound to feel like a trickster’s fodder.


Do not leave your reputation to chance or gossip; it is your life’s artwork, and you must craft it, hone it, and display it with the care of an artist.

Never waste valuable time, or mental peace of mind, on the affairs of others – that is too high a price to pay.


Ameya Score:

Regardless of its massive success, The 48 Laws of Power could never escape from the reality that its strategies can be used for both the good and the bad. That said, the book merits a commendable score of 3.5 out of 5 stars for coming up with some thought-provoking ideas.

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