The 48 Laws of Power


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After listening to and enjoying the hell The 50th Law I decided to circle back and listen to Robert Greene’s earlier work, The 48 Laws of Power.

The structure of the chapters was quite formulaic, but were easily digestible. Each chapter started off by stating the law and then goes into observances and transgressions of the law with a historical story. After the story there is a a bit of further explanation or interpretation.

One of my favorite laws and accompanying stories was law #30, make your accomplishments seem effortless. The story was about Harry Houdini and one of his rivals which he was able to defeat and humiliate in a handcuff duel.

I also found it quite interesting that at least a couple of the laws talked about how coming across as a workaholic is a negative thing. Very much mirrored some of my thoughts on how working all the time as an indicator of a lack of ability. Work smart, not hard.

The audiobook for The 48 Laws was evidently an abridged version and not having read the book version, I’m unsure if I had missed out on anything. That said, 48 separate laws are a lot to take in. Since every chapter was a new law, there wasn’t a ton of reiteration or reaffirmation of the content.

Because of that, I know my retention rate is probably a bit lower, so it would definitely be worth another read. I’d go after the written version next time to see if there was anything missing.