Friday, May 8, 2009

Books I'm Reading: The 48 Laws of Power

Just finished Robert Greene's The 48 Laws of Power. It's not the sort of book I would have bought off the shelf (If I were the power-hungry type, I imagine I'd be powerful by now; I lust after other things), but it was 25 cents at a San Francisco garage sale. I don't think I've ever come across anything published by Penguin that wasn't worth reading, so, I didn't think twice about buying it, despite having little idea what it was about. Any good book is a bargain at 25 cents.

I occasionally found myself laughing out loud at the sheer audacity of the things the author suggests. Basically, this is a guide to deceiving, manipulating, and taking control of friends, family, colleagues, and enemies, drawing on the lives of many illustrious powerful people through the ages for examples. I hesitate to say the book was instructive, because it is so utterly ruthless in places--in fact, so ruthless that it sometimes left me at a loss as to whether to take it seriously--but the book was, in fact, instructive, and the moral ambiguity was half the fun of reading it. In the end, I really enjoyed this. Recommended.

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