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Robert Greene (1) (1959–)

Author of The 48 Laws of Power

For other authors named Robert Greene, see the disambiguation page.

22+ Works 12,110 Members 119 Reviews 13 Favorited

About the Author

Robert Greene was born on May 14, 1959 in Los Angeles, California. He attended the University of California, Berkeley before transferring to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he received a B.A. in classical studies. Before becoming an author, he worked a variety of jobs including show more construction worker, translator, magazine editor, and Hollywood movie writer. In 1995, he worked as a writer at Fabrica, an art and media school in Italy, and met a book packager named Joost Elffers. Greene pitched a book about power to Elffers and wrote a draft, which eventually became his first book, The 48 Laws of Power. His other works include The Art of Seduction, The 33 Strategies of War, The 50th Law, and Mastery. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: www.author-robertgreene.com

Works by Robert Greene

Associated Works

High glitz : the extravagant world of child beauty pageants (2009) — Introduction, some editions — 12 copies


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Common Knowledge



Although delving at times into what must be unhappy memories of his parents, Robert Greene touches on ideas also found in Austin Kleon's Steal Like an Artist series, especially about time and practice, and Dr. Caroline Leaf's research on the neuroplasticity of the brain, enabling us to grow and change. Lots of good encouragement here! I'd like to get a paperback and highlight/circle sections to read aloud to my kids. There is a lot of redundancy and detail that I would edit out, to keep their attention yet share the gems.… (more)
TheLibraryAnn | 12 other reviews | May 24, 2024 |
I really like Robert Greene as a media presence and his prose is very like his oratory.
However, The 48 Laws is a really dispiriting book. Although I DNF'd the abbreviated version many years ago, I thought I would give the full work a go.

The jaundiced views make it a negative book to read, not helped by the some fairly embarrassing and tenuous "evidence". Clearly inspired by Machiavelli's The Prince, the negative positions throughout are exhausting.
Intellectually this is a nice idea, and it has clearly made Robert Green a lot of money, but in for the reader it is frustrating. It feels somehow hollow, perhaps because for each example Greene chooses, it isn't that difficult to come up with a polar opposite that would demonstrate a contrary law.
In fact, there are many internal inconsistencies within the laws...maybe "it depends" is the overriding message?

Recently, I saw Greene explain the logic of this book, by saying it's a way of making you aware of the kinds of people that are in the world, and allowing you to be better able to deal with them. If that was the case, then why didn't he write that book?

That being said, The 48 Laws are interesting thought experiments and both the layout and prose are engaging. I will continue to read Robert's books, but I wouldn't recommend this one.
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CraigGoodwin | 64 other reviews | May 5, 2024 |
Unexpectedly good read

I didn't really know what to expect going into this book but am very glad I read it. It's very inspiring and an all around great mindset book.
J3R3 | 5 other reviews | Apr 19, 2024 |
All in all, this book was fine. There's some good advice in some of the laws, and lots of interesting stories, history, and parables throughout that illustrate the laws. All this book did for me was highlight that I am NOT a power-grabber. So many of the laws are focused on how to use others for your personal gain ... and that's just very against my philosophical programming. Still, interesting stuff. Just not my cup of tea.
teejayhanton | 64 other reviews | Mar 22, 2024 |



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