The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version) Book Summary - The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version) Book explained in key points
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The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version) summary

Robert Greene

The secret methods to getting what you want

4.1 (1823 ratings)
33 mins

Brief summary

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene is a compelling and in-depth analysis of the mechanisms of power and how to attain it. It illustrates 48 laws that are used by successful individuals to achieve their goals and dominate over others.

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    The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version)
    Summary of 12 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 12

    Don’t outdo the master.

    Have you ever tried to impress your boss, only to have your efforts backfire on you? Well, you may have accidentally violated the first law of the game of power, which is, in Greene’s words, to never outshine the master

    The first law of power dictates that we should appear humble to our superiors, the people who have more power than we do.

    After all, powerful people want to be the center of attention; trying too hard to impress them can shift attention away from them and onto you, hurting their pride in the process.

    But what’s even worse is acting superior to them, a move that could lead your boss to think of you as a threat to their position. If this happens, they may – they probably will – attempt to remove you from your position entirely.

    Take the relationship between King Louis XIV of France and Nicolas Fouquet, the king’s finance minister. A smart and loyal advisor, Fouquet became indispensable, but this didn’t guarantee him the position of prime minister when the incumbent minister died. To gain the king’s favor, Fouquet threw a lavish party at his extravagantly furnished chateau to show the king how well-connected and influential he was. 

    The next day, Fouquet was arrested by order of the king. Louis XIV felt overshadowed, and he accused the minister of stealing to amass such extravagant wealth. The veracity of the accusation was beside the point. Fouquet lived out his remaining days in a prison cell. 

    So now you know: acts of extravagance and demonstrations of personal brilliance might not impress your boss. Quite the contrary. So how can you gain favor? Well, a better strategy is to always make the person in charge look better than everyone else, including yourself. 

    Take Galileo Galilei as an example. He desperately needed funding for his research and found an ingenious way to get it. He had spent years begging various patrons for funding, but would usually receive gifts instead of the necessary cash. So he decided to focus on one family – the Medicis – when, in 1610, he discovered the four moons of Jupiter.

    Shortly before, Cosimo II de’ Medici had established Jupiter as the symbol for the Medici dynasty. When Galileo discovered Jupiter’s four moons, he linked his discovery to the enthronement of Cosimo II de’ Medici, proclaiming it a cosmic event that heralded the family’s ascendancy. He said that the four moons represented Cosimo II and his three brothers, while Jupiter itself was Cosimo I, the father of the four Medici brothers. This tickled his patron’s ego, who interpreted the discovery as a heavenly omen confirming the family’s greatness. 

    By making the Medici family appear glorious and aligning their name with the cosmos, Galileo secured himself a salaried position as the official philosopher and mathematician of Cosimo II. He never had to beg for funding again.

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    What is The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version) about?

    The 48 Laws of Power (1998) takes an irreverent look at the fundamental characteristics of power, and how to understand it, defend against it and use it to your advantage These blinks offer compelling insights, backed by historical examples, into the dynamics of competition and control.

    The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version) Review

    The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version) (1998) by Robert Greene is an intriguing book that sheds light on the principles of attaining and exerting power. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Packed with timeless strategies, it offers practical insights on how to navigate the complex dynamics of power in different situations.
    • Drawing from historical examples and case studies, Greene presents a compelling analysis of power dynamics, making the book informative and enlightening.
    • Its provocative nature as it challenges conventional wisdom and encourages readers to critically evaluate power dynamics makes the book anything but boring.

    Who should read The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version)?

    • Entrepreneurs looking to gain the upper hand in their market
    • Anybody who wants to acquire power, or protect themselves and others from it
    • People interested in the history of power dynamics

    About the Author

    Robert Greene is an American author, public speaker and graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. The 48 Laws of Power is the first of five international bestsellers penned by Green about strategy, power and success.

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    The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version) FAQs 

    What is the main message of The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version)?

    The main message of The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version) is how to gain and maintain power in various aspects of life.

    How long does it take to read The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version)?

    The reading time for The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version) varies, but it takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in a matter of minutes.

    Is The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version) a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version) is a fascinating read that offers insights into the dynamics of power. It's definitely worth your time.

    Who is the author of The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version)?

    The author of The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version) is Robert Greene.

    How many chapters are in The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version)?

    The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version) has multiple chapters, but they don't have specific titles. The book is organized into several sections rather than traditional chapters.

    How many pages are in The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version)?

    The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version) contains a total of 452 pages.

    When was The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version) published?

    The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version) was published in the year 1998.

    What to read after The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version)?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The 48 Laws of Power (Old Version), here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Daily Laws by Robert Greene
    • The Art of War by Sun Tzu
    • 12 Rules For Life by Jordan B. Peterson
    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
    • The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene
    • Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz
    • How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes
    • Atomic Habits by James Clear
    • 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin
    • Influence by Robert B. Cialdini