By Robert Greene (Penguin)
To be taken with a considerable grain of salt, this book is a worthy update of and complements Machiavelli’s almost 500-years old treatise of power and politics.
“Amoral or immoral, this compendium aims to guide those who embrace power as a ruthless game, and will entertain the rest. Elffers’s layout (he is identified as the co-conceiver and designer in the press release) is stylish, with short epigrams set in red at the margins. Each law, with such allusive titles as “Pose as a Friend, Work as a
Spy,” “Get Others to Do the Work for You, But Always Take the Credit,” “Conceal Your Intentions,” is demonstrated in four ways: using it correctly, failing to use it, key aspects of the law and when not to use it. Illustrations are drawn from the courts of modern and ancient Europe, Africa and Asia, and devious strategies culled from well-known
personae: Machiavelli, Talleyrand, Bismarck, Catherine the Great, Mao, Kissinger, Haile Selassie, Lola Montes and various con artists of our century. These historical escapades make enjoyable reading, yet by the book’s conclusion, some protagonists have appeared too many times and seem drained. Although gentler souls will find this book frightening, those whose moral compass is oriented solely to power will have a
perfect vade mecum.”
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.