“Trashed by some and cherished by others, 48 Laws of Power was an immediate best seller at 1.2 million copies.It was a big hit in prison libraries and among music promoters and stars. Rumor has it that Fidel Castro was also a fan of the book.”
48 Laws of Power
48 Laws of Power (1998 (Viking Press) (HC); 2007 (HighBridge Audio) CD,ISBN 0-670-88146-5 (HC); 978-1-59887-092-3 (CD), 452 pp. Self Help.) was the first book by Robert Green, the author of The Art of Seduction.
Here are some excerpts:
“Never assume that the person you are dealing with is weaker or less important than you are. Some people are slow to take offense, which may make you misjudge the thickness of their skin, and fail to worry about insulting them. But should you offend their honor and their pride, they will overwhelm you with a violence that seems sudden and extreme given their slowness to anger. If you want to turn people down, it is best to do so politely and respectfully, even if you feel their request is impudent or their offer ridiculous.”
“The key to power, then, is the ability to judge who is best able to further your interests in all situations. Keep friends for friendship, but work with the skilled and competent.”
“A heckler once interrupted Nikita Khrushchev in the middle of a speech in which he was denouncing the crimes of Stalin. “You were a colleague of Stalin’s,” the heckler yelled, “why didn’t you stop him then?” Khrushschev apparently could not see the heckler and barked out, “Who said that?” No hand went up. No one moved a muscle. After a few seconds of tense silence, Khrushchev finally said in a quiet voice, “Now you know why I didn’t stop him.” Instead of just arguing that anyone facing Stalin was afraid, knowing that the slightest sign of rebellion would mean certain death, he had made them feel what it was like to face Stalin—had made them feel the paranoia, the fear of speaking up, the terror of confronting the leader, in this case Khrushchev. The demonstration was visceral and no more argument was necessary.”
Wikipedia has this to say about this controversial book:
“The 48 Laws of Power has been reported to be much requested in American prison libraries, and has been studied as a first year text in some US colleges. Former drug dealer Curtis Jackson (now better known as rapper 50 Cent) stated that he related to the book “immediately”, and approached Greene with the prospect of a potential collaboration, which would later become The 50th Law, another New York Timesbestseller. Busta Rhymes used The 48 Laws of Power to deal with problematic movie producers. DJ Premier has a tattoo inspired from Law #5, “Reputation is the cornerstone of power”, on his arm and DJCalvin Harris has an “Enter with boldness” arm tattoo based on Law #28. The 48 Laws of Power has also been mentioned in songs by UGK, Jay Z, Kanye West, and Drake.  Dov Charney, founder and former CEO of American Apparel, frequently quoted the laws during board meetings, has given friends and employees copies of the book, and appointed Greene to the board of American Apparel. Former Cuban President Fidel Castro is also claimed by the book’s author to have read the book.
“Oysters open completely when the moon is full; and when the crab sees one it throws a piece of stone or seaweed into it and the oyster cannot close again so that it serves the crab for meat. Such is the fate of him who opens his mouth too much and thereby puts himself at the mercy of the listener.”
– Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519”