48 Laws of Power (was: ExI Reading List)

From: S.J. Van Sickle (sjvan@csd.uwm.edu)
Date: Mon Jan 21 2002 - 09:53:54 MST

On Mon, 21 Jan 2002 maxmore@speakeasy.net wrote:

> I welcome suggestions for books to add -- especially if they were already
> on the old list, and *especially* if they come with one-paragraph
> mini-reviews explaining why they are of extropian interest. Fiction
> books certainly have a place.

Hmmm...has anyone read the book "48 Laws of Power" by Robert Greene?

The title is dreadfull, but the book itself is fascinating. I'm only
partway through; it is a large and dense book. Less prescriptive than
descriptive, it illustrates what are not so much "laws" as general
principles that are used in the excercise of power, with guidance on both
their use and defense against. Most importantly, rather than making bald
assertions (which would result in a 48 page stinker), the book is a wealth
of stories, fables, annecdotes, and historical events culled from ancient
China, classical Greek and Roman history, renaissance Italy, the medeieval
Church and more, with characters ranging from Cassanova, to the con-man
"Yellow Kid" Weil, to Henry Kissinger.

It also has an interesting, almost hypertext structure that makes it fun
for brousing in small bits. That is helpful, since it is not a thin book.

I'd need to think more on it, and I would love some outside opinions, as
to whether this is "extropian". What it is is an unflinching look at how
people really go about influencing one another, for good or ill. A modern
day Machiavelli.

steve van sickle

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