Power tripping

Stay alert to avoid a nasty fall

Power struggles are a part of life. And while the game to achieve power can sometimes mirror the uglier side of life, you still have to know how to play. Joost Elffers and Robert Greene sum it up best: “Certain actions almost always increase one’s power, while others decrease it and even ruin us.

For those scaling the corporate ladder — or just looking to improve personal relationships — Elffers and Greene, co-authors of The 48 Laws of Power, have set out to explain the seductiveness of power. Drawing on 3,000 years of history, they use examples set by everyone from Machiavelli to Haile Selassie to Ivan the Terrible to illustrate mankind’s innate ambition to attain and wield power.

Readers will learn how to avoid being taken advantage of by not blindly trusting everyone (Law 4), mastering the art of reinventing themselves (Law 25) and acting with boldness (Law 28). To support their arguments, the authors put various fables and folktales in the book’s margins as examples of each law. Keys to understanding each law’s essence and, when applicable, each law’s exception are also offered.

It must be stressed that some of the points are not kind. In fact, some may seem downright dirty. But when it comes to the issue of power, just about anything goes. So, for those who desire to attain power and enhance their ability to use it — and especially those who want to protect themselves from cold-hearted domination — The 48 Laws of Power is a must-read.

The 48 Laws of Power, by Joost Elffers and Robert Greene (Viking, $24.95). To order, call 800-BOOKS-NOW or visit www.BooksNow.com/Black Enterprise.

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