What Is The Difference?
The 48 Laws Of Power is a book about how to gain, understand, and avoid losing power. Once you read it you will begin to see power moves and failures everywhere. It has 48 laws that you can apply to life. These laws function best as tools, each being used in different ways and in different situations to maximize your power. At very least, the book is useful for understanding how people who want power behave.
The 33 Strategies Of War is another book on a similar topic. It focuses on laying out a strategic set of steps for waging war. It begins by talking about how you must first wage war on yourself. It has offensive, defensive, and dirty strategies. Most importantly, the book teaches you some warfare theory but focuses on how to practically apply the ideas.
Both books have similar structure as they draw on ancient theories and stories. They analyze these stories for positive and negative things you can learn about whatever principle it discusses. Then each book provides practical keys for applying the lessons learned. Each book’s chapters end with a caution of how the opposite of the rule could be applied.
The primary difference is that the 48 laws book is focused on very specific rules for how to gain power. The 33 strategies are focused more on building a general framework so you can better understand how to do battle. You could say Greene created one book for daily rules to focus. He created another book to help people understand how and when to put those rules into practice.
If you haven’t read any of Robert Greene’s books yet, read the 48 Laws Of Power first. It is his classic book and the most popular one for a reason. Then check out our article that discusses in which order you should read Greene’s works.
If you want to know more about the 48 Laws Of Power, check out our in depth summary here.
For more on the 33 Strategies and what makes it different from another famous book on strategy, check out this page.