If you’ve finished the 48 Laws Of Power and are looking for similar books, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some books that will help you increase your power, just like the 48 Laws. If you want to understand the 48 Laws better, but don’t have the book, check out our detailed guide here.
Power By Pfeffer: This is a really under appreciated book about practical power. It was written by a professor at Stanford to help people better understand how power works in business. Reading this will help you learn how to move up in an organization. This is a practical approach and Pfeffer points out how intelligence, performance, and likeability aren’t the only things necessary for moving up. He points to other things society typically shuns like self promotion, establishing control, and acting are important to perfect. This is arguably the most practical alternative to the strategy based sections of the 48 Laws Of Power. Note, Pfeffer has more technical and dense versions of this book that you might check out if you enjoy this version.
Master Of The Senate By Caro: Significantly different from the other books on this list, this book is a biography about Lyndon B Johnson’s time ‘running’ the senate. It is on this list because it details the steps Johnson took to become one of the most powerful people of his time. It is a long read but there are a few really useful nuggets. For example it talks about how Johnson gathered tons of information about his fellow senators, what they liked and disliked, where they got their power from, and when they were strongest and weakest. It also covers how he turned lesser groups in the senate into power bases that increased his control. The author specifically says he was interested in documenting how Johnson gained, held, and utilized power. It echos and gives practical examples of topics hinted at in the Power book by Pfeffer, listed earlier. For example it talks about how Johnson rose to power in part because of the support of oil men in his state. This really is a great book as long as you are patient and have a bunch of time on your hands. You’ll need it as each book is about 1200 pages long and there are four of them. We will probably eventually put out a strategic book summary of the work and link to it from here. In the mean time just read this article. (Caro also wrote another real life power book called The Power Broker.)
The Craft Of Power By Siu. It calls itself a comprehensive guide to gaining, maintaining, and using power. It is very similar to the 48 Laws. The book points out how control is the most important thing for power. The book reminds you that taking power is almost always necessary. It says you shouldn’t fight a battle unless you see a clear reward for victory. Great book despite many of the concepts overlapping with the 48 Laws.
The Prince By Machiavelli: If you haven’t read this book, it is in many ways, the original book about power. We discuss the differences in more detail here, but in many ways Machiavelli is a primary influence on Greene’s 48 Laws. Machiavelli teaches you the importance of things like keeping people dependent on you.
The 33 Strategies Of War By Greene: This book provides an excellent counter punch to the 48 Laws Of Power. It gives very practical and applicable advice on how to institute modern battle. For example, one chapter talks about how to do battle with people who try to withhold information or are resentful. One technique he suggests using is to tell people to do something they are already going to do. For example, you can tell someone who doesn’t want to share information with you that they shouldn’t tell you anything more than necessary. This direction puts them in a bind. They can either comply, and be seen as subservient and accepting of your leadership, or they can resist, and tell you what you want to know. There are hundreds of similar techniques you can use with just about any personality you come across.
The Art Of War By Sun Tzu: While quite abstract, this book has all the theory you will need to strategize your ways to your goals. It covers tricks like appearing weak when you are strong, so your opponents will attack, how to reward loyalty and good performance, and more. If you want to better understand the theoretical aspect of strategy, read this book. If you like it you can also get “On War” by Clausewitz, which is similar.
Rules For Radicals By Alinsky. This is a book on building political power by organizing. It is written for those who don’t have power and want to take it from those who do. It contains some very useful concepts like make the other person fight outside their area of expertise, and ridicule is a useful weapon. Worth a quick read.
In Sheep’s Clothing By Simon: An underrated book on defending manipulation can teach you a bunch about how it works. This book explains tools used by narcissists to gain control and get their way. He details techniques like diversion, shaming, and rationalizing. This is a great book on setting boundaries and defending against attacks.
Win Friends And Influence People By Carnegie: A classic, this book teaches useful techniques like how to motivate people, how to truly get people to like you, and how to avoid making unnecessary enemies. This book covers many of the more persuasive and social aspects of the 48 Laws.
Our Blog Posts
The 48 Laws cover topics like persuasion, strategy, manipulation, and control. We’ve covered a few of these topics in significant detail. See the links below.
What Makes A Man Powerful? Analysis Of The Godfather: Goes into detail about the science of power. Reading this article will help you better understand where you are strong and weak in the game of power. It provides a category system for analyzing power. Reading this article will help you understand power in any situation better.
How Mental Dominance & Control Work: In this article we discuss the science of control, how it is established and signaled in humans, how to gain respect, and different levels of techniques for gaining control that you can use. This will help you better understand Laws 8, and 31.
A Subtle Manipulation Tactic, The Unexpected Key To Manipulation: If you’ve ever felt like you don’t really understand the core of manipulation, or if you’ve been unsuccessful in your attempts to manipulate or thwart other’s manipulations, this article is relevant. We discuss how to spot weaknesses, the concept of manipulating momentum, and more. This will help you better understand Laws 8, 27, and 33.
The Divide And Conquer Strategy: Is an example of one article we wrote about how to deal with enemies and groups in the workplace. It covers specific actions you can take to turn people against each other. It is a practical example of how to keep the spirit of Law 2.
The Secrets Of Cult Indoctrination: This post analyzes cults and breaks down practical things to look out for. It will help you understand Law 27, create a cult like following.