The Power Breviary

Keep things simple and direct: One of my greatest pet peeves is airy abstractions and unnecessary complications; I like to keep things brutally simple. Here’s how I see it: People want power in their lives. They hate the feeling of not having control. They do whatever they can to get power–consciously or not. Some of this involves manipulations. These manipulations can be analyzed and charted; they are not limitless in number. We are creatures that are often motivated by ego, insecurity, vanity. Mistakes in the power game come from not taking these elemental truths into consideration. In writing the books,

Read More Comments are off for this post.

Seduction Scenario #1

There’s this girl who lives in your area, and whom you have noticed over the past several months. You have never spoken with her, just seen her in passing on a few occasions. She is very beautiful, in a way that gets to you and makes you think of her days later. She tends to downplay her beauty by the way she dresses, but most men would see her as very fetching. You have seen her a couple of times at the supermarket, walking her dog, etc. She has no idea of your existence. One time you saw her with

Read More Comments are off for this post.

48 Laws on ABC

ABC did a piece on 48 Laws of Power on their webcast. You can view it here. Discuss the piece on the thread here.

Read More Comments are off for this post.

The Iraq War and the Military Gamble: Anatomy of a Potential Disaster

Erwin Rommel was an exceptionally brilliant general who had one of the most remarkable runs in warfare with his desert campaigns in North Africa during World War II. Rommel was constantly dealing with problems: his army was small and under-equipped. They did not have as much experience as the English in desert campaigns. And so Rommel had recourse to strategy, to level the playing field. One strategy he depended on was to attack with speed and boldness, controlling the dynamic in the process (see chapters 14 and 15 in The 33 Strategies of War). Simply put, he took risks. Some

Read More Comments are off for this post.

Tactical Hell or Strategic Heaven?

In my book The 33 Strategies of War, I make the point that most of us exist in a realm that I call tactical hell. This hell consists of all of the people around us who are vying for power or some kind of control, and whose actions intersect our lives in a thousand different directions. We are constantly having to react to what this person does or says, getting emotional in the process. Once you sink into this hell, it is very difficult to raise your mind above it. You are dealing with one battle after another, and none

Read More Comments are off for this post.

Is honesty the best policy?

In one of the comments on my first blog entry, reader “James” wrote something that struck a chord, because it is an idea I hear a lot: namely, that it is acceptable behavior to sharply criticize someone in some line of work and if that person does not take it constructively, it is their fault. I am aware James probably meant something more nuanced, such as upon occasion the direct approach works, and I agree with that. But to those who spout honesty as the overall best policy, I cannot disguise my disgust and contempt for such an idea. Let

Read More Comments are off for this post.

Welcome to PS&W: The Introduction to My Blog

When I was fresh out of college and starting my writing career at a magazine in New York, I will never forget a particularly lovely spring afternoon in which the editor of the magazine invited me for lunch to discuss my latest article. I thought it was a good piece I had written and was expecting some praise. Instead, he proceeded to dissect the article, explain why it was so bad, why I would never be a writer, and what other careers I should think about. This of course shocked me. But instead of thinking of myself, I couldn’t help

The Robert Greene Interview, Part 1

This is a three part interview by Tucker Max that will serve as the introduction to Power, Seduction and War: The Robert Greene Blog.   About two months ago Mark Ebner, of Hollywood, Interrupted, called me up. He was either smoking or out of breath, and I couldn’t really understand what he was saying until I heard this sentence: Ebner “Do you know who Robert Greene is?” Tucker “Are you kidding? He’s one of my heroes, I read his books like they are scripture.” Ebner “He wants to a do a website, you interested in talking to him about it?”

The Robert Greene Interview, Part 2

This is Part 2 of 3 of the interview between Tucker Max and Robert Greene. Part 1 can be seen here. TM: Who are your favorite five strategic thinkers? RG: Obviously I’d have to say Napoleon Bonaparte, I consider him the greatest strategist who ever lived. I call him the Mozart of Warfare. Then I’d have to say somebody like Sun Tzu. We don’t know much about him personally; it seems he was a general of some sort. But his book has had such an impact on strategy that you are forced to ask why–why do people still read Sun