Announcing…Mastery (with special preorder bonuses for you today)

The time has come to officially announce my fifth book, Mastery. In early 2007, I had an epiphany. For the previous eleven years I had immersed myself in a study of the most powerful people in history. I had read one biography after another about great political figures, strategists, scientists, artists, and inventors. And on that particular day, as I was reviewing some old material, it finally struck me: all of these people—no matter their field, culture, or moment in history—followed more or less the same pattern or pathway to power. The result of that epiphany is Mastery. In analyzing

Hidden Powers & My Next Book: Mastery Part 1

What follows is Part 1 of a two-part post that details the process of completing my fifth book, Mastery. In anticipation of the book’s release on November 13th, I’m releasing Part 2 of this post with a pre-order of Mastery. I’ll be announcing a pre-order offer in a few days but I hope this tides you over until then In my new book Mastery (Viking/Penguin, November 2012), I propose a radical new way of looking at human intelligence and high achievement, countering the various misconceptions we have about talent and genius. I make the case that mastery is a latent

Robert Greene’s Speech at Yale

Below is the transcript of a speech Robert did at Yale in October along with the Q&A that followed. For those of you who would prefer to listen to an mp3 of the speech, you can do that here. Host: Welcome everybody. So, it’s a pleasure to have all of you here, and a particular pleasure to welcome our honored guest, Robert Greene. He is, well, you are all here, so I think you probably know a lot about his books, his writings. I’ll state just a few words. He has trained in classical literature. And then had a very

The Descent Of Power: An Interpretation of the Global Economic Crisis Pt VIII

In closing, I wanted to tell you about a dream I had a couple of months ago–I mean the kind of dream you have in your sleep. I dreamt that it was the year 2070 and that I was walking on the crowded streets of some city. People seemed oddly happy and there was a feeling of lightness in the air, as if something had really changed in the world and we had figured out a better way to live. What was most strange about this dream was that in the midst of it I was conscious of thinking back

The Descent Of Power: An Interpretation of the Global Economic Crisis Pt VII

Now, as I was writing about Napoleon Bonaparte for my book The 33 Strategies of War, in 2003 and 2004, I became intrigued by a company that seemed to exemplify–in an almost uncanny way–the Napoleonic model I have just outlined. That company was Google. I initiated an informal study–gathering as much material and contacts within the company as possible. And as I went deeper into this subject, I saw more and more connections–confirming my idea that there is a pattern to periods of change and revolution. The following is the gist of my analysis: Like Napoleon, the two founders of

The Descent Of Power: An Interpretation of the Global Economic Crisis Pt VI

Napoleon came to power in one of the most chaotic moments in history–the French Revolution. The French people had overthrown a monarchy that had existed for hundreds of years and established a new kind of political order. But because it was so new, nobody quite understood what it all meant. The Revolution led to terror and swings of reaction and more revolution, until in 1796, a turning point had been reached. France’s numerous enemies, lead by the Austrians, were threatening to invade the country and reestablish the old monarchy. The fighting had grown particularly intense in Italy. If the Austrians

The Descent Of Power: An Interpretation of the Global Economic Crisis Pt V

Now, I know that this is not the usual way that people discuss what is currently taking place in the world. Instead, we hear much about the banking industry, the corruption within it, and its preying upon helpless consumers; the new trading technology that makes it harder to think and act for the long-term; the collusion of government in this scheme, and the lack of regulation; on and on. All of these factors are real; they contain elements of truth. But they are not the source of the underlying disturbance. The reality, what is really going on underneath, is that

The Descent Of Power: An Interpretation of the Global Economic Crisis Pt IV

Now at the same time that this wave was building something else was going on, something rather strange. We have gone through two economic bubbles in a very short period of time. Economic bubbles generally occur for two reasons. The first and the one that most people focus on is that businesses are generally flush with cash, have money to burn. They are looking for something new to invest in, some novel source of super capital. It is a feeling in the air–vast amounts of money can be made in some new way. The competition heats up. Someone hits upon

The Descent Of Power: An Interpretation of the Global Economic Crisis Pt III

Now, in the 1990s something else came into being that sped this process along even further. And this was more like warp speed, a sudden acceleration into the future. I am talking about the Internet, or more specifically the world-wide web as it evolved in the early 1990s. The web suddenly provided people three new types of power that had tremendous appeal. First, it gave us access to all kinds of information, without the need for newspapers or traditional forms of media. We could bypass those centers that controlled the flow. We could communicate with likeminded people and share information

The Descent Of Power: An Interpretation of the Global Economic Crisis Pt II

In anthropology there is a concept known as historic fatality. What this means is that occasionally there emerges a certain idea, a certain way of doing things that is so immensely seductive to human beings that eventually it spreads around the globe and forever changes our way of life. One of the greatest examples of this would have to be agriculture. It was centered on a simple idea–instead of constantly searching for new food sources, humans could raise their own food in settled locations. As this took root in several places, it led to the formation of villages, towns, cities,