The 48 Laws of Power is a book by American authors Robert Greene and Joost Elffers. The book, an international bestseller, is a practical guide for anyone who wants power, observes power, or wants to arm himself against power. It has sold over 1.2 million copies in the United States and has been translated into 24 languages. The book is much quoted among famous celebrities, rappers, entrepreneurs, athletes and actors including 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, DJ Premier, Dov Charney, Matthew Mansson, Brian Grazer, Andrew Bynum, Chris Bosh, and Will Smith.
Greene initially formulated some of the ideas in The 48 Laws of Power while working as a writer in Hollywood and observing that today's power elite shared similar traits with powerful figures throughout history.
48 Laws of Power is a summary of 3,000 years of the history of power, drawing on the lives of strategists and historical figures like Niccolò Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, Queen Elizabeth I, Al Capone, Henry Kissinger, P.T. Barnum and Baltasar Gracián, whom many of these laws appear to be directly lifted from.
Writing this book turned Greene into a cult hero with the hip-hop set, Hollywood elite and prison inmates alike. It turned many readers of the book into passionate review writers.