Robert Greene is an American author best known for his books on strategy, power, and manipulation. His professional debut, a 1998 book called The 48 Laws of Power, was extremely successful and sold over 1,000,000 copies in the U.S. alone. Greene's subsequent releases enjoyed similar success and included titles such as The Art of Seduction and The 33 Strategies of War. In addition to his writing, Greene has worked as an adviser to film producer Brian Grazer, American Apparel CEO Dov Charney, and marketing expert Ryan Holiday. In 2009 Greene released his fourth book, The 50th Law, which presented his ideas on power in context of the life of rapper 50 Cent. The author currently resides in Los Angeles.
In October 2010, Greene gave a speech at Yale University in which he discussed the core tenets of his philosophy. The understanding of this philosophy, coined "radical realism" by Greene at the speech, was a key to the success of leaders ranging "from Napoleon Bonaparte to Cleopatra to John F. Kennedy." The role that strategic manipulation plays in our species' interaction with one another cannot be overstated. Using the themes of earlier texts such as Machiavelli's The Prince and Lao Tzu's The Art of War, Greene's insight not only accounts for the politics that transpire on the world stage, but also the subtle, everyday communication and competition between average people. Since its release, The 48 Laws of Power has been cited in the works several authors including Robert Levine, Ehsan Honary, and Josh Kaufman. The book has also become one of the most requested in prison libraries. Greene elaborates on many of the ideas found in his books through his blog Power, Seduction, and War.
People have a natural tendency to avoid the subject of power. No one wants to view human nature in a negative light, and for many, it is difficult to accept the underlying dynamics of our interaction. In order for us to progress, Robert Greene reasoned, we must accept what is already there. And whether we can see it or not, the 48 Laws of Power are in full effect every day of our lives.