The 48 Laws of Power has sold over 1.2 million copies in the United States and has been translated into 24 languages. Fast Company called the book a “mega cult classic”, and The Los Angeles Times noted that The 48 Laws of Power turned Greene into a “cult hero with the hip-hop set, Hollywood elite and prison inmates alike”.

The 48 Laws of Power has been reported to be much requested in American prison libraries, and has been studied as a first year text in some US colleges.Rapper 50 Cent stated that he related to the book “immediately”, and approached Greene with the prospect of a potential collaboration, which would later become The 50th Law, another New York Times bestseller. Busta Rhymes used The 48 Laws of Power to deal with problematic movie producers. DJ Premier has a tattoo inspired from Law #5, “Reputation is the cornerstone of power”, on his arm and DJ Calvin Harris has an “Enter with boldness” arm tattoo based on Law #28.The 48 Laws of Power has also been mentioned in songs by UGK, Jay Z, Kanye West, and Drake. Dov Charney, founder and former CEO of American Apparel, frequently quoted the laws during board meetings, has given friends and employees copies of the book, and appointed Greene to the board of American Apparel.Former Cuban President Fidel Castro is also claimed by the book’s author to have read the book. The book has been banned by several US prisons.

Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer said that Greene’s so-called laws are based on isolated examples, and not on solid research.Kirkus Reviews said Greene offers no evidence to support his world view, Greene’s laws contradict each other, and the book is “simply nonsense”.Newsweek also points out ways the laws contradict each other and says “Intending the opposite, Greene has actually produced one of the best arguments since the New Testament for humility and obscurity.” Director magazine notes “some of Greene’s ‘laws’ seem contradictory” and the work is “plodding and didactic”.

Comments