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on 6 February 2014
Robert Greene, author of 48 Laws of Power, introduces a sort of follow up: The 50th Law, a collaborative effort with 50 Cent. There's no mention about what happened to the 49th Law, but I guess The 50th Law sounded cooler and tied in the 50 Cent angle. And in spite of the co-author tag on the book, this is clearly written by Robert Greene with input on theme, concept and background information by 50 Cent.

In 48 Laws of Power, Robert Greene used historical facts to reinforce his point and/or method. In The 50th Law, however, he tends to lean towards anecdotes about 50 Cent's past to fill in the gaps--although, in parts, he does still reference historical figures and stories, so it's not a drastic shift in tone from his previous work.

Masked as a business tool, The 50th Law is essentially a self-help book, and the main gist is: FIGHT THE FEAR.

Everything we don't do is due to fear, and if we're able to overcome that fear, we can do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. That's the book in short.

But it's still worth reading.

I felt a weight lift off my shoulders after completing this. Although the advice can be somewhat obvious, sometimes it needs to be read and soaked in for the rules to take effect. And I felt like the book worked in motivating me to bigger things.

I'd recommend it to anyone who wants more in life.

Or who feels like they're their own worst enemy.
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on 3 January 2010
Robert Greene's latest offering is a strange creature. Equal parts self-help guide, historical narrative, and fawning 50-cent biography, it's a new jack of all trades, master of none.

Ostensibly co-written by Curtis Jackson, who raps under the name 50 Cent, the foreword quickly reveals that the text is all Greene's - based on discussions and 'access' to the star. The reverential tone with which Greene refers to the rapper is struck early on and he continues in the same obsequious fashion throughout.

The 50th "law" referred to in the book's title is a derivative of the Alfred Korzybski's mantra "the map is not the territory":

"The one thing that we can control is the mind-set with which we respond to people around us"

The principle concept of the book centres on the negative effects that fear can have, in particular anxiety and paralysis of the will, and how reframing of our perception can allow us to react in more productive ways. This a recurring theme in self-help literature, and is the central concept in such pseudoscience as NLP, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a kernel of common-sense to it.

Each of the chapters focuses on a different concept of how to get ahead, and mixing historical anecdotes with fanciful tales from the 'hood, illustrates how adopting the principles of each chapter will lead to a life of riches and power. A critical eye, self-reliance, opportunism, momentum, aggression, authority, social connections, experience, self-belief and human mortality are all dealt with as part of the hip-hop masterplan for success.

Greene illuminates each chapter with anecdote after anecdote, as per his previous books.

While the anecdotes are occasionally interesting, they lack the same depth of treatment as in Greene's other works, and the reader is left with the impression that some have been shoehorned to fit the theme of each chapter. The "50 Cent" anecdotes are especially problematic, since hip-hop is not known for the veracity of its boasts and the author states early on that Jackson has a habit of inventing fictitious scenarios when it suits his interest. Not a great start to a pseudo-biography.

I can't help think that there's a thought-provoking book in here somewhere, which is blown off-course by the (presumably) commercially-driven and rather pointless involvement of the puffed-up and unsympathetic character of "50 Cent".

Stylistically, Greene's trademark use of the imperative "Understand:" - as a way to emphasise part of the text - made me cringe with every repetition (more so than previous books) and causes an unnecessary distraction from the flow of the text.

Greene's self-consciously tongue-in-cheek writing style was amusing in The Laws of Power and his other works, but the humour which offset the amoral guidance in those books is glaringly omitted here - and that leaves the reader without the plausible deniability which made the nefarious schemes in those books read more easily.

What we are left with is a bleak worldview which celebrates a 'me first' mentality to which few will relate.

An antidote to all of this is Robert Wright's splendid The Moral Animal - which shows why the selfish and bleak attitude espoused here is misguided.
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on 7 May 2012
Definately an interesting read, whilst offering good advice in parts big parts felt useless to me, the chapter on self reliance was my favourite, although in terms of self help books not in the league of Napoleon Hills books.
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on 17 November 2015
Great and interesting read if you're aware of 50 and Robert, although I do feel like there are some slight obsessions but I always read books like this with an open mind and don't take all their words as gospel
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on 29 December 2009
If like me, you are already a fan of Robert Greene and his work then you'll know what you are in for... key messages around Power (48 Laws of), Seduction (The Art of) backed by beautiful short historically referenced stories that illustrate the message. Wonderfully easy to read with powerful and life changing messages. After reading the 48 Laws and The Art of Seduction it seemed to me that everyone in power or in a high position of influence through politics, celebrity or industry already had this knowledge. It is as if it were some kind of secret that is given only to those in the know.
This book has the same power but this time Robert Greene explores the subject of "Fear". Fear in its many forms is exposed as the artificial barrier it is. Overcoming it is the real challenge and Robert Greene uses a map provided by episodes from the life of 50 Cent (the rapper and entrepreneur) to guide you through it. Until this book, 50 Cent held no appeal for me at all. After reading about him? Well I feel some respect for his entrepreneurial spirit, some admiration for the way he dealt with what life has thrown at him (or he has brought on himself) but still don't know if we'll ever be "Homies in Da Hood" if you take my drift. Still, his life provides a good map to overcome adversity and fear and takes you through some pretty awful territory. From the murder of his mother, through hustling drugs in the"hood" to taking nine bullets in a hit, 50 Cent has had more obstacles than most and has had much to fear. His responses and the responses of characters from history in parallel circumstances brought to life here by Robert Greene in this excellent book are where the lessons lie. Enjoy. Use the lessons well. Remove the "fear" and get further and higher than you ever thought possible.
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on 10 October 2009
I'm a fan of the 48 Laws and loved the historical examples but this new book is far too repetitive and flimsy. The principles in it are fine and will provide inspiration to many (including myself) but it feels slight and hurried. The connection to 50 Cent is forced and, dare I say it, pretty irrelevant.

Buy the 48 laws - it's all in there.
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on 9 September 2009
IF you want to make it. Be your own person. Be self reliant. Then this book is for you. One of
the best enterprise books ever created. A MUST READ!
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on 1 December 2009
I must admit, when I noticed `the 50th law staring back at me in the book shop, I was pleasantly surprised to see it had been co-written by Robert Greene and 50 Cent. I am more than familiar with Green's work, having read his previous three books, but nothing could have prepared me for this literary feast.

Knowing about Green's background in philosophy and 50's mean image as a stereotypical gangsta, I found this a rather odd combination. I initially thought that Greene had made a big mistake in enlisting 50 to contribute, however this is the underlying strength of the book. This surprising combination of philosopher and gangsta, has produced what could undoubtedly become one of the most important books in recent years.

The whole experience begins when you pick up the book - its appearance is almost biblical - and as you begin to read the book, and delve further and further into the material, every time you pick it up, you feel you are indeed holding something of great importance.

Essentially, the essence of the book is each person's battle against fear - it even states this on the back of the book, where it says `fear nothing'. And this is indeed what the work concentrates on - the overcoming of fear. The material does this in a masterful way. Green has an excellent grasp of the English language and his style and prose make the words flow. He is the 50 cent of the literary world, and like 50, he has managed to deliver his message in a smooth and sublime manner.
The book is delivered through ten well - developed chapters, and the more you read the book (and you will want to read it more than once) the more that these chapters become profound and start to resemble your own personal version of the ten commandments, with the essence of each of these chapters being the dissolution of fear.

From the very beginning, Greene distils upon the reader the essence of the struggle `we are all too afraid, of offending people, of stirring up conflict, of standing out from the crowd, of taking bold action' the truth contained in the words are prophetic. Generally people are afraid - however by reading this book, you actually start to feel bolder, and by feeling bolder you subsequently become bolder.

After reading the book I subsequently altered my behaviour, and found that it did indeed make a marked difference, both to myself and those around me. By following what is set out in the book I feel much more assertive, I feel better about myself and am treated better by others. The book is akin to a self help manual, except without all the psychobabble. It speaks straight to the reader, and because of 50's time in the hood, it gives it even more credibility.

Had Greene written this book alone, I'm sure I would have enjoyed it, but 50's impetus adds so much more to the mix. The combination of Greene's power with words, and 50's life story, create a powerful guideline for living. This is certainly one of the underpinning strengths, without 50's input then I have no doubt, that it would have been a good book, but 50's input has elevated this into a great book. Greene is able to eloquently mingle 50`s life story combined with his own examples to create a textbook for living The book emphasise noble virtues such as assertiveness, persistence, self belief confidence, self reliance and appreciation. Reading the book is incredibly educational, and it actually makes you feel good. Having read a number of self help and self improvement books, I would have to say, without a shadow of a doubt, that this is the cream of the crop.

However, unlike most self help books, much of the language used is not the typical coddling and mothering vocabulary that is often used, on the contrary the language encapsulates the essence of the book, it is bold and assertive. If you want to feel better about yourself, life, and the world around you, then I highly recommend this book. The book makes you think, its makes you question your actions and your behaviours, and makes you realise where you have gone wrong, and how you can amend those behaviours. The book is best described as empowering. Through using 50 as an example - the reader is inspired to believe that anything is possible. Greene's decision to include 50 in this book was indeed a literary masterstroke.

He has used 50's life experience to full advantage, in sublimely describing how to become a modern day hustler. I think I can say, without a shadow doubt, this is one the best books that I have ever read. Since purchasing it a few weeks ago I have read it on numerous occasions, and have indeed started to implement elements from the book in my own life.

However, eliminating fears is only one aspect of the book, there is so much more to it than that. It also emphasises the importance of time, not to waste time, and to make every second count `Time is the most critical factor in our lives, our most precious resource', again, this advice certainly rings true, which is highlighted even further by the recollection of 50's near fatal shooting.

Since reading this, my productivity has increased tenfold, I am also developing a more fearless approach to life in general, I now feel less afraid of people and circumstance beyond my control. Now, believe it or not, I almost unwelcome uncertainty and conflict, through these experiences I believe I can become stronger. Prior to reading this book, my thinking was completely the opposite; I would shy away from challenges and detest confrontation. Now I am less afraid to take bold action, I realise that if I am to be a whole and complete person, conflict is sometimes unavoidable and necessary.

Sentences like the following: `people who cannot suffer can never grow up, can never discover who they are' imbue the reader with a self realisation that conflict can indeed have positive consequences, therefore changing my whole perspective on confrontational situations. Through studying the contents of the book, I have also strengthened my determination. Having read several self help books and following their instructions to no avail, the 50th law finally gives me the answers that I was looking for.

Now, I must admit, since reading this book, I do care less and less what people think of me. This has propelled me forward and given me a new found confidence. If I took a certain course of action, I used to be afraid and concerned of what others would think of me, but the fear has now become less of a concern. I can attribute this to what I have gained from the book, invaluable knowledge on how to live life and how to become a better person.

Whatever your background, I would highly recommend this book, its teachings are timeless and invaluable, and are applicable virtually anywhere, from the boardroom to the hood, this book has got all corners covered. And because the content is dealing with human nature - it will always be applicable. Greene effectively dissects basic human nature, and has produced a guidebook to deal with our conflicting natures. Essentially the teaching of the book is: `Nihil Timendum est' - `Fear Nothing', something which I intend to follow as much as possible. The authors deserve the utmost respect, for producing such a wonderful piece of work.
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on 12 September 2009
I'm already a fan of Robert Greene's The 48 Laws of Power, and I wasn't disappointed by his latest offering. I thought the content was inspirational and has given me yet another perspective to view the world, myself and others.

I felt the role of 50 cent was more as a marketing tool than as a co-author, however, it did give the book an edge it obviously wouldn't of had if 50 cent wasn't featured and used as a 21st century example.

Overall, in my opinion, a very good book that can be read over and over again !!
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on 2 September 2016
This book was good but Robert Greene was talking about drug dealing too much as if it was cool. Back in the days, it seemed cool to be a drug dealer, but now, it will be the last thing an ambitious person would want to do if they want to get far in life.

It doesn't make sense how this author is using drug dealers as an example to motivate people. It doesn't make sense. Even drug dealers don't want to be drug dealers, that's why they turn to rapping or entrepreneurship.

This book isn't too bad. It may be ideal for people who don't know about motivation and need encouragement, but I thought this books was basic. I only learnt a little bit from it
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