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How to master ‘The 48 Laws of Power’

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Los Angeles Lakers Andrew Bynum guns for scoring power: He is one of the notable personalities reading  The 48 Laws of Power. Photo/REUTERS

Los Angeles Lakers Andrew Bynum guns for scoring power: He is one of the notable personalities reading The 48 Laws of Power. Photo/REUTERS 

By John Blake

Posted  Thursday, March 18  2010 at  00:00

When Andrew Bynum walks into a room, people step aside.

At seven feet tall and 285 pounds, Bynum is the starting centre for the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.

He hurls his Mack-Truck-like shoulders against some of the biggest men on the planet every game night.

He recently came across a book that was as ruthless as anyone he’s encountered in the NBA.

“At first, I was shocked,” he says. “I thought it was cutthroat.”

Bynum started reading The 48 Laws of Power.

The best-selling book offers a collection of 48 laws that show people how to gain power, preserve it, and defend themselves against those powerful people who make their lives miserable.

Unlike most self-help books, The 48 Laws offers advice that the author freely admits is, at times, cunning and amoral.

It includes lessons like “Law 1: Never outshine the master” and “Law 14: Pose as a friend, work as a spy.”

The lessons are distilled from colourful anecdotes lifted from 4,000 years of history.

They include insights into the scheming of powerful people such as Al Capone, P.T. Barnum and Henry Kissinger.

The book has proved to be so popular that it has spawned several sequels, one recently co-authored by the popular rapper 50 Cent, called The 50th Law.

Robert Greene, author of “The 48 Laws,” says our fascination with power is rooted in our DNA.

“We want to believe we’re descended from angels when we’re descended from primates,” Greene says. “This is part of our nature and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

Greene says the struggle for power affects even the most benign human relationships.

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