“Think of the book in the following way: you are about to become an apprentice in human nature. You will be developing some skills—how to observe and measure the character of your fellow humans and see into your own depths. You will work on bringing out your higher self. And through practice you will emerge a master of the art, able to thwart the worst that other people can throw at you and to mold yourself into a more rational, self-aware, and productive individual.”
Robert Greene has been my favorite author ever since, back in 2000, I randomly came across the enticing orange spine of The 48 Laws Of Power while browsing the human psychology / self-help section of Borders (or was it Barnes & Noble?) in Germantown. Robert has been the only favorite author I ever had.
I’ve been a devout student of all six of his books, and aside from his previous Mastery, have read them all between 10-100 times. There was one section of Mastery which I did keep coming back to, though, in my struggle to grasp and fully understand it: A section devoted to humans nature.
Robert wrote about reading people, their energies, noticing what was not being said, and how this knowledge of people would greatly aid a person’s path toward excellence. When I heard Robert doing interviews about Mastery, he specifically pointed out how that very section would be the basis for his next book, which was all about human nature in its many forms.
The Laws Of Human Nature is that book.
I’ve always been deeply interested in human psychology; in Robert’s latest book he dives deep into every aspect of how and why we are who and what we are. The book is just as long as I’ve come to know Greene’s books to be, full of stories of historical figures (which went about 50-50 in ratio of heard of them – never heard of them) and detailed examinations of what to do with the knowledge gleaned from the myriad examples, good and not-so-good.
Being such a student of Robert Greene, I noticed how he took what I suppose are some of his favorite principles from his previous books and expounded in them for this one; 99% of readers who haven’t read and re-read Greene would never notice.
The best compliment I can give to an author is to say that he or she wrote the book that I wish I had written. I don’t say that about The Laws Of Human Nature only because I would never do the amount of background research on a book that Robert Greene does for his. His is an author in a lane all his own.
The Laws Of Human Nature is not a book you come to understand from reading reviews and Cliff Notes summaries: Make the time investment in absorbing all of it.
You Should Read The Laws Of Human Nature IF: You’re human and want to better understand yourself and others.