I’m often asked to review Robert Greene, but I have hesitated because my thoughts are very mixed.
Some books have been so widely consumed that it is basically mandatory just to understand them. I recommend “The Secret” for this reason, whether or not you agree with the book, it has influenced so many people that you are in the dark if you don’t understand it.
Greene is one of the best selling living authors. Nearly everyone trying to get ahead in life has read at least one of his books, and when I see a small starter bookshelf, Greene is almost always on it.
I’ve read my copy several times. But, the more I read Greene the bigger fundamental problem I have.
I recommend a book “the Halo Effect”, by Phil Rosenzweig to understand the enormous problem we create by examining OUTCOMES. This review is too short to cover it, but if you understand the Halo Effect, much of Greene’s work falls apart.
Further, I once would have agreed with Greene that cold strategy is required in life. I no longer believe this. For all the successes of cold calculation and manipulation, there are just as many from warmth, love, generosity, trust, etc.
Greene’s world is very dark, very black and white. My review could stretch hours diving into this, but for brevity, I do recommend all of Greene’s books (especially Mastery), BUT! With a generous serving of salt. Other people will be using some of these tactics, and you should at least be able to spot them and understand the games being played.
Understand his case, probably don’t apply too much of it. Don’t change yourself to fit one of these molds. Follow your heart more than you follow Greene.