• All Robert Greene Books, Sorted Chronologically (and by Popularity)

Robert Greene Books Cover

Most people think of Robert Greene as some sort of modern-day Machiavelli , an evil prince sitting in his castle, laughing maniacally as he sells more and more books to people telling them how they can take advantage of others. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Greene is a zen practitioner. Watch one interview with him , and you’ll see he’s actually a calm, reserved, all-around nice guy who just happens to love history and research. If you’re looking for the results of that work, a full list of Robert Greene books, this is the right place!

Greene was born in LA in 1959 and, after attaining a BA in classical studies, held over 60 different jobs (!) before becoming an author, including being a translator, editor, construction worker, and Hollywood screenwriter. In 1995, he pitched a book packager an idea about power while working at an art school in Italy, and that idea eventually became The 48 Laws of Power , his breakout success.

Greene’s books deal with topics like power, strategy, psychology, business, seduction, and relationships. Generally, they’re all about how to understand and work with the human mind, whether it’s our own or that of others. They have sold millions of copies and are often quoted by celebrities, especially musicians and rappers, like 50 Cent, Jay-Z, or even Michael Jackson. 

So far, we’ve summarized 4 of Greene’s 7 books as part of our 1,000+ summary catalog here on Four Minute Books, and today, we’ll compile them all for you  in order of both publication and popularity. We’ve even included a section recommending in which order you should read Robert Greene’s books.

You can easily navigate this list by clicking on whichever section interests you the most in the below table of contents. For each book, we’ll share an image of the cover, a 1-sentence-summary, and our favorite quote. We’ll also highlight the most important takeaways and why you might want to read the book yourself.

If you want to dive deeper into any book, click the “Learn More” or “Read on Four Minute Books” button or use one of our Amazon affiliate links to buy a copy. Alright, let’s get into the full catalog of Robert Greene books!

Table of Contents

All Robert Greene Books (in Chronological Order)

1. the 48 laws of power (1998), 2. the art of seduction (2001), 3. the 33 strategies of war (2006), 4. the 50th law (2009), 5. mastery (2012), 6. the laws of human nature (2018), 7. the daily laws (2021), robert greene books by popularity, in what order should you read robert greene’s books, other book lists by author, other book lists by topic.

Robert Greene Books #1 : The 48 Laws of Power (1998)

Favorite Quote

“Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.” — Robert Greene

The Book in One Sentence

The 48 Laws of Power draws on many of history’s most famous power quarrels to show you what power looks like, how you can get it, what to do to defend yourself against the power of others, and, most importantly, how to use it well and keep it.

Why should you read it?

Co-authored with book packager Joost Elffers, this is Greene’s seminal work. Each law comes with a chapter and a story, many including famous people from history, thus really making the laws come to life. If you struggle with navigating society, if you get rejected a lot and feel like doors keep closing in your face, read this book. It will help you better understand humans. It will also show you how to get things done by getting others to cooperate with you. Literally an em powering book.

Key Takeaways

If you want to learn more, you can read our free four-minute summary or get a copy for yourself.

“When our emotions are engaged, we often have trouble seeing things as they are.” — Robert Greene

The Art of Seduction is a template for persuading anyone, whether it’s a business contact, a political adversary, or a romantic partner, to act in your best interest.

This isn’t just a book for bros looking for dating advice. It’s a compelling manual on getting others to see eye-to-eye with you. If you’re fighting for a good cause, why wouldn’t you try to convince as many other people as you can to join in? Thanks to the nine patterns and character types Greene outlines, this book will also make it easier for you to identify how you best convince others. If you’ve recently failed to get what you want in a big way, try reading this book as a first step to learning from that failure.

Robert Greene Books #3: The 33 Strategies of War (2006)

“Grand strategy is the art of looking beyond the present battle and calculating ahead. Focus on your ultimate goal and plot to reach it.” — Robert Greene

The 33 Strategies of War outlines principles and tactics one can use in life, business, and, yes, actual war, to overcome their enemies and achieve their goals.

If your job, hobby, or some other aspect of your life feels like a struggle, this book might help. In 33 strategies across five sections, from self-directed to organizational, defensive, offensive, and unconventional warfare, you’ll learn from countless historic examples what to do in which situation. The book deals both with inner and outer enemies, so it is valuable both as a self-help manual as well as a tool to better navigate society and its many demands.

If you want to learn more, you can click below or get a copy for yourself.

Robert Greene Books #4: The 50th Law (2009)

“Your fears are a kind of prison that confines you within a limited range of action. The less you fear, the more power you will have and the more fully you will live.” — Robert Greene

The 50th Law is a semi-autobiographical book tracing 50 Cent’s early days as a hustler and musician through ten factors of fearlessness, supplementing each of 50 Cent’s guidelines with lessons, anecdotes, and examples from historical figures like Sun Tzu, Abraham Lincoln, James Baldwin, and many others.

Co-authored with Curtis Jackson aka rapper 50 Cent, this book will inspire you to break the mold and chart your own path in life by recounting 50 Cent’s story. In addition, it’ll teach you how to be fearless via ten factors 50 considered particularly important to his meteoric ascent to hip-hop fame. If you’re trying to do something big, especially in the arts, this book is for you.

Robert Greene Books #5: Mastery (2012)

“Become who you are by learning who you are.” — Robert Greene

Mastery debunks the myth of talent and shows you there are proven steps you can take to achieve mastery in a discipline of your own choosing, by analyzing the paths of some of history’s most famous masters, such as Einstein, Darwin, and Da Vinci.

This might be Greene’s best book. It uses the same kind of writing and research but takes a less power-focused approach. It’s not about people vs. people, it’s about becoming your best self. This book will help you find your calling, be brutally honest about what it’ll take to become a master, find the right mentors, and then embrace your originality until you succeed.

“Rationality is the ability to counteract emotional effects, to think instead of react. It does not come naturally; it is a power we must cultivate, but in doing so we realize our greatest potential.” — Robert Greene

The Laws of Human Nature  helps you understand why people do what they do and how you can use both your own psychological flaws and those of others to your advantage at work, in relationships, and in life.

Rather than trying to achieve a particular outcome, like seducing others or accumulating power, this book is a culmination and curation of everything Greene has learned over more than 20 years of research into human behavior. In 18 laws, you’ll learn how to see behind the masks people wear, why opinions are so hard to let go of, what it takes to not sabotage your own efforts, and a lot more. A great, broad read and some of Greene’s finest work.

Robert Greene Books #7: The Daily Laws (2021)

“Embrace your strangeness. Identify what makes you different. Fuse those things together and become an anomaly.” —   Robert Greene

The Daily Laws   is a collection of 365 short laws grouped into 12 themes, serving as daily reminders for you to reconnect to reality, reverse bad behaviors, and seize your destiny.

If you want an easy entry into Greene’s work or simply struggle to read a lot on the regular, this is the perfect book for you. Each daily entry is short and takes no more than a minute or so to read. You’ll get to know yourself better while simultaneously improving how you relate to and work with others. If you like The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday, you’ll love this book.

Want to know which Robert Greene books are the most popular? Here’s a short reorder of the list based on the total number of Amazon ratings, ranked from most to least.

As you might expect, Greene’s first, smash-hit book, The 48 Laws of Power , remains his most popular. With over two million copies sold of that one alone, many others of his titles have also become New York Times and other bestsellers. Fun-fact: The book is also popular with prison inmates, so much so that some prisons in the US have actually banned it.

Which of Robert Greene’s books should you read first? If you ask us, here’s the order in which reading his books makes the most logical sense based on their topics:

If you’re only interested in a specific topic or idea, you can start with whichever one of Greene’s books appeals to you the most. Whatever you choose, we’re confident you’ll learn something new and, when in doubt, start with his most popular work first!

Robert Greene is one of the most celebrated business and self-help authors in pop culture today. Full of examples from both history and the recent past, there’s always a new story to find in his work, and he’s a master of understanding power dynamics. We hope this list will help you pick a book and start decoding human behavior!

Looking for more books by the world’s most celebrated authors? Here are all of the book lists by the author we’ve curated for you:

Looking for more of the best books on various topics? Here are all the book lists by topic we’ve made for you so far:

Last Updated on December 14, 2022

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The 5 Best Robert Greene Books

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All products were independently selected by our editors and contributors. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Are you looking to improve your leadership skills? If YES, then keep on reading.

When you think of a leader, you may be thinking CEO, CFO, Founder or some other big title. However, having leadership skills is something that everyone needs to have in their arsenal regardless of whether you’re by yourself, with your family or managing a team of people.

For the longest time, I avoided leadership roles whenever possible because I didn’t think I was confident enough to handle people. There were lots of fear I had of not being good enough or people judging me.

Whenever I got promoted to a leadership role at work, I would be scared and begin looking for a new role at somewhere else because I didn’t want the additional responsibility.

That was until I began to read Robert Greene books did I then begin to understand the psychology of how leadership really works and how I could improve myself to be aware of myself and others in understanding their motivations and intentions.

Table of Contents

1. The 48 Laws of Power

2. the 33 strategies of war, 4. the art of seduction, 5. the laws of human nature.

robert greene books ranked

This was the first book that I had ever read from Robert Greene many years ago and it really opened my mind into understanding ‘Power’ and how it is been used against me in every of life. What do I mean?

Well, at first you might think this book is about the laws or principles in how to gain power so as to try to manipulate people.

However, what you will learn is that this book is really about being aware of how people play manipulative games and tactics to gain power over you.

Maybe as a child, you were taught to  “treat people how you want to be treated and that everyone is a good person” . However, the reality is that there are some bad people in this world that are wanting to hurt you and use you for their own means.

So, you might be the type to person to ignore office politics, but if you choose to do so and ignore the understanding of these laws of power, your ignorance will only allow for you to be easily manipulated; feeling helpless, taken advantage of and not getting that promotion or the credit you deserve for certain tasks you did.

I highly recommend this book for not only leaders but also for employees so you can learn and be aware of how to identify predators, defend against them and gain confidence when dealing with any type of people problem.

robert greene books ranked

From reading the book title, you would think that this book is only about war. But don’t be fooled. It’s really about the psychology of people who are starting or are involved in the war.

Every day, we are at war with ourselves and even with people around us. There might not be battle scars or blood all over the floor for us but we feel the emotions.

You don’t have to have a standing army to apply these strategies. You can use them in your business, at home, in your relationships, dealing with a difficult boss or even if in a tough contract negotiation.

More importantly, you can also recognize these strategies when it is used against you so you are better able to turn it around to have things fall in your favor.

This is a great book for all kinds of leaders, whether you’re running your own business or working in the corporate setting. It will help you get through the tough times regardless of your age or type of leadership you hold.

This book is insightful, well researched but most of all, it has actionable steps that you can apply immediately to your own life.

Related:  Best Leadership Books

robert greene books ranked

This probably is one of  the best self-help books  I’ve read in the last few years. This is an extremely powerful work on how to achieve mastery in any area of your life.

Mastery can be thought of as the unique way each of us can fully actualize our potential for greatness and  enjoy a fulfilling life .

Robert Greene provides ideas and strategies that can improve the process of improving yourself in your profession, regardless of what field you are in. You first need to find out what your purpose in life is which will be different for everyone.

The author has great strategies to help you begin to discover your life’s work. All of the solutions provided are backed up through case studies and historical figures, so you can see how the principles can be applied in your daily life.

Once you figured out your purpose you now need to find a mentor or ‘Master’ who’s already doing what you would like to do. The book goes further on how to choose a mentor, how long to be with them and how to behave around them.

Related:  75+ Great Questions to Ask Your Mentor (The Ultimate List)

This is a great book for anyone wanting to improve their performance and up-level their game. This is also a great book for leaders that want to improve their professional performance for themselves and their team.

robert greene books ranked

If you enjoy books on social dynamics like  How to Win Friends and Influence People  by Dale Carnegie or  Influence  by Robert Cialdini, then you will really love this book.

This is not a book on seduction to improve your dating life although it might help that too. It is more about using the psychology of seduction in every area of life.

What you will learn is that attraction isn’t much about your natural looks but more about how you carry yourself. We all know plenty of people who aren’t the best looking but have that star power to command a room or stage.

You don’t need necessarily to seduce someone, that’s not the only goal for the book, as you could use those same lessons to improve your social or interpersonal skills, both at home and at work.

What this book tells us is that in this world, there are manipulative people. In fact, many seducers are doing these manipulations subconsciously. They don’t even know why and how they are doing, but they are doing it.

The author shares different people throughout the history of society who have used either personality or looks and usually both to help either seduce people in general or countries of people.

This is a great book for anyone looking to understand human behavior and why some people get attracted to certain types of leaders or individuals that might not necessarily be good for their wellbeing.

robert greene books ranked

I highly recommend this book as the first book you read if you have not already read any of Robert’s previous books.

I’d say that in the author’s life, he has worked through the ‘symptoms’ of Humans Behavior all the way to the ‘root cause’ of Human Behavior starting from  48 Laws of Powe r to  The Laws of Human Nature . So, if you want one book that captures most of his lessons, then this is the book.

In the same manner that Robert Cialdini introduced us to ‘ Influence ‘ or Stephen Covey taught us the ‘ 7-Habits Of Highly Effective People ‘. Robert Greene explores human nature in a much deeper way.

What makes this book different than his other books is that previously, Greene “ tells ” you the conclusions to reach to guide your actions.

But in this book, however, he presents all the information but does not tell you exactly what to do with it. This allows you to come up with your own conclusions and interpretation.

Highly recommend this book for anyone who is wanting to succeed in life.

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Petros Eshetu

Petros Eshetu is the author of the #1 Amazon best-selling book, The Introverted Immigrant's Journey and a book coach for transformational leaders who want to share their message to the world through a book so they can make a big impact on humanity.

robert greene books ranked

RANKED: The Best Way To Read Robert Greene Books

Here is our list of Robert Greene books, ranked. We suggest you read in this order simply because the first 3 or so books are indispensable (depending on your current spot in life). Those currently in the corporate world will benefit from the 48 Laws and 33 Strategies. Those in college will benefit from reading Mastery. If you aren’t familiar with psychology, the Laws Of Human Nature would be a good book to read.

Table of Contents

In What Order Should Greene’s Books Be Read?

You need to start with The 48 Laws. This is Green’s major contribution to the literature on power. It stands in many ways equal to other works like Machiavelli’s Prince and The Art of War by Sun Tzu.

Then read Laws Of Human Nature if you don’t have a psychology background.

#1 The 48 Laws Of Power (Easily Greene’s Best Book)

The 48 Laws Of Power is an indispensable look into the corridors of how the world really works. It is a must read for anyone wanting to understand power. This easily is his best and most influential work. You will find mistakes you are making and tricks your enemies are using. Check out our in depth summary here. Easily Robert Greene’s best book.

TIE: #2/3 The 33 Strategies Of War

Tie: #2/3 mastery, #4 the laws of human nature.

This book could have easily been his most important work. For those who never studied psychology, this book will change how you see people. But we couldn’t help but wonder if Greene should have just spent his time summarizing the science. Personality and value theory teach us quite a bit about people and why they act. Why reinvent the wheel? There are some useful tips on understanding yourself, which is the most important step on the path to understanding others.

#5 The Art Of Seduction

#6 the daily laws, #7 the 50th law.

This book was written with the rapper 50 cent. It focuses quite a bit on the idea that you must conquer fearlessness in order to reach your fate. Fearlessly look internally and fearlessly act externally. The book is a worse version of all the ones listed above. It is a bio on the rapper and half a book of somewhat repetitive information.

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8 Most Engaging Robert Greene Books (Ranked) For 2023

Are you looking to improve the quality of your life in general? If yes, Robert Greene books are for you!

Life, in general, comprises many aspects that many of us know but cannot accurately articulate. But books are one way to help us. We all need vital qualities and understanding to help ourselves live to the best of our potential and with others.

Who is author Robert Greene?

Robert Greene is an American author and speaker known for his books on strategy, leadership and power.

Greene was born in Los Angeles, California on May 14th, 1959. He attended the University of California, Berkeley where he studied history before dropping out to pursue a career in writing. Greene began his career as a journalist and screenwriter in Hollywood. He has also worked as a editor at Esquire magazine and as a freelance writer for Vibe and Rolling Stone magazines.

In 1998, Greene published his first book, The 48 Laws of Power. The book was an instant bestseller and has sold over 1.2 million copies worldwide.

Robert Green Links

I got a more profound understanding of the psychology of how we live and act since I started reading Robert Greene books . I have curated a list of the author’s must-reads books below.

The list features books with insights on leadership, relationships, power, performing/winning, understanding motivation, and intention. Without further ado, let’s indulge.

What Are The Must Read Robert Greene Books?

(check also robert greene's upcoming books ).

robert greene books ranked

01 The 48 Laws of Power (1998)

The 48 Laws of Power broadened my mind to determine what power is and what it is about, most importantly, how it can be used against us daily. This book is not about the principles or laws that people use to gain power for manipulation. It is a book that will help you discover being aware of how people can use manipulative tactics or games to gain control over you.

As a child, you may have been taught that everyone is a lovely person and that you need to treat others as you would like to be treated. But the harsh reality is that the world is ready and waiting to use you for its gains and even hurt you.

The laws in this book will help you see that ignorance can lead you to be manipulated, taken advantage of, feel helpless, and miss out on opportunities and rewards you deserve.

I recommend this book if you want to become aware of identifying your predators, defending yourself, and gaining confidence to deal with others.

robert greene books ranked

02 Mastery (2012)

What did Charles Darwin do to become a renowned naturalist? What similar choices did Caesar Rodriguez, the last ace fighter pilot of the U.S Air Force, and Mozart make?

This book contains biographies of some of the most significant historical figures to give you clues on how to gain control over your life and destiny. It picks up from where The 48 Laws of Power left, blending psychological insight, historical anecdotes, and superb pointers/lessons by the world’s masters- Martha Graham, Temple Grandin, Buckminster Fuller, and Henry Ford.

Robert maintains that our minds already have the secret to mastery and that we are wired for supremacy and achievement.

Mastery will help you become less focused on achieving quick results and teach you to focus on spending time to do the necessary and gain a profound understanding of your craft. Robert has also weaved the challenges we face on the quest for experience and gives a thorough roadmap of what we must implement as we go through the phases.

robert greene books ranked

03 The Art of Seduction (2004)

If you really want to know someone, be keen on their actions, not words. Have you ever wondered why people act in specific ways? If so, this is your read.

What kind of seducer are you? Are you a siren, comedian, start, saint, charismatic, or cold coquette? Get to know from this book. Some of the gifts a seducer possesses are charm, the creation of illusions, and persuasion; that is how they also get to manipulate, mislead, and provide pleasure. This book discusses the psychology of seduction in different areas of life, not just intimacy, so that you can understand human behavior.

I love how it guides us into understanding human nature and Robert's insights into how we can protect ourselves. You will understand things differently based on the historical illustrations and references Robert has highlighted.

His language will invite you to look deeply at the dark recess of your unconscious state for you to explore your deepest shadow.

robert greene books ranked

04 The Laws of Human Nature (2019)

In this book, Robert continues his craft to turn to one of the essential subjects of life- understanding people’s motivations and drives, consciously and unconsciously.

We are generally social beings, and our lives are contingent on our relationships. The most important tool we can have is understanding why people do what they do. Without this understanding, our other talents and abilities can only take us so far. Robert has clearly and excellently brought that out in The Laws of Human Nature .

He draws his ideas and examples from legendary figures like Martin Luther King Jr, Queen Elizabeth I, and others.

Robert teaches us that detaching ourselves from our emotions and mastering self-control is how we can develop the empathy that creates insight, resist conformity to having a sense of purpose, and see behind the masks of others. All these pointers will be helpful for our relationships, at the workplace, and as we shape our world.

I recommend this book if you seek additional guidance toward success, self-defense, and self-improvement.

robert greene books ranked

05 The 33 Strategies of War (2007)

Every day we are constantly at war with ourselves and those around us. It might not be the literal war of battle scars and shedding blood, but the war we are in causes us to feel profound emotions.

This book will guide you into understanding the psychology of starting or being involved in the wars in our businesses, at home, in relationships, when handling negotiations, or dealing with difficult people. It will help you identify the strategies used against you to turn things around in your favor.

The 33 Strategies of War has insights into navigating the tough times we encounter. You will appreciate how Robert has used research and military principles to compile his ideas and to provide actionable steps for immediate life application. This book is a handy tool to help you understand the social game with historical examples, samurai sworders, and movie moguls you will love.

robert greene books ranked

06 The 50th Law (2013)

In The 50th Law , Robert Greene joins forces with Curtis Jackson- 50 Cent. The book gives insights into what appears to be like a “bible” for gaining success in life. As they say, there is only one principle, and it is simple; Fear Nothing.

You might know 50 Cent from his music, but in this book, he has given inspirational stories about his life in the streets and being in boardrooms. You will discover how he rose to fame after releasing the album ‘ Get Rich or Die Tryin’ . The book also contains examples of other people who have beat adversity after understanding and using the 50th Law in their lives.

I consider this book a perfect inspiration if you are an entrepreneur or interested in 50 Cent’s life. It echoes the message that we can start small with what we have or a good at and propel ourselves to creating something excellent and remarkable for ourselves and others. However small, we must defend our power.

robert greene books ranked

07 Interviews with the Masters (2013)

This book is a companion to Robert’s book Mastery . Robert details educational interviews to reveal the participants' best insights and paths to greatness. They all talk about the strategies they used to learn and think and how they put all that together to come up with creations.

You will learn about Paul Graham's hacker mentality to develop a billion-dollar portfolio and a programming language, how Santiago Calatrava fused architecture, art, and engineering to come up with revolutionary structures, and Yoky Matsuoka’s “neurorobotics” creation.

You also get insights into how Daniel Everett resolved the Piraha language mystery, Cesar Rodriguez’s journey to becoming the “Last American Ace,” how Temple Grandin overcame autism and became an animal science leader, VS Ramachandran’s discoveries for neurological syndromes, and Teresita Fernandez’s alchemy fascination that birthed her artistic side.

The transcripts in this book bring out the personalities of these masters, and you will also appreciate Robert’s excellent interviewing technique and ability to create an engaging compilation. This book is packed with wisdom and inspiration and is highly informative.

(free on Amazon)

robert greene books ranked

08 The Daily Laws (2021)

The Daily Laws is a daily devotional to guide you towards seizing your destiny. The book has insights from some of Robert’s books on this list, but he has also featured new ideas. Each page in this book is excellently refined and packed with concise wisdom. I love that it features some of the most celebrated days on the calendar.

The lessons are easy to digest, and you will not have to work so hard to absorb each one. Alongside every daily law is a prescription that you cannot ignore as you live and fight the battles of life.

Robert centers every month around a primary theme. You will find themes on persuasion, seduction, adversity, leadership, creativity, psychology, meditation, mastery, self-control, toxicity, and human nature.

I consider this the epitome of what Robert’s books are about yet. You will reward yourself by reading and rereading this book daily.

Final Thoughts on Robert Greene Books

Robert Greene is simply a master of his craft. The way he addresses different issues that are part of life is commendable. It is something that takes great skill and talent, and he wins.  If you are unfamiliar with his works, it is time you did with the titles in this list.

If you like Robert Greene books, check also some of the best leadership books .

Joel Stafford

My profession is online marketing and development (10+ years experience), check my latest mobile app called Upcoming . But my real passion is reading books both fiction and non-fiction. I have several favorite authors like James Redfield or Daniel Keyes . If I read a book I always want to find the best part of it, every book has it's unique value.

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5 Best Robert Greene Books (2023)

Greene is an American writer born in 1959. He was raised in Los Angeles, and attended the University of California, Berkeley but ended up getting his degree in classical studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. According to Greene, he was obsessed with anything related to Ancient Greece.

Long Journey

However, after he left college, life didn’t go smoothly and as according to plan. The California author didn’t keep score but claims he must have had about 80 jobs before he started publishing books. His positions were varied too. He’s worked as a translator, a screen-writer, a magazine editor, and even as a construction worker.

Best Robert Greene Books

His big break came in Italy. He was working as a writer for Fabrica in the South European country when he met book packager Joost Elffers. Greene pitched his idea for a book to Elffers – his later international best-seller, The 48 Laws of Power – and Elffers was intrigued by the idea and took him up on it.

His enormous success in the mid-nineties has carried on to today. If you are wondering how many books Greene has written, he is currently the author of six books in total. Please note that we haven’t made this list of Greene’s books in order, but the order is random. Without further ado, let’s now find out what the best Robert Greene books are.

The 48 Laws of Power

Empirical inspiration.

The inspiration for The 48 Laws of Power, which is one of Robert Greene’s books ranked as the best-selling, comes from the empirical knowledge he amassed in the years after college, where he had to scrapple to make a living. Obviously, his experience concentrated mostly on life from the receiving end of the Laws of Power, not from the throne of the master wielding it. Perhaps that’s why he has such a refreshing and honest take on them. It is also one of Greene’s best-rated books.

Becoming Powerful

Greene’s inspiration for the book came from History’s great men – rulers, thinkers, and military men alike – which Greene believed shared many of the traits that bind together the powerful elite of our times.

He then synthesized the pearls of wisdom these ruthless men – and women, they played a role too – of today and yesterday in an easy to follow, 48-chapter book. Greene’s Laws are meant to propel you to become powerful yourself, to help you stand out, and not get cheated and have the wool pulled over your eyes. It is one of the most famous Greene books on our Greene book list.

Cunning and Ruthless

It has been widely criticized as amoral and “evil” because Laws such as Never outshine the Master or Never put too much trust in Friends will already let you know the path this book will take you down: it’s cunning and ruthless because the aim here is power, not making friends. Plus, Greene was inspired by Machiavelli, which speaks volumes by itself.

Interesting Fact

Fun fact: this book is revered by many rappers and moguls, and is, apparently, one of the most favorite Robert Greene books in prison libraries in the United States of America! Greene believes anyone can be rich and powerful, you just need to know the rules. And The 48 Laws of Power has a blueprint.

The Art of Seduction

Hand in hand.

The Art of Seduction was the second book Greene published, in 2001. It flows directly out of the insights he delivered and delved into in the first of this best Greene book series, his 48 laws. Power and seduction do walk hand in hand, after all.

Ultimate Power

Because, what is seduction, anyway? “Seduction is the ultimate form of power. Those who give into it do so willingly and happily. There is rarely any resentment on their part; they forgive you any kind of manipulation because you have brought them pleasure, a rare commodity in the world.” The Art of Seduction is not a treaty on how to help you get lucky, it’s a systematic approach to charming the pants off of anyone and one of Greene’s most popular books.

Nine Archetypes

This is one of Robert Greene’s best books that identifies nine “seducer” archetypes that anyone may fit into, whether it be a Rake, a Dandy, or a Charmer. Each archetype has its own distinctive way of using its attributes to its advantage and has a different strategy in order to win over the object of their desire. In addition, Greene also profiles 18 types of “victims”, or the psychological profile of those that fall prey to the charms of the seducer.

Psychological Intricacies

Definitely, an enlightening read if you are interested in the psychological intricacies of attraction and that elusive je ne sais quoi that brings two people together, as it systematizes the complex dance that goes on between two humans when they are mating, even if they are unaware that that is what they are doing.

Also, it is the best Robert Greene book to start with if you love historical facts and stories from the past – particularly of the courtship genre – because Greene has included many anecdotes to underline his findings that are sure to keep you entertained! Who doesn’t like a little gossip?

The 33 Strategies of War

Remember Pat Benatar’s classic, “Love is a Battlefield”? Well, prepare for DJ Greene’s remix: Life is a battlefield. The premise of Greene’s next book in our Robert Greene book review 33 Strategies takes centuries of military tactics and intelligence and applies them to every-day life.

Take on Life

How is life like war though, you might ask? (Parents of small children may not wonder) Why do I need offense and defense strategies for the simple stuff I do from Monday to Sunday?

In case you haven’t been Keeping Up With Greene, his take on life is somewhat merciless and ruthless, and in his Hobbesian conception of the world, it may come as no surprise that this American author suggests turning to warfare psychology to better manage yourself and your surroundings.

War With Yourself

Here’s the cherry on top though: you’re not just at war with the world, you’re at war with yourself! The first part of the book is entirely dedicated to “Self-Directed Warfare”, or how to beat yourself. It’s a rather more bellicose path to self-growth than the one followed by traditional self-help books. However, if you’re a natural fighter and like to live life with your metaphorical guns a’ blazing, this could be an eye-opener and one of Greene’s must-reads books.

As usual, Greene turns to battle eminences of the past, so you’ll be introduced to the genius of the likes of Napoleon, Margaret Thatcher, Hannibal, and many more.

Mastery is the synthesis of Robert Greene’s top books for two reasons: it was his fifth book, which he got to work on after publishing The 50th Law, and it is also a compendium and the result of all the research he put into his previous four books.

It was published in November 2012, and contains the secret to great success. Greene discovered, after combing through pages and pages of information on the lives of the Greats of History, that their paths to success shared some commonalities.

In the making of this work, the author turned his attention to present-day masters who are still alive and interviewed them to get them to spill the beans. These masters include tech guru Paul Graham and Temple Grandin, animal-rights activist.

Search for Power

Greene argues that we are all searching for power. So, we had better get clear on what is holding us back, because it is an achievable goal for most of us. Mastery is one of Robert Greene’s best-selling books that will help you unlock your full potential, and pave the way to you becoming a master in your own right and field by overcoming the obstacles in the way. 

The Laws of Human Nature

Spot the flaws.

By now we have established that Greene likes to write about Laws. Especially because he also wrote The 50th Law with rapper 50-cent which is one of the best books by Robert Greene! And now he’s back with a compendium on human nature – how to spot the flaws in others and in yourself and flip them to help you. It is one of the new Greene books on our list published in 2018.

Machiavellian Grimness

The New York Times best-seller author softens his famous/notorious (depends on your view) Machiavellian grimness. It’s not all about defeating the enemy anymore, or of taking advantage of other’s weaknesses to scale to the heights of power.

It’s about digging deep, seeing what’s really behind people’s motivations, peeking behind the mask most of us live behind. We even wear the mask when we’re looking in the mirror, which is why self-exploration is a must.

Human Psyche

Yes, the Laws of Human Nature isn’t always a breezy, light, and lofty read; but neither is its subject now, is it? It does contain insights into the human psyche, which will inevitably help the readers tackle everyday issues, whether it be at work, at home, in personal relationships, etc.

Knowing the needs and motivations of others is the first step to negotiating, which in turn, is the first step to getting what you want in life. Read this Robert Greene’s best book and you’ll be that much closer.

Penchant for Power

Books written by Greene are recommended for readers that have a penchant for power dynamics. For aspiring rappers, Greene may also be your go-to writer if you want to follow in the footsteps of famous hip-hop and rap artists; they seem to think they have a thing or two to learn from Greene. We covered all books by Robert Greene from our list, but if you are looking for even more Greene book recommendations, make sure to check out The 50th Law. At this point, it is hard to talk about Greene’s upcoming book since he suffered a stroke in 2018 that has left him partially disabled.

robert greene books ranked

Michael Englert

Michael is a graduate of cultural studies and history. He enjoys a good bottle of wine and (surprise, surprise) reading. As a small-town librarian, he is currently relishing the silence and peaceful atmosphere that is prevailing.

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6 Best Robert Greene Books of All Time

Our goal: Find what the internet ranks as the best Robert Greene books (instead of one person's opinion).

(Updated 2023 )

The 48 Laws of Power

Robert Greene

The Art of Seduction

The 33 strategies of war, the laws of human nature, the 50th law.

View all Robert Greene books in order

How was this Robert Greene books list created?

We searched for "best Robert Greene books", found the top 5 articles, took every book mentioned in 2+ articles, and averaged their rankings.

How many Robert Greene books are in this list?

There are 6 books in this list.

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We wanted to gather the most accurate list of Robert Greene books on the internet.

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BEST Robert Greene Books & Quotes of All Time

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Who Is Robert Greene?

Robert Greene (born May 14, 1959) is an American author of books on strategy, power, and seduction, including international best-sellers like The 48 Laws of Power and Mastery . Before becoming an author, Greene estimates that he worked 80 jobs, including as a construction worker, translator, magazine editor, and Hollywood movie writer.

Learn more about Robert Greene

The Best Robert Greene Books of All Time

Why these best Robert Greene books and not others? To stay objective, I rank all my book recommendations by a combination of what’s most loved (Goodreads rating), what’s most popular (Goodreads review count) and what’s proven timlessly relevant (first publication date).

This isn’t a whimsical list . It’s a data-driven, crowdsourced collection of the best Robert Greene books ever published as decided by book lovers like you.

And if you think something's missing?  I LOVE book recommendations so if there are any other books by Robert Greene that you think deserve mentioning, email me and I’ll be sure to include them in the next round of updates.

Until then, here are the best Robert Greene books of all time...

Best Robert Greene Books: The 48 Laws of Power

See all Robert Greene's books on Amazon Visit Robert Greene's Goodreads profile

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Best Robert Greene Quotes

Here are some of the best Robert Greene of all time...

"When you show yourself to the world and display your talents, you naturally stir all kinds of resentment, envy, and other manifestations of insecurity... you cannot spend your life worrying about the petty feelings of others"

"When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish."

"If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid."

"Keep your friends for friendship, but work with the skilled and competent"

"Do not leave your reputation to chance or gossip; it is your life's artwork, and you must craft it, hone it, and display it with the care of an artist."

"Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses. Envy creates silent enemies. It is smart to occasionally display defects, and admit to harmless vices, in order to deflect envy and appear more human and approachable. Only gods and the dead can seem perfect with impunity."

"Do not accept the roles that society foists on you. Re-create yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience. Be the master of your own image rather than letting others define if for you. Incorporate dramatic devices into your public gestures and actions – your power will be enhanced and your character will seem larger than life."

"Never assume that the person you are dealing with is weaker or less important than you are. Some people are slow to take offense, which may make you misjudge the thickness of their skin, and fail to worry about insulting them. But should you offend their honor and their pride, they will overwhelm you with a violence that seems sudden and extreme given their slowness to anger. If you want to turn people down, it is best to do so politely and respectfully, even if you feel their request is impudent or their offer ridiculous."

"Many a serious thinker has been produced in prisons, where we have nothing to do but think."

"The human tongue is a beast that few can master. It strains constantly to break out of its cage, and if it is not tamed, it will tun wild and cause you grief."

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I Read Robert Greene's Best-Selling Books And This Is Why I Recommend Them To Every Woman In My Life

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  1. All Robert Greene Books, Sorted Chronologically & by Popularity

    As you might expect, Greene's first, smash-hit book, The 48 Laws of Power, remains his most popular. With over two million copies sold of that

  2. The 5 Best Robert Greene Books (to Read in 2023)

    The 5 Best Robert Greene Books · 1. The 48 Laws of Power · 2. The 33 Strategies of War · 3. Mastery · 4. The Art of Seduction · 5. The Laws of Human

  3. RANKED: The Best Way To Read Robert Greene Books

    RANKED: The Best Way To Read Robert Greene Books ; #1 The 48 Laws Of Power (Easily Greene's Best Book). The 48 Laws Of Power ; TIE: #2/3 Mastery.

  4. 8 Most Engaging Robert Greene Books (Ranked) For 2023

    Best Rated Robert Greene Books · The 48 Laws of Power · The Art of Seduction · The 33 Strategies of War · The Laws of Human Nature.

  5. 5 Best Robert Greene Books (2023)

    Best Robert Greene Books · The 48 Laws of Power · The Art of Seduction · The 33 Strategies of War · Mastery · The Laws of Human Nature

  6. 6 Best Robert Greene Books (Definitive Ranking)

    6 Best Robert Greene Books of All Time · The 48 Laws of Power · Mastery · The Art of Seduction · The 33 Strategies of War · The Laws of Human Nature · The 50th Law

  7. BEST Robert Greene Books & Quotes of All Time

    The Best Robert Greene Books of All Time · 1. The 48 Laws of Power - Robert Greene (FREE Summary) · 2. Mastery - Robert Greene (FREE Summary) · 3. The 33

  8. In what order should Robert Greene's books be read?

    Since Robert Greene's new book came out, titled The Laws of Human Nature here is a good order to read all of his books. 1 The Laws of Human Nature 2 Mastery

  9. Books by Robert Greene (Author of The 48 Laws of Power)

    Robert Greene has 200 books on Goodreads with 936389 ratings. Robert Greene's most popular book is The 48 Laws of Power.

  10. I Read Robert Greene's Best-Selling Books And This Is Why I

    Robert Greene is a strategist, a master at comprehending human nature, and a best-selling author of numerous books such as "The 48 Laws of