This is one of the most interesting books I’ve ever read. The author does a great job of turning ancient history into a page turner full of drama and intrigue. Assuming your Roman history knowledge is as poor as mine (public schools), over 90% of the information in this book will be new. It describes six of Rome’s most important periods: the revolution inspired by Gracchus, the rules of Caesar, Nero, and Constantine, the Jewish rebellion, and the events that led to Rome’s fall.
What I got most out of the book was identifying the rhyming nature of history. Do any of these points sound familiar?
- “In becoming a superpower, Rome, so it was said, abandoned the very values with which it had won its supremacy.”
- Roman rulers used “self-defense” pretexts to invade other countries, with hawks criticizing doves for not being patriotic.
- War benefited the Roman elite before the masses.
- The aggressor nation will state conditions to avoid war that are impossible for the antagonist country to comply with.
- “The battle ahead was about liberty and justice winning out over tyranny.”
- Roman elite hated to make concessions. They’d fight to the death instead of give an inch to the well-being of the masses. They felt that they earned it, even though they used hook and crook to amass their wealth.
- The people seen as “barbarians” gradually wore down the empire, causing it to spend itself into bankruptcy.
There is a constant battle between the elites and masses, with ebbs and flows of power over an empire’s life. Great leaders pick a side to further their own glory, changing the course of history. What’s sad about America is that we haven’t even made it to the 250 year mark yet are already suffering from signs of decline. Carthage, an empire that most people have never heard of, survived for 700 years. Hell, there are coffee shops in Italy that are older than America.
If you liked The 48 Laws Of Power, reading this book is like going directly to the source. Buildings grow taller and technology get ever more advanced, but the human need for power and domination remains the same. Men must seize power when the opportunity arises because if they don’t, they will languish alone in bitterness to watch others take what they could’ve had.
“Rome had been on a slippery slope of moral decline ever since the sack of Carthage in 146 BC. Without the fear of that Mediterranean power to keep it in check, Rome had free rein to indulge in the selfish passions of greed and domination. Now, in the sack of Rome, that process had come to its logical, revolutionary conclusion. All human, earthly cities—even the new Christianized Rome of Constantine—were transitory and ephemeral…”
This book is like a sequel to The 48 Laws Of Power, using 50 Cent’s story as a backdrop on how power can be gained or lost. If you loved 48 Laws, which most of you have, just stop reading this review and buy The 50th Law right now. It’s written in the same style, where real-life examples are used to bring home the author’s points. A lot of what the book had was review for me, but I was still unable to put it down, soaking up the wisdom as fast as I could. Here are some points you’ll read about:
- Expose yourself to what you fear.
- Soft environments make you soft.
- If you depend on others for too long you lose the ability to take care of yourself.
- You should be even more vigilant when things are going well.
- Constantly adapt to your circumstances.
- Don’t try to please others.
- Always be willing to walk away.
- Embrace death. Let it motivate you.
- There is no perfect opportunity to strike.
- You are only free when others are unable to disappoint you.
- More preparation will not necessarily lead to a better outcome.
- Talent and good intentions are not enough; be fearless and strategic.
- Resist the temptation to want to depend on others.
- “Never be a minion, always be an owner.”
This is an inadvertent manual on how to quit the grind and be your own boss. Read the list again; it’s practically a blueprint for location independent living.
One thing the book did was give me newfound respect for 50 Cent. I’ve always thought him to be a simple, if not silly, rapper, but turns out he’s one of the sharpest men that has ever come from the hood. If you forget about him selling crack to his community, he’s a classic American success story (he makes Drake seem like a member of the table tennis team).
With 50 Cent’s story in my head after reading the book, I wanted to make shit happen. You want to be a success like 50. In that respect, this book is definitely more motivating than 48 Laws.
The book also has tons of motivational quotes, which I think is worth the price of admission alone. My only complaint is that Robert Greene has stuck to his style of writing in generalities, almost like a cheesy psychic. He has an outcome that he wants to go for and will speak in vague terms to back that outcome up. You wonder if he just made it up as he went along. Nonetheless, this book gets my stamp of approval and should be required reading for all men.
“People who cannot suffer can never grow up, can never discover who they are.” —James Baldwin
“I was born alone and I will die alone. I’ve got to do what’s right for me and not live my life the way anybody else wants it.” —50 Cent
“The kid in the school yard who doesn’t want to fight always leaves with a black eye. If you indicate you’ll do anything to avoid trouble, that’s when you get trouble.” —50 Cent
“When fortune wants to advance a new prince… she creates enemies for him, making them launch campaigns against him so that he is compelled to overcome them and climb higher on the ladder.” —Niccolo Machiavelli
“Events in life are not negative or positive. They are completely neutral. The universe does not care about your fate; it is indifferent to the violence that may hit you or to death itself. Things merely happen to you.”
A black man of Jamaican descent goes to Japan to teach English for several years. In the process he bangs over 40 women, goes through several abortions with his girlfriends, comes to grips with his inner demons and whoring ways, and finally begins the progress of settling down. This book offers very detailed cultural and sexual observations of Japan, along with brutally honest personal introspection.
Not only is the author an ass man who uses both day and night game to achieve his sexual goals, but he also likes banging raw. He uses sex slang similar to what I use to describe scores with my friends (it’s impressive how many metaphors he came up to describe a boner). He even has game moves that ring familiar. For example, he likes whipping out his dick, something that is part of any Virgle Kent sex story. His main opener, “You look like you speak English,” is something I’ve used many times in the past. The book was like a friend telling me his sexual exploits and addiction to Asian women, with asides that give you facts and analysis on the culture. It’s refreshing to see a natural player who grew up independent of the current game wave.
“Running counter to natural human thinking, the Japanese appear in general to minimize pleasure and maximize pain. All of life is an unending, character building shugyou (endurance course) to develop one’s strength.”
He paints a picture of Japanese girls that are not entirely favorable: bad teeth and breath, immature personalities caused by poor social development, inhibited natures, and backwards thinking from believing in ancestral rules meant to “save face.” On the other hand, Japanese girls have hyper-clean pussies that are easy to bring to orgasm. They’re also so insecure that they can’t leave the house without makeup or name-brand fashions. Most importantly, they love foreign men (especially white and black men).
The author eviscerates Japanese men. They are the most beta of the beta, sexual androgens who are more in love with their boss than their woman. The married ones essentially outsource sex with their wives to foreign men by turning a not-so-blind eye to the practice. The others simply withdraw from society into a world of manga, video games, and porn.
Like with many other Japanese expats, he came to find the country and its people hard to deal with, leaving after seven years…
“The thrill was gone and it was no longer exciting to have this revolving army of women flowing to and from my apartment. I had simply outgrown the need.”
There are two flaws in this book. First, he’s an admitted feminist. He constantly complains about how Japanese women are being subjugated by the men. At the same time he takes advantage of Japanese women for sexual gain, he cites studies that show Japanese women are being taken advantage of by the culture. He actually thinks feminism in Japan would lead to an increase in birth rates, not bothering to look at the low birth rates in countries where feminists dominate.
Second problem is the book is way too long. With most tension popped by the second half, I felt like I was reading a blog with long entries instead a book more tightly tied together. My interest waned towards the end as it seemed like escapades were being repeated. Other than these complaints, I consider this book a fun sequel of sorts to An African In Greenland, with enough sex stories to give you a complete picture on how it’s like to get laid in Japan. Reading it makes you feel like you’re already halfway to getting your Japanese flag.
(This review refers to the abridged version of this book which you can download here.)
“It is only in small states that there can be true democracy, because it is only there that the citizen can have some direct influence over the governing institutions; only there that economic problems become tractable and controllable, and economic lives become more rational; only there that culture can flourish without the diversion of money and energy into statis pomp and military adventure; only there that the individual in all dimensions can flourish free of systematic social and governmental pressures.”
In other words, smaller is better. The author makes a convincing argument that a country’s misery stems from its bigness, not its lack of power. The size is like a cancer, slowing killing the host until it either devours itself from within, gets subdued by another rising power, or splits into smaller states.
“The proposal of the national theory to cure the world’s misery by eliminating the evil-doing nation would lead us nowhere. For the moment one evil-doer disappears, the vacancy, as post-World-War-II developments have amply shown, will promptly be filled from the unsuspected but ever willing ranks of the previous defenders of better causes.”
The common denominator in nations committing atrocities is simply having the power to commit those atrocities. Aggressive humans will start wars because they think they can win and won’t be punished for it. The author believes that the problem lies with possessing great power, a phenomenon that occurs in large super states. If you reverse the trend towards bigness by keeping countries small, you’ll have more responsive governments that are less likely to try to dominate the world.
Small states have limited resources and power, making them unable to engage in a modern war that can cause more destruction than all medieval wars combined. The small state will also be more flexible and responsible in solving social and economic problems. A modern example of this is Iceland, which has already recovered after a collapse of its economy three years ago.
“Great power attracts by its very nature the strong rather than the wise, and autocrats rather than democrats.”
Big states don’t serve the individual, only a handful of artificially created population segments. It serves “society,” not you. This allows the super state to naturally drift to totalitarianism because it’s the most efficient means to control a large population of diverse tribes.
Written fifty years ago, this book not only predicted American imperialistic ambitions as a logical behavior of world power, but also the problems that coincide with those ambitions. The author, now dead, believed that America would spend itself into oblivion, resulting in an increase of state power that attempts to control the citizenry.
This book argues that the American media is controlled by a handful of globalized companies obsessed with profit and ratings instead of truth. Several journalists contribute articles on a wide array of geo-political incidents that American people have been hoodwinked on, arguing that “responsible journalism” is now nothing but a euphemism for protecting institutions and the government.
“Oil context, geographical context, ruling-class context, historical context—all are hidden from the average American.”
A few things you’ll learn about…
- The great oil game and how that affects modern conflicts in the Middle East.
- Illegal activities by the CIA (Cocaine Importing Agency) in Bolivia, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, and Afghanistan.
- How the Washington Post sends sensitive stories to the government for approval before publication.
- Strong evidence that TWA 800 was accidentally shot down by a Navy missile during a training exercise.
- Government strategy for relentlessly pursuing those trying to uncover the truth.
- How globalized companies that own media outlets depend on American hegemony for ever increasing profits, ensuring they will never take on the American government.
“The word ‘conspiracy’ is commonly used now to malign those who raise unpopular questions about sensitive issues. The fact is conspiracies do exist.”
Reading a book like this makes me feel that a curtain is lowered in front of all of us, that everything we hear in the “free media” is theater, not much unlike Russian or Chinese media. I have long since stopped accepting any report that gets most of its facts from the government. No one, including your leaders, should get the benefit of the doubt. Make them prove it.
This is a book that might as well be titled, “Introduction To The Red Pill.” In five chapters (Purpose, Wisdom, Sex, Money, Health), Frost gives you tips to escape the grinding Western cog. At the same time he offers a window into his journey to self-improvement and of dumping the 9-to-5.
This book is best served as an introduction to those either not heavily exposed to Manosphere writing or those who are new to it, since he spends roughly equal time arguing for the lifestyle as providing details on duplicating it. I consider it more of a gateway drug to digging deeper in other works, depending on what you need to work most on. For example, I mostly agreed on the section where he advocated for the Paleo diet, but I would still need to look up additional Paleo resources in order to fully implement it into my life.
If you’re knee-deep in my blog and others, the information will seem introductory in nature, but for beta males it’s an eye-opening work that will question the choices they’ve made in life, and then put them on the right path. Therefore I recommend it mostly for newbies who have not yet started their self-improvement journey. It will offer a stern wake-up to those who are coasting along and waiting for magic to happen.
This an ambitious work aimed to help men live better lives, and the first that I’ve seen that combines all features of “red pill” thinking into one work. While I think the book could use some more action item specifics, it was a strong effort that will help guys who aren’t yet there. I don’t think authors should be supported merely for self-publishing on their own dime, but Frost should be rewarded for trying to connect the lifestyle dots in this book, something that very few other authors have attempted. You can read his blog here.
“My problem was a lack of purpose. I was, like so many in this generation, adrift. I had no mission. No destiny. I was a sack of flesh and DNA waiting to expire, no matter what my job title was or what degrees I had.”
“We are the TL;DR generation.”
“We are rebelling against a culture of laziness, mediocrity and spiritual poverty. We are rebelling against a world that encourages us to be passive, risk-averse and unremarkable.”
“Women like being hurt. What they like to give, they love to be robbed of.”
I couldn’t help but read what is arguably the oldest game book is existence, written by Ovid around 2 CE. Ovid teaches you how to be a gentleman who understand’s what turns women on. While a lot of his advice is meant for a time where chivalry was rewarded, it’s not surprising to see that many of his lessons still hold true today. Here are some of them:
- Don’t let her think she’s the only girl you’re working on.
- Go where the women are.
- The best place to meet women is the theater. It’s a target-rich environment with a wide variety to choose from.
- The second-best place to meet them is the circus because you sit so close to other people. Start an elderly chat about the animals.
- Some women want to sleep with men they fear.
- Touch her by pretending to flick dust off her blouse.
- Always try to speak with confidence. If you’re drawing a blank, make it up.
- Loosen her up with wine; it’s fuel to the fire of attraction. But don’t get too drunk because you’ll make mistakes.
- Be careful of beer goggles. Don’t judge her appearance until you get her out in the day light.
- All girls want sex but they pretend they don’t.
- There is no optimum strategy for disabling the maid cockblocker, but definitely don’t give her too much attention. Also don’t assume that someone close to you like a blood relative won’t block you.
- Ignore her on her birthday. She will only think of the man who didn’t buy her a gift.
- Keep her hopeful by making promises, then break them (i.e., flake on her).
- Don’t be stuffy and business-like. Be engaging and say what you want to say.
- Be persistent. She won’t tell you to seduce her.
- It’s her loss if she rejects you.
- Mirror her body language.
- Make sure your clothes are well-fitted. Don’t look like a goof.
- If you want to say something risky, pretend you’re drunk. You can use that as an excuse in case it’s not received well.
- Customize your game depending on the girl you’re talking to.
- Display your strengths to her while minimizing your weaknesses.
- Compliment the parts of her that you think she’s insecure about.
This book could also be called Bang Roman Empire for its specific venue advice on where to find women.
Besides the novelty factor of reading an ancient game manual, the book itself was a chore to read. The list I shared with you above is the gist of the whole thing, though I must add that beta game is definitely the heart of Ovid’s style, even though it’s more tactical than the more pathetic variant we see practiced today. Back then, strategic compliments and effusive charm got the job done before there were one-night stands and the ability to isolate girls away from her entourage (in Ovid’s time women married exceptionally young, so every one of his approaches was on a married woman).
I wonder what someone in 2,000 years will think of us if they discovered a copy of Bang. My guess: “They had sex? Gross! Now where did I leave my sexbot…”
This book is an autobiographical account of Ernest Hemingway’s young life in Paris during the 1920s while mired in poverty trying to get his writing career off the ground. I became interested in it after watching Woody Allen’s excellent movie Midnight In Paris, about a modern man’s journey back in time to Paris during the same time that Hemingway and friends produced their finest works. The movie portrays Hemingway as a blunt, serious man who speaks in powerful bursts of straight talk.
The prose wasn’t exactly gripping, but I found it far more interesting than his boring work The Sun Always Rises. It simply contained thoughts and events of a writer’s life, along with descriptions of his friends Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, the latter of which would have been more prolific had it not been for his controlling, jealous, and bipolar wife.
You’ll be interested in A Movable Feast if you want to learn more about Hemingway or the artists who were famous during his time. Overall it was a pleasant read.
“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”
More an essay than a book, Time For Outrage puts the onus on you to fight the system. You can’t complain about injustices in the world unless you are fighting those injustices. Do something, and do it now. This essay is like your cranky grandfather telling you to stop being a pussy and fight for what you believe in.
“‘There’s nothing I can do; I get by’—adopting this mindset will deprive you of one of the fundamental qualities of being human: outrage. Our capacity for protest is indispensable, as is our freedom to engage.”
I’m doing my part by ragging on shameful women.
Your brain makes decisions without conscious thought by using two mental processing systems. One is fast and intuitive (system one), controlled by your unconscious, and the other is slower and deliberate (system two), controlled by your conscious. Your brain does everything it can to process decisions using the first system since it takes less energy, but it’s often prone to error. People who are less rational and intelligent are more prone to using the first system for more complex situations, making them more likely to fall for logical traps and biases.
For example, when you’re driving you use system one, but when you’re looking for a specific address you switch to system two, which explains why you turn down the music or stop talking to a passenger (system two doesn’t like to be distracted). Since system two takes a high amount of self-control and mental energy, it actually can make you feel tired and depleted. This is why a night of talking to girls can make you feel exhausted even though you did very little physical activity (you’ve been using system two for many continuous hours). Your brain will do everything possible to avoid such dutiful thought, preferring to stay in auto-pilot, which takes the least amount of energy. In the book The War of Art, Steven Pressfield called this “resistance.” Your brain doesn’t want to stay in system two long enough to complete a large project like a book.
The problem with psychological studies, which this book is based on, is that it doesn’t duplicate real-world behavior. Most of the artificially created experiments are done in classrooms on Western students who want to get their study credit as quickly and easily as possible. I think they hint at how the brain works, but ultimately psychological studies are based on research that is not transferable or directly observable outside of the university. Plus even the author admits that most psychologists are morons when it comes to statistics, continually putting out studies with sample sizes so small that they say absolutely nothing.
Psychology also doesn’t give action items that can improve other people’s lives. This book says things like “Don’t be so trusting of your instincts” or “Be skeptical of sales tactics,” but those are vague pieces of advice you can pick up in an old issue of Readers Digest. More about psychology can be picked up in the biographies of great men than a compilation of studies.
I know you’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s books, but have they helped your life? They were fun reads that gave you knowledge like “the tipping point,” but little to apply it with (e.g., how to create a tipping point). This particular book will not help you with your career, love life, or personal life. It was like reading trivia.
Ultimately the field of psychology has done little to make people happier or to uncover life’s wisdom. While reading this book’s run-down of cute classroom studies, I’m thinking, “Yeah, so?” An active life well-lived is all you need to understand how human beings think. Ironically, self-help business books like The 48 Laws Of Power or The 50th Rule, which are based on history and the experiences of man, give you far more wisdom that mainstream psychology books.
I got the point of this book in its first 100 pages and stopped reading.
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