back to the well

I’ve always been fascinated with the art of playing politics. I’m not talking the madness going on in Washington at the moment so much as the shrewd tactics used to maneuver against competitio; things like the classic Mad Men episode, “The Chrysanthemum and The Sword.”

This of course had led me to read a variety of books about business and psychology. One that’s been popping up again and again is Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power. Let me be clear and say, I have no desire to read this book. The description leaves a bad taste in my mouth, as it’s clearly a ripoff of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and Machiavelli’s The Prince that’s been overstuffed with late-capitalist nonsense.

Instead of reading the derivative, I figured I’d go back to the source material. Instead of picking up The 48 Laws of Power, I opted instead for The Art of War and The Prince.

As Cormac McCarthy says, “The ugly fact is that books are made out of books.” If the book in front of you doesn’t have anything interesting to say–if it isn’t a generous contribution, why not go back to the source material?

Why buy water from the salesman when you can go straight to the well?