Michael Jackson’s 48 Laws of Power

In June 2011 at auction in Los Angeles someone paid $15000 for a self-help book annotated by Michael Jackson. It was The 48 Laws Of Power by Robert Greene (Viking 1998) a book that can usually be bought on Amazon for $10.  Bonham's catalogue entry goes thus:

"... a number of pages with passages underlined and annotated in various pens by Michael, providing an insight into his view of the world, with comments such as 'Make yourself respected, a God Demands Worship' and 'No more talking silence is more powerful', and 'you create your own circumstances even in the manner in which you are treated and looked upon', and 'deer are special because they hide if they walked the streets like dogs no one would care' + 'the moon comes every night so people don't care to look to the heavens Haleys Comet,the fact it comes once in a lifetime makes it important...'

A useful work, somewhat cynical and ruthless for a self help book with ideas taken from Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, Gracian, Talleyrand, Bismarck and also various 'con artists.'

It is really for one aspiring to wealth and fame and it is odd that Michael was so inspired by it. The author has gone on to write the 50th Law (10 lessons in Fearlessness) with the rapper named 50 cent.

MJ's lawyer Bob Sanger is on record as saying '..he loved to read. He had over 10,000 books at his house.' At one session in an LA bookstore he spent $6,000 on books and allowed anyone in his entourage to take books. Marvellous man. I like to think that was in Book Soup, my favourite LA shop.

2 thoughts on “Michael Jackson’s 48 Laws of Power

  1. Edwin Moore

    He was a likeable, normal bloke in the 70s. My brother was a stage hand at the King's and was building a set when Michael wandered on stage and said 'Hi, I'm Michael'. My brother said 'Aye, but you don't know who i am!'. There was a plot for a while to take Michael down to the Saracens Head where my father worked – then possibly the most notorious pub in Glasgow – but sense prevailed. My sister wandered in and chatted to Michael and the other Jacksons – she then popped out to the King;s cafe in Elmbank St and the Jacksons followed her – they had tea and chips!

    A different universe.


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