10 Best Books On Manipulation You Must Read

Manipulation is not about having a negative influence, but about knowing how to convince people.

When it comes to books on manipulation, marketing folks jump for it. Even though manipulation is seen in a bad light, it’s not the actual case. 

Manipulation doesn’t mean cajoling someone with malicious intent. It can very well be done for a sound purpose. The point is to convince people to believe in your notion. 

Manipulation comes from within. Many of us need not read books on manipulation, specifically. But if you are new to the world of convincing, and you don’t know how to go about it, you are at the right place! 

One of the aims of manipulation is to grab and retain the attention of the listeners and audience. If you are amazed by how the TedTalk speakers turn heads towards them, then these books on manipulation will help you understand the origins of their charm. 

Don’t forget to jot down or highlight the important points in the books!

The 10 Most Compelling Books On Manipulation That Everyone Must Read

Below are the list of the best 10 books on persuasion that will help you become a better influencer.

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (1998) 

Let’s start with the best on the list of books on manipulation. Dale Carnegie‘s debut book is a perennial best-seller, jam-packed with great pieces of advice. 

It has helped hundreds of individuals climb the personal and corporate ladders to prosperity. Dale Carnegie’s teachings are as applicable in every dimension of life as they could be.  

This best book on manipulation can help you unleash your true potential in today’s competitive world.

Goodreads Rating: 4.21/5

You Can Get the Book Here: How to Win Friends and Influence People

2. Influence by Robert B. Cialdini (2006)

Another famous book on manipulation, Influence, explores the science of why and when people say “yes”. Dr. Robert Cialdini is a pioneer in the field of persuasion. 

This widely acclaimed book is the culmination of his 35 years of intensive, scientific proof-based research. And three-year research on what motivates people to alter their behavior under different circumstances. 

You’ll discover the six fundamental principles of persuasion and how to apply them to be a much more effective influencer after reading this masterpiece.

Goodreads Rating: 4.19/5

You Can Get the Book Here: Influence

3. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene (2000)

This book on manipulation is based on the theories of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, and Carl Von Clausewitz. 

It also takes into consideration the experiences of personalities spanning from Henry Kissinger to P.T. Barnum. Robert Greene and Joost Elffers have condensed 3000 years of history of authority into 48 key rules.

If you want to conquer the world, defend yourself, or just learn the rules of the game, The 48 Laws of Power is the book for you.

Goodreads Rating: 4.15/5

You Can Get the Book Here: The 48 Laws of Power

4. In Sheep’s Clothing by George K. Simon Jr. (1996) 

The fourth one on the list of books on manipulation is one of my favorites. And I think it is one of the cleverest and most humorous of all books on manipulation. This book depicts the actual nature of unstable personalities. 

It also reveals the methods used by the greatest manipulating personalities to deceive others. Sheep’s Clothing lays forth strong and realistic strategies for dealing with manipulative people more successfully.

Goodreads Rating: 4.06/5

You Can Get the Book Here: In Sheep’s Clothing

5. Who’s Pulling Your Strings? by Harriet B. Braiker (2004)

Dr. Harriet B. Braiker outlines how manipulators may induce melancholy, poor self-esteem, rage, and feelings of powerlessness, in Who’s Pulling Your Strings? to get what they want. 

She reveals deceivers’ most prevalent techniques. She teaches you how to spot and break the manipulating loop once and for all. This book also contains self-assessment tests, implementation plans, and how-to activities for you to track your progress. 

Goodreads Rating: 4.05/5

You Can Get the Book Here: Who’s Pulling Your Strings?

6. The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene (2001)

The Art of Seduction is a magnificent combination of the contributions of noteworthy philosophers. It contains the views of Sigmund Freud, Ovid, Kierkegaard, and Einstein, and their accomplishments as humanity’s biggest seducers.

The Art of Seduction delves into the seducer’s personality, as well as his/her strategies, victories, and mistakes.

Goodreads rating: 4.01/5

You Can Get the Book Here: The Art of Seduction

7. Social Engineering by Christopher Hadnagy (2018) 

Why break into anything when you can just request entry? Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking uncovers the cleverest aspects of the hacker’s repertory.

Social engineering, which is impossible to detect by antivirus software, needs to rely on human error to attain access to certain areas. 

Christopher Hadnagy describes the most basic methods that bamboozle the most vigilant security personnel. He also quotes examples of how these methods have been used in the old days.

Goodreads rating: 3.9/5

You Can Get the Book Here: Social Engineering

8. How to Change Minds by Rob Jolles (2013)

This book on manipulation is for the ones who want to sell their product or strengthen a connection. 

Jolles’s insightful recommendation by a slew of instances of occasional humor will assist you to make sure you understand how altering someone’s thinking works. The book also contains random heartbreaking, but informative stories to keep you glued to it.

Goodreads rating: 3.84/5

You Can Get the Book Here: How to Change Minds

9. Propaganda by Edward L. Bernays (2004)

Bernays’ straightforward and useful guide sheds light on the most prominent and important organizations and their use of manipulation, i.e. capitalist ventures and states. He concentrates on today’s competitive state of capitalist countries.

Propaganda lays forth his astonishingly prophetic plan for utilizing propaganda to control the public psyche. 

Reading this book now is going to be a terrifying realization of what our modern institutions of industry and government have become to deceive the masses for their benefit.

Goodreads Rating: 3.79/5

You Can Get the Book Here: Propaganda

10. Dark Psychology 101 by Michael Pace (2015)

Among the most potent forces at work, across the globe, today is Dark Psychology. Author Michael Pace delivers a snipping summary of some of the most concentrated deas in the field of dark psychology. 

Each section describes a different component of dark psychology in a way that a layperson with no background in science may grasp.

To make learning dark psychology simpler, concepts are explained using illustrations.

Goodreads Rating: 3.12/5

You Can Get the Book Here: Dark Psychology 101


You must be wondering: why should one read books on manipulation? 

Well, keeping in mind the current world dynamics, it’s important to dive into people’s minds. Especially, if you are positioned in the corporate world. 

Each element and person around you is controlling your mind in some way. And you are being manipulated unconsciously. 

By reading these books, you can learn the mechanisms of manipulation and/or can spot others’ techniques and not fall for them. 

Manipulation is a great tool if put to use properly. 

All the abovementioned best-selling books on manipulation will teach you how to tackle people. Or to ace that interview. Or excel in public speaking. Or a presentation. And definitely in marketing. 


"As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases"