There are so many good red pill books that it’s difficult to select the top ones.
However, here’s me trying.
We’ll give you a good reading list of the best manosphere books as well as the best red pill books available.
Click on the “summary” link to access the summary and review for each book.
- 15. Anatomy of the State
- 14. The Gervais Principle
- 13. The Dictator’s Handbook
- 12. The 48 Laws Of Power
- 11. Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism
- 10. Leadership BS
- 9. The Unplugged Alpha
- 8. The Millionaire Fastlane
- 7. The Evolution of Desire
- 6. King, Warrior, Magician, Lover
- 5. Seduction University
- 4. The Wisdom of Psychopaths
- 3. Decoding The Gurus
- 2. When Men Behave Badly
- 1. Power University
- What Are Red Pill Books
- More Good Red Pill Books
- Final Words
- Also, read:
15. Anatomy of the State
By Murray Rothbard
For those who’ve always considered the government a provider of safety and stability… This is the red pill for you.
It’s really short and to the point, and comes also in audiobook form, so it should be easy to go through.
The author presents state and state leadership as power players who seek to maximize their own well-being.
Take the anarcho-capitalist, free-market bits with a pinch of salt, though.
While the former is solid power dynamics and potentially eye-opening, the latter is either untested or dubious.
Quote: A robber who justified his theft by saying that he really helped his victims, by his spending giving a boost to retail trade, would find few converts; but when this theory is clothed in Keynesian equations and impressive references to the “multiplier effect,” it unfortunately carries more conviction.
14. The Gervais Principle
By Venkatesh Rao
Absolutely loved The Gervais Principle.
Albeit the analysis may be simplistic and overly cynical, it’s still one of the best books to open your eyes to corporate manipulation (<- and that one is the best post to understand corporate manipulation, BTW).
Rao, wittingly or unwittingly, even describes the dynamics of becoming a top-dog sociopath as a red pill awakening process:
Quote: “The image is derived from Plato’s allegory of the cave, which I won’t get into here. Suffice it to say that it divides people into those who get how the world really works (the Sociopaths and the self-aware slacker Losers) and those who don’t (the over-performer Losers and the Clueless in the middle).”
13. The Dictator’s Handbook
Originally, this spot belonged to “The Prince” by Machiavelli.
In a way, consider this position as shared between the two books.
The Prince heralded as the first treatise of political philosophy and realpolitik, is a classic.
It has boatloads of wisdom, but it’s not an easy read.
Same for “The Logic of Political Survival“, which is the book where de Mesquita shares all his data, and deeper logic.
So I gave the official spot on this list to “The Dictator’s Handbook”. In theory, it’s a guide on how dictators operate to acquire and maintain power. But in truth, it explains the power dynamics of politics and how incentives of personal gain and power truly determine policy.
“The Prince” and “The Dictator’s Handbook” are red pill power dynamics applied to politics.
Quote: “Everyone sees what you appear to be, but few experience who you really are“
12. The 48 Laws Of Power
Now, here is a book and an author that needs no introduction.
I must preface it with a warning: getting into power reading books requires that you first understand basic social skills.
I see hundreds of men who jump into power without basic social skills, and the results are disastrous.
See an example here:
That was so common in subreddits like “The 48 Laws of Power” that I dedicated some time to pick The 48 Laws of Power Apart.
Plus, I modernized with current examples and then did an article on the bad applications of the laws.
And you can also see:
Now, back to us.
How is “The 48 Laws of Power” useful?
It’s useful to understand the darker, self-interested side of human nature.
And of course, it drops a substantial amount of gold on the unspoken rules of socialization.
Quote: “Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter”
11. Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism
You might be surprised to see this book here.
Because the author is a feminist.
But hear me out before you close the page.
The truth is rarely to be found wholly in one camp alone. And rarely one faction is 100% right and the other 100% wrong.
So to truly understand intersexual dynamics, or to truly understand anything, really, you should look at both camps with as much of an open mind as possible.
For true red pill enlightenment, let truth guide you, not ideology, gender belonging, or what you wish to see.
And Ghodsee has a point when she says that men, as a group, have an incentive in keeping women down.
The patriarchy is vastly overblown by feminists. But it’s not fully made up, either.
As much as some (male) researchers like to scoff at it, the patriarchy the feminists talk about has a backdrop of truth. And the backdrop of truth is that since most men cluster around the average, most men do need women to be powerless and poor (or those men would never get sex, since women want men who are more than they are).
Many men do want to keep women powerless because it increases their sexual odds of mating.
Powerful women are bad news for lower-quality men. When most women also have power, then those women wouldn’t want any of those men who are now beneath them (see “female hypergamy“).
Ghodhee makes a good case that men want capitalism with restricted female access to resources because that gives them an advantage.
And she’s right.
Unluckily, except for what I’ve just described and a few more important nuggets of wisdom, the book as a whole is only average as it’s weakened by heavy feminist and leftist biases.
Quote: “Ultimately, this thing we call government, is not inherently good or bad, it is a vessel that is steered by those who happen to control it at any one moment in time”
10. Leadership BS
Leadership BS is the antidote to, well… All the leadership blue pill BS that happens to be the majority of the leadership industry and book.
This book brings you back to earth on how things most often are -rather than “how it’d be cool they were”-.
Quote: Go home and throw out the numerous leadership books—or better yet, give them to career competitors.
9. The Unplugged Alpha
The Unplugged Alpha is a new entry in this list.
And very “prototypical” of red pill books.
One of the most popular red pill movements indeed, and probably what most men associate with “red pill”, focuses on intersexual dynamics and male rights.
In that sense, The Unplugged Alpha is probably the most “typical” red pill book in this list as it focuses almost exclusively on intersexual dynamics, dating, and male-only self-improvement.
The reason why we preferred Cooper’s book is that it provides a better overview of many of the foundational red pill principles.
So with The Unplugged Alpha, you can be more efficient and cover more ground in less time.
Quote: Men are made; women are born
This is an endorsement of the book.
Not necessarily of the author.
Lucio: Richard Cooper’s mindset here is not only toxic ☣️, but also weak AF
8. The Millionaire Fastlane
The best red pill book on personal finance bar none.
The two biggest takeaways:
- The paradox of practice: It tears apart all the “I will make you rich” courses and books. MJ says that the only way those guys are getting rich is by.. Selling said courses.
They don’t know squat about getting rich in any other way. If you want to learn from them, learn how they sell the courses, not what’s in the courses.
- Saving & Investing is for suckers: The central tenet of the personal-finance literature is the famous “compound interest”.
DeMarco flips the script claiming that compound interest is trading invaluable time today for distant (and uncertain) riches (a distant) tomorrow.
I couldn’t agree more with both of them.
Quote: Dump the damn job. The job sucks
Unscripted is the second book by the same author, revisiting many of the same themes, and expanding on them.
If you have to choose between one, I think Unscripted may be more comprehensive -and more practical, too-.
7. The Evolution of Desire
If the red pill is about truth, here is an idea for you:
Skip all authors with manosphere or feminist backgrounds -they’re biased against the opposite gender-.
Skip all authors with too strong a sense of belongings to specific groups or ideologies (any group is a set of “basic rules” set in stone is an ideology).
And pick a book based on science and evidence, instead.
“The Evolution of Desire” perfectly fits the bill.
There are many evolutionary psychology books I could recommend.
But if I had to pick just one, “The Evolution of Desire” is the briefest and most compact overview of intersexual dynamics.
You can get the juiciest content on these articles for free:
Or just go for this website’s ebook, which is a mix of experience, on top solid science (next entry).
Quote: “Desirable people are always outnumbered by those who desire them”
6. King, Warrior, Magician, Lover
Even more than a “red pill book”, this is a typical “manosphere book”.
It’s all about reaching the full potential of a man, with the King being a high-power, value-adding leader.
Similar to “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover”, are also:
But, in my opinion, the above three are lacking when compared to this classic.
“The Way of Men” relishes into the shadow of the warrior, promoting factions and fights on other tribes. “The Way of The Superior Man” is too woo-woo and weak on science when it comes to the stereotypes of feminine and masculine. And “Tribe” is too heavy on “initiation and belonging”, trumping healthy individualism.
When I first read “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover”, I was almost angry. Angry at myself for having read it so late. Of course: it always makes sense to start with the classics!
Much of what it means to be a good King and a good Warrior also reflects much of The Power Moves value, whereby “to be good, you need to know how to be bad”.
Equally, the good Warrior uses his destructive drive to wage war on what needs to be destroyed.
Quote: The Warrior is often a destroyer.
But the positive Warrior energy destroys only what needs to be destroyed in order for something new and fresh, more alive and more virtuous to appear.
Many things in our world need destroying…
5. Seduction University
I am the author of this course.
But there is a reason why it’s here.
It features higher than Buss because it has the same scientific grounding as Buss, plus personal experience (Buss is not a player :).
And it features higher than the red pill books because it’s more scientifically grounded and just better at being your guide for better dating because it focuses on strategies, techniques, examples, videos, and step-by-step processes.
Seduction University is in-between to all the very best information pertaining to sexual dynamics (both intrasexual, and intersexual), sexual power dynamics, and what’s been proven to work to actually seduce and maximize your dating success.
Quote: “Effective processes are the main difference between the talker, and the effective slayer”
4. The Wisdom of Psychopaths
“The Wisdom of Psychopaths” has lots of negative reviews online.
And it couldn’t have been any different.
After all, telling people that amorality, drive to power and ruthlessness can provide an edge in life was bound to ruffle some feathers.
Yet, we do know that dark-triad men get laid more than the average man.
And we’ve shown that Machiavellianism and ruthlessness help you get to the top in business.
Dutton is clear that it’s not boundless psychopathy that provides an edge in life.
It’s low to medium doses of psychopathy plus the ability to decide where and when to be pro-social or ruthless that provide an edge.
And both Dutton and I espouse the theory that it’s possible to be “good psychopaths”, such as to use psychopathic traits without harming innocent people -or even to add value to society-.
As a matter of fact, I have long said on this website that to be good, you need to know how to be bad.
Machiavelli said it first:
A good person is ruined among the great numbers who are not good
So, yes, there is plenty we can learn from psychopaths. Especially if you want to be a force for good.
Also from Dutton:
Quote: “There are two things that rises at the top: the cream, and the scum”.
3. Decoding The Gurus
By Chris Kavanagh and Matthew Browne
A large chunk of famous people are dark triads.
And so are most gurus, influencers, and various personalities who seek to teach others.
Including many in this very same list.
Decoding The Gurus is the best available resource to understand the guru phenomenon.
And to help you get rid of your very human tendency to believe, look up, or subordinate yourself to them.
(Our website also does the same, BTW).
Do you know Scott Adams?
If you do and don’t see the narcissism and red flags, let this be your wake up call:
Quote: I’ll issue a spoiler upfront. We looked at some people and some are particularly irritating to look at. Jordan Peterson series spring to mind (…) I think it is some achievement that Scott Adams is by far the person I disliked the most that we’ve covered and I’m really going to struggle to say anything about him, because he’s such an a**hole (..) he’s an a**hole
2. When Men Behave Badly
Don’t let the title fool you:
It’s not a tirade against men -if it were, trust me, I wouldn’t have put it here-.
David Buss is a true scientist, and quite impartial -albeit just a bit more male perspective would have made it even better, to be honest-.
Indeed, the very first thing he says is that both feminists and manosphere bloggers do get something right. But they both lack a deeper understanding -and an unbiased view- of intersexual dynamics.
And we agree with that.
If you want to learn about sexual conflict and the more cheating, amoral, and manipulative nature of intersexual dynamics, this is your book -as well as the course below, which is more on the practical side-.
And as a testament to Buss telling just how it is, look no further than this quote:
Quote: Are these acts morally abhorrent? Absolutely. Few things seem more evil than directing abortion-inducing blows to a pregnant woman’s belly. (…) Evolution by selection operates according to the ruthless currency of relative reproductive success. It is indifferent to the suffering of individuals. It is indifferent to our moral evaluations. Just as evolution has created male lions that kill the baby cubs sired by their rivals in order to bring a new female back into estrus, human males may have evolved a circumstance-contingent psychology that inclines them to brutalize incipient offspring sired by rival men.
1. Power University
Power University is a course.
So, technically not a “red pill book”, but a “red pill course”.
But if you are looking for an edge in life, you are probably not going to be too squeamish about definitions.
As per “Dating Power Dynamics”, be warned of the conflict of interests: I am the author of this list and the author of this course.
That being said, I put it here because it’s not only me who frankly honestly believe it deserves to be here but so do thousands of students who went through it.
This was my life’s work of an endless quest on getting to the truth of how power and power dynamics intersect with personal success (including amoral strategies). Now, it’s my life’s work, plus the community.
So Power University combines all of the above resources and many more, teasing out all the practical applications, and field-testing them to make sure they work.
So you get all the best life strategies.
And it’s a course, with lots of videos, self-assessments, and quizzes. So it may be better for you to understand the concepts than a book.
When it comes to red pill credentials, this website is one of just a handful to be featured in “The Red Pill Archive”:
And the reactions people have going through Power University show the alignment to red pill awakening:
This is a public comment, and you can read it here.
The angry reaction to good red pill content is a textbook example of phase 2 of red pill awakening, as per Rollo Tomassi’s phases.
Plus, someone is already upgrading his life after he searched for the best red pill books, or “best manosphere books”, just like you probably did:
So, yeah, I truly think this is the best course available on red pill wisdom for life success.
Quote: “True enlightnment for effective life strategies start by understanding both the conflict of interets and the opportunities for collaboration“.
What Are Red Pill Books
What were the criteria for this red pill book list?
What does it take to be labeled as a “red pill”?
First of all, intersexual dynamics is one of the major topics of the red pill, so this list prominently features the best books on intersexual dynamics.
But “red pill” also refers to any deep and truthful wisdom that people don’t openly talk about. Truths and realities that, for various reasons, society either hides or refuses.
In its wider meaning, “red pill’ refers to anything which helps us reach a higher level of knowledge and/or effectiveness by going beyond the mainstream information.
This reading list embraced that wider meaning of “red pill”.
Some people say the Red Pill can bring to the surface uncomfortable truths which can make people depressed.
But I never bought that.
I think that anything “Red Pill”, by definition, makes us more effective human beings. And that, in my book, will always mean empowering, not disheartening.
More Good Red Pill Books
Somewhat outside of the TOP 10, but no less top-notch red pills books:
The Rational Male – Preventive Medicine
Rollo Tomassi is one of the most popular voices in the red pill community.
If you’re a beginner, then the first book “The Rational Male” provides an overview of the most foundational red pill framework of dating and intersexual dynamics.
I personally preferred “Preventive Medicine”, since the first one was a bit basic for me.
At the risk of losing readership though, I gotta raise a warning: the bitterness and covert misogyny of authors like these aren’t good for you.
Quote: “Men need to man up is the battle cry of every single woman older than 30”
The Manipulated Man
This is pure shock and awe ped pill therapy.
Not for the faint of heart and not for beginners: it will raise cognitive dissonance alarm bells left and right.
Unluckily, as much as Vilar’s work hits like a kettle of gunpowder, it also comes from a place of little understanding of sexual marketplace power dynamics.
Vilar fails to see that (many) women not working and (many) men working is often a fair deal that most men enter willingly because average women have higher sexual market value than average men.
In the wrong hands and at the wrong time, “The Manipulated Man” might push some men into the wrong path, fueling misogyny, a defensive mindset, and what I call “fearful defection“, such as giving up on relationships -or women- just out of fear of losing out.
This is a pity because it’s true that women -just like men- do often manipulate their partners. And that’s especially dangerous for men who are not aware of those inborn tendencies.
Female manipulation should be put into a wider frame of sexual conflict and manipulation, which cuts both ways.
For more, check out these articles:
- Sexual conflict: how both genders fight the sexual arms race
- How women manipulate men (w/ video examples)
Quote: “Without thinking, men fight women’s wars, father women’s children and construct women’s towns. Women just sit back getting lazier, dumber and more demanding”
Drop the corporate wool in front of your eyes with their “we love our employees” and HR’s “employees first” BS slogans.
That’s not how it really works, and this book will give you a good dose of workplace red pill realism.
For the whole list of best career strategies books, check out this list:
Or get the quickest, biggest dose of work-related red pill with this article:
This was the biggest eye-opener on how economics works.
And that helped me understand social exchanges as well.
Economics, at the core, is about adding value to society. The poor economic policy reduces the added value, disempowers people, and makes everyone poorer. And good economic policy empowers people, enhances personal freedoms, and increases well-being and purchasing power.
This is your primer on understanding both economics and social exchanges.
And it will increase your critical thinking skills.
Guys, if you’re serious about unplugging, taking the Red Pill, and looking for the truth, then get some actual numbers on the truth. A few key takeaways:
- Feminism happens when women have few quality options
- Men become more romantic when there are few women
- Making him chase“, the mantra of female dating advice, is terrible advice when there are few high-quality men
For me, the biggest eye-opener was that nice guys focus hard on making women sexually happy because they come from a place of personal insecurity.
A huge change of perspective if you think that being an orgasm-provider is a trait most people associate with lovers and ladies’ men.
Yet, if you think about it, it’s also at the essence of the nice guy mentality: the mindset of having to over-provide to make up for the value imbalance
on the use of data and “evidence” to manipulate opinions and behaviors
A great primer on how numbers and data can lead us astray and how statistics can be willfully abused to sway us.
An eye-opening explanation of how nutrition and metabolism truly work.
How does this book even make it on a red pill list?
Well, to begin with, some of those truths will be hard to stomach for many -pun intended-.
And second, this book -and author- is one of the very few that tells it as it is in a sea of quacks and markets.
Quote: The way diets have been pitched and marketed to you has been a complete betrayal.
It focuses on the games women play
Some made up evolutionary psychology and some conjectures passed as science. But I also learned a few games and I ended up quoting on “Dating Power Dynamics” (now withdrawn for “Seduction University”).
But we all play games. Most of all, I believe, you should focus on the nasty games women play. Those are the ones that take value away and/or can potentially victimize you.
As usual, I like to conclude all “list” posts with a warning on the ranking.
And this is the warning: don’t read too much into the order and rankings.
Any of the books on this reading list is top-notch and all of them have the potential to (further) open your eyes and improve your life for the better.
Also somewhat related to red pill wisdom: