REVIEW: Stone’s Rules… Roger Stone’s Cheat Codes For Life

Roger Stone gives you his tools of manipulation. Use them as you please.

By Sean David Hartman

“I helped undermine the Reform Party after they cost Republicans the white House in 1988. I shut down the 2000 Florida Presidential recount in Miami-Dade County by fomenting a riot, and I launched the idea of Donald J. Trump for President.”

Roger Stone is the type of political operative that reminds you of Frank Underwood. A sort of snake in the grass, willing to get his hands dirty so his client could save face. Stone is, by every sense of the word, a horrendous human being. He knows it, and he relishes it.

His tactics are cruel, but they work, and Stone wants you to have them in your arsenal.

Stone’s Rules—which, side note, had it been me, I would have named it Stone’s Rules of Chaos, to play on Robert’s Rules of Order—is not just a Machiavellian recipe book, but rather simple rules to succeed in everything. It’s a quick and simple read, which admittedly may seem like low content for high cost, but that does not change the fact that these simple rules for success in any form of business activity.

The rules read like a How to Win Friends & Influence People, but instead of influencing people through compassion, it is through ruthlessness.

Some of these rules are based on common virtues, such as determination and fearlessness. Stone also had a strong emphasis on clothing, reminding me a bit of Barney Stinson’s suit fetish in How I Met Your Mother, or Colin Firth’s character Galahad in Kingsman: The Secret Service. In fact, of his 140 rules, at least 47 of them are about your dress code.

Stone’s rules ranged from simple business codices that are probably more linked to Machiavellian tactics to style/fashion tips for every respectable gent. These tactics are the ones that make him the most formidable and hated political operative ever to walk DC. And in pure Machiavellian fashion, it eschews conventional understanding of morality. In one rule, where he talks about “doing anything to win”, he brings up President Lyndon Johnson (D-TX), implying that he orchestrated the assassination of President Kennedy to become President, a very common conspiracy theory around the JFK Assassination.

You may read this book and feel angry. Angry at the rules, angry that they exist, angry that they are even suggested. You can feel angry, but it won’t change their effectiveness.

The rules are Machiavellian, meaning that they are not meant to be compassionate. They are meant for your success and achieving your goals. It was a tool used by Stone for his conservative allies. But now it is in your hands. Do you wish to enact common sense gun legislation? These tactics will help.

Do you wish to build the wall? These tactics will assist. Do you wish to win? Roger Stone has given you the cheat codes.

That is, if you can stomach being a snake like him.


Sean David Hartman is a freelance reporter for the Central Florida Post, with a wide portfolio ranging from entertainment to politics. He is a centrist political operative and blogger and a student at UCF. Hartman is autistic and bipolar, and supports the neurodiversity movement.