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Lives of the Stoics  By  cover art

Lives of the Stoics

By: Ryan Holiday, Stephen Hanselman
Narrated by: Ryan Holiday
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Publisher's summary

Instant New York Times Advice & Business best seller, USA Today best seller, and Wall Street Journal number one best seller!

A New York Times Noteworthy Pick and a "stellar work" by Publishers Weekly

From the best-selling authors of The Daily Stoic comes an inspiring guide to the lives of the Stoics, and what the ancients can teach us about happiness, success, resilience, and virtue.

Nearly 2,300 years after a ruined merchant named Zeno first established a school on the Stoa Poikile of Athens, Stoicism has found a new audience among those who seek greatness, from athletes to politicians and everyone in between. It's no wonder; the philosophy and its embrace of self-mastery, virtue, and indifference to that which we cannot control is as urgent today as it was in the chaos of the Roman Empire.

In Lives of the Stoics, Holiday and Hanselman present the fascinating lives of the men and women who strove to live by the timeless Stoic virtues of Courage. Justice. Temperance. Wisdom. Organized in digestible, mini-biographies of all the well-known - and not so well-known - Stoics, this book vividly brings home what Stoicism was like for the people who loved it and lived it, dusting off powerful lessons to be learned from their struggles and successes.

More than a mere history book, every example, from Epictetus to Marcus Aurelius - slaves to emperors - is designed to help the listener apply philosophy in their own lives. Holiday and Hanselman unveil the core values and ideas that unite figures from Seneca to Cato to Cicero across the centuries. Among them are the idea that self-rule is the greatest empire, that character is fate; how Stoics benefit from preparing not only for success, but failure; and learn to love, not merely accept, the hand they are dealt in life. A treasure of valuable insights and stories, this book can be visited again and again by any listener in search of inspiration from the past.

©2020 Ryan Holiday (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Whether you're a general or a gardener, a stockbroker or a senator, there is much to learn from Ryan Holiday’s excellent Lives of the Stoics." (Senator Ben Sasse)

“Holiday and Hanselman (coauthors of The Daily Stoic) explain in this stellar work the implications of Stoic dedications to truth, wisdom, resilience, and character...This illuminating collection of biographies makes great use of Stoic wisdom to demonstrate the tradition’s values for any reader interested in ancient philosophy.” (Publishers Weekly [starred review])

“An introductory guide to the luminaries of Greco-Roman ethical philosophy.... Thoughtfully complicates Stoicism. Rather than emphasizing Spock-like, unemotional rigor (as pop culture often does), the authors reveal how the philosophy often debated its identity.... At a time when public nobility is hard to come by, this is a good reminder of the power of ethical leadership.” (Kirkus Reviews)