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Publisher's Summary

Just a century after it had begun, philosophy entered its greatest age with the appearance of Socrates, who spent so much of his time talking about philosophy on the streets of Athens that he never got around to writing anything down. His method of aggressive questioning, called dialectic, was the forerunner of logic; he used it to cut through the twaddle of his adversaries and arrive at the truth. Rather than questioning the world, he believed, we would be better off questioning ourselves. Socrates placed philosophy on the sound basis of reason. He saw the world as not accessible to our senses, only to thought. Finally, charged with impiety and the corruption of youth, he was tried and sentenced to death, and ended his life by drinking the judicial hemlock.

In Socrates in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Socrates' life and ideas, and explains their influence on man's struggle to understand his existence in the world. The book also includes selections from Socrates' work, a brief list of suggested readings for those who wish to delve deeper, and chronologies that place Socrates within his own age and in the broader scheme of philosophy.

©1997 Paul Strathern; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Well-written, clear, and informed, they have a breezy wit about them. I find them hard to stop reading." (The New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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I thought it was OK

This really was a crash course on Socrates. Some poignant facts about him that you can use if you were to be asked any light questions about him but certainly not anything that you can per chance lord over anyone's head with your in dept knowledge. I like how it was brought across by the narrator and I sincerely found sections where I really did laugh out as a result of the Narrator's description and side quip at Socrates himself, minute 29 made me fall off my chair when I heard it and I literally had to call, have my sister purchase the book so we could share in a vicious laughing fit (pauses from writing the review and gives the section a second listen to see if I got the same effect... Yup... Still laughing fit)! If you want real and in dept information on Socrates and Philosophy, I would say pass, if you want a light listen with some quick information on these topics.... take a listen!

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Robert
  • South Euclid, OH, USA
  • 04-28-07

I think I'll try another series

There are few deficiencies in this book. First the author has a strict naturalistic presupposition and simply dismisses as wrong the philosophers who ponder the metaphysical. Secondly, the social and political climate could have been more elucidated.We always need to know to what problem the philosophers was responding. Also, there seems to be a strained bent towards homosexuality with statements such as this was quite normal before the advent of Christianity. Likewise, this is also shown in the telling of a story of Socrates being seduced but not giving in to a "fine specimen" of a man. ("How could he resist!") How that story illuminated Socrates work and life I do not know. There are a few positive points such as the author's effort in not making philosophy too dry and the inclusion of some humor. I also learned a few things about some other Greek thinkers of that time. Not a terrible book but I think I'll try another series.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
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Excellent

What did you love best about Socrates in 90 Minutes?

It is very thorough for such a quick analysis.

What did you like best about this story?

It is an important part of our history, with parallels for today.

Which character – as performed by Robert Whitfield – was your favorite?

I liked all of them. Socrates, of course, even though it is Plato talking.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Why Socrates Matters

Any additional comments?

Offer more of these historic biographies.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

In 90 Minutes Series overview

If you could sum up Socrates in 90 Minutes in three words, what would they be?
aka Cliff Notes

Would you recommend Socrates in 90 Minutes to your friends? Why or why not?
Yes - I've listened to each book in the series about a major philosopher that is available on Audible. Strathern's books don't have the analytical depth found in Will Durant's "The Story of Philosophy" books, but he does a good job summarizing each philosopher's biography, major philosophical points, and criticisms. Additionally, Strathern's breadth is broader than Durant's in that he covers a greater number of philosophers. I believe that the time spent listening to these books has been well-spent.

My reviews for each book in the series about a philosopher are identical.

What about Robert Whitfield’s performance did you like?
Voice is clear, well-modulated, and easily understood, even at 1 1/2 speed.

  • Overall

Very pleasing

Highly recommended for a quick (90 min) introduction into Philosophy and Socrates. Collect all of the series and start from here to learn about Philosophy.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful