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Publisher's Summary

The great insights of the Stoics are spread over a wide range of ancient sources. This book brings them all together for the first time. It systematically presents what the various Stoic philosophers said on every important topic, accompanied by an eloquent commentary that is clear and concise. The result is a set of philosophy lessons for everyone - the most valuable wisdom of ages past made available for our times, and for all time.

©2018 Ward Farnsworth (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Practicing Stoic

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I would guess the book is better

I am a huge fan of Stoicism and my similar background to the author makes me biased in his favor. The ideas, of course, are wonderful. But the excessive attributions make the audio book a hard listen. I was expecting far more commentary from the author. Instead, there are endless quotes from the great Stoic minds - that's not a bad thing and for me quite a good thing -- but at the end of each quote, we have to endure listening to the footnote. i realize that quoting sources requires proper attribution and, in a book, the reader can quickly gaze over the details. A solution: just provide a PDF for those who want the exact citation,
Audible listeners are usually not sitting with a pen and paper so whatever attributions are given - beyond the original speaker's name - are nearly useless.
Incredibly frustrating.

115 people found this helpful

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A comprehensive guide to stoicism. Mind altering. Life changing

I recommend this to anyone seeking peace of mind through the practice of the philosophy o stoicism. This book is very well researched and covers all the great stoic thinkers such as Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Schopenhauer even Emerson. I followed this purchase with ON ANGER by Seneca, MEDITATIONS by Aurelius, THE ENCHIRIDION, and THE WISDOM OF LIFE by Schopenhauer and THE COMPLETE ESSAYS OF MONTAIGNE and found that THE PRACTICING STOIC is like a really good “cliff notes” of the above books combined. So, this is the book I now recommend to friends and family. I reread it at least once a week, and have since purchased a physical copy as well.

Many thanks to the author for putting this together. Great job to the narrator as well.

49 people found this helpful

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A good place to start before diving in.

Probably the most important thing that I should mention is that this book is less an original interpretation of stoic thoughts and ideas than it is a curated collection of some of the most important statements made by famous stoics and those influenced by them. However, it is no less for that fact and I appreciate the author's willingness to let the greats of stoic philosophy speak for themselves. Also, the author chose to set up the individual sections of the book as though they were lessons building off of one another in order to bring the reader/ listener to a more nuanced understanding of the topic gradually. In this I believe they were highly successful.

I believe this book serves as a great starting point for the interested to begin studying the subject in earnest. Perhaps the next step might be to study the original works mentioned in this text for ones self.

58 people found this helpful

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Grows on you...

Initially I tried listening to this book straight through. I didn’t quite make it all the way. This book isn’t great as a narrative overall. The opening chapter are in narrative format and the most entertaining to listen to for sure. The rest of the book reads like a series of bullet points on specific topics. Each topic is then given its own chapter. It’s a unique way of organizing a book really.

Anyway, I did enjoy listening to much of it but there is only so much you can absorb at one time. I wasn’t quite sure how I felt overall but now I see it as a sort of condensed collection of wisdom that can be returned to for brief periods of time. The stoics were quite refreshing and funny after all.

I quite like the performance. The vocalist reading the text has the right amount of seriousness and dry humor. I often found myself smiling. Also, considering the material reads in part like a textbook and part a zen koan I think he does a great job.

24 people found this helpful

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Highly recommend

Great book with many great unique ideas. Beautifully narrated and I love how he organized the ideas by topics. Very easy to follow . I can’t believe even 2000 years later same ideas apply to our lives today.

12 people found this helpful

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An outstanding resource, great quotes and context!

A very useful survey of the teachings of the Stoics, quoting both from primary sources and the writings of later authors influenced by them. It's helpful to compare and contrast these views, and to have them placed in context by the author of this work. Recommend.

7 people found this helpful

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practical, reasonable

I found parts to be amusing as well as helpful in dealing with everyday life.

15 people found this helpful

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great stoic book

good narration. great informative. more informative than enlightening. good for a listen for learning and refreshing knowledge.

6 people found this helpful

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Great book

extremely well written and explained great way to get acquainted with all the great minds of the past .we can realized that all has been said ! nothing we hear now is NEW

4 people found this helpful

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Begins well, ends so so

The first 5 or so chapters are great. They follow the standard flow of a well written themed chapter. The later chapters are so so in that they are nothing but quotes from Epictetus, Seneca and Montaigne. Imagine listening to Epictetus says, Seneca says, or Montaigne says for a few hours. The bright side is you wouldn’t have to buy the aforementioned philosophers as their works are contained here.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Mjl
  • 08-07-21

A treasure trove

Be ready to pause the audio often as it contains gem after gem of brilliant observations about our nature. So many jewels that they come rapid fire, almost too fast to allow due consideration before the next one arrives. This book holds a mirror up to the human condition and you'll see things I missed, I hope to catch them on repeat listenings. Be ready to pause and savour this feast of philosophy.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Guilherme Duarte Carvalho
  • 01-29-19

amazing substance with poor delivery

very interesting but the performance is rushed and hard to follow. the content itself is worth it by itself though

6 people found this helpful

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  • C. GRAHAM
  • 04-24-21

The definitive guide to stoicism

As the title suggests this is a practical guide to the application of stoicism, calling upon the various perspectives of stoic figures through history. Divided into topics such as Virtue, Anger and Death it is easily accessible and a good reference text whilst remaining eminently readable.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jamie Barron
  • 08-25-21

Excellent overview / introduction

The division of the wisdom of the Stoic philosophers into subjects make for an excellent overview or introduction to their school of thought. As I am new to this, but had been meaning to read some of their work for a while, I found this a first-rate introduction which has whetted my appetite to read the original works. Farnsworth’s selection, commentary, and structure aided my understanding; and John Lescault’s narration was very good.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jason Skene
  • 03-26-22

This is the first time I have written a review!

After having an audible account for over 6 years and listening to many books. This is the first time I have been compelled or rather motivated to write a review. Let me first start by saying that the first thing I am going to do after writing this, which is in turn the first thing I have done upon finishing the book, is to start it again from the beginning! I have been interested in stoicism for a couple years now and have listened to a fair few books which I have loved and have found life changing. I try daily to adopt the teachings from those books and I honestly believe my life and how I live it has improved as a result. This book however was just spell bounding! Mind blow, after mind blow! So much wisdom and so beautifully written. having so many direct (after translation) quotes from the stoics and some other well renowned thinkers was such a pleasure. and helped a lot by the soft velvet tones of the narrator. I hope u enjoy this book as much as I did xx

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-14-21

A must read/listen for all aspiring stoics

A fantastic systematic account of stoicism. Perennial wisdom brilliantly categorised and commented on by the author.

1 person found this helpful

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  • PF
  • 10-25-20

Not another introduction to Stoicism

I first heard about Farnsworth's book while listening to the Sunday Stoic podcast. The author has done exhaustive research to piece together how Stoics (and others who understood Stoicism) have viewed setbacks, insults, time and other important topics through the ages.

As an audiobook, listening to author, title and year for each of the hundreds of references gets a bit tiresome, but I can see why they had to do it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tiago Gomes
  • 07-08-22

0.85x

Not really sure on what I learned with this book, slow down his voice.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-23-22

A caring introduction to the world of the Stoicd

I enjoyed this as my introduction to the Stoics, the concept of Stoicism has carefully chosen important values, main known figures, critics, well woven together with a preference of quotes, and many of them in order to present as objectively as possible well aware of contextualisation.

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  • Mika Julin
  • 06-21-22

Well worth your time

Starts a bit slow, but an awesome collection of philosophical thought. Well worth a a listen.

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  • Steven Frew
  • 09-22-21

you will need to read this book twice

there is so much good information in this book that I will need to read or listen to it more than once. Really worth the read.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ashlee
  • 06-03-22

omg

11mins in and the rambling is ridiculous and I realise I'm still on the opening credits.

I cannot do this for another 9hrs. I'm out.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Wizard of Eutopia
  • 03-30-22

Perhaps buy the physical book

I feel the great content was let down by the robotic reading style- digitally generated?

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bin Lu
  • 01-24-22

Is the narrator an AI

The monotone of the narrator sends me to sleep in no time. Just wondering if the narrator is an AI.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Deirdre E Siegel
  • 08-04-22

Brilliant listen

The first book I have heard / read that suggests the chapter
order is yours..
Thoroughly enjoyed this gem of literature,
when I grew up, we were encouraged to think well
before we spoke so making conversation was fun.
The Practicing Stoic is on the ‘read again’ Audible library
shelf, thank you Ward Farnsworth :-)

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-31-22

Very interesting!

I found this book very fascinating as it made me realise how many of the ideas purported in modern psychology were being talked about in ancient times via stoic philosophy. Stoicism also has a lot in common with Buddhism.

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  • Dean Simmons
  • 03-28-22

A Brilliant Book on Stoic Philosophy

I had so many epiphanies during this book hearing the many quotes of the stoic philosopers.
This book gave a great insight into stoic philosophy and how you can practice it in your daily life.
Great job Ward, I really enjoyed this book.

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  • John Cantor
  • 03-18-22

Great

Well read, expressed and certainly usable! The teachings inspire and if listened too each morning -perhaps going to work - helps develop the listener. 20 mins each morning for me! Am making it part of my ritual.

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  • Rei
  • 03-12-22

such great contents for personal development

I love the way this book was structured, I also love the way it was read and delivered. so many useful tools to live a more functional and down to earth life. highly recommend this book!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-15-22

An excellent introduction to Stoic Philosophy.

Presented in a very clear and concise way. There is a lot of wisdom contained in this reading.