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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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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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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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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

5 people found this helpful

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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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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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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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Great intro to Stoicism

Took a while to get into but then I couldn't put it down. Take notes! One part that bugged me was his need to put in the POSSIBLE benefit of getting drunk once in a while. That was later contradicted by the same Stoic and said to be more harmful. At least he mentioned that but he should have left irrelevant info like that out.

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Really helpful intro to stoicism

I’ve predominantly listened to ryan holiday but thought I’d give another author a listen as I still don’t find the original stoic writings as accessible as I’d like to. I thought this book was great, it gives a great intro to various stoic principles using quotes whilst also breaking them down. There’s also a good final chapter looking at criticisms of stoicism. Highly recommended.

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A measured, rewarding explanation of Stoicism

Really enjoyed this book. I've always had an interest in Stoicism but never quite had the discipline or perserverence to read the source material referenced. This was a clear, succinct and well laid out exposition of what Stoicism is and was intended to be. Narration was excellent. Recommended.

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Some useful content, but feels a bit an academic

Interesting content, some useful nuggets of wisdom and interpretations, but feels a little bit like a paper with academic references every couple of sentences.

Thought the section at the end on dealing with common criticisms of stoicism was well done.

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  • Education Expert
  • 07-03-20

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.

105 people found this helpful

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  • J'oli
  • 26-03-19

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.

48 people found this helpful

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  • Deborah Jean Anderson
  • 14-03-19

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.

56 people found this helpful

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  • Abysis212
  • 04-08-20

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.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-07-19

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.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 13-01-20

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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  • Dunewanderer
  • 22-01-19

practical, reasonable

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

14 people found this helpful

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  • Aaron Holt
  • 15-01-20

great stoic book

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

5 people found this helpful

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  • isabel B.
  • 26-10-20

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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  • Vincent Buggs
  • 09-03-19

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