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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

What the critics say

"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)

"The Stoics were more than just thinkers. They were athletes and generals and emperors and husbands and daughters and parents. This is a wonderful book that shows you the lives behind the philosophers whose words have shaped the world." (Chris Bosh, 2x NBA Champion)  

"There is philosophy for school and philosophy for life. This book is about the lives of men and women who lived their words and shows you how to do the same." (Thomas Tull, founder of Legendary Entertainment)    

What listeners say about Lives of the Stoics

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Great for those who follow stoicism/philosophy

Great book! I learned a lot. BUT can the speaker be replaced??? I seriously struggled. It was the tone, the speed without breath. I just don’t get how someone felt it was good? Definitely a book better left read than listened to. If you can push past that then you will take a lot away which can point you in new direction of research.

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Listen One of Many

You can tell Ryan is passionate about the subject. There is no fluff or filler here, absolutely every sentence and paragraph is full of amazing information. A must multiple read book.

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"A man can only lose what he has"

i loved this book. The story of Epictetus is just mind-blowing. I'm really glad that i picked up the book and finished it

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Highly engaging and informative.

Overall, this has been a fantastic addition to my library. Well researched and engagingly told. My only small quibble is that the co-author as narrator periodically mispronounces words or delivers a line flatly. But that’s a small price to pay in exchange for the energy he delivers in performing the book himself.

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Disappointing.

I love Ryan Holiday. That's what makes this book so disappointing. Maybe it just doesn't translate as an audiobook but it is flat out boring. Combine that with the stultifying reading as well as the way-too-many-to-take-seriously mispronunciations and I think I might drop it half way through. I recommend everything else by him, but not this one. Sadly.

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  • Jordan Bailey
  • 2020-10-03

Awful narration

Ryan & company, I truly hope you all read this. What a wonderful, thoughtful and well researched author you are. Unfortunately, this is the 3rd and LAST audible book I will purchase by you and from now on will go hardcover. Please stop narrating your own books Sir. Just pay someone. Tone and pace is hard to get into. I’ll leave it at that. Just disappointed by this choice and wish someone would have the guts to have told you this upfront. Sigh. Great writing though! Thoughtfully, Jordan

14 people found this helpful

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  • Carlos J. Rivera
  • 2020-10-02

Terrible narration

I have to yet listen to an Audible book that was read in such a monotone voice. I had to skip to the end. Wish I could get my credit back.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Michael P Kalish
  • 2020-09-29

Well presented

An excellent introduction to the lives and ideas of the historical founders and practitioners of ancient Stoicism and the applicability of their philosophy to the modern world.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Cakemeister
  • 2020-10-25

Great material, not so great narration

I will have to echo what other commenters have said. The material in this audiobook was very interesting and well written. But Ryan has this high, whiny voice that just doesn't work well with audiobooks.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Tyler Horn
  • 2020-11-02

Software Upgrade for the Mind

This book dive deep into the wisdom that has lasted centuries in order to impact us today. So many keys can be pulled from the examples discussed here. To me it is a powerful way to upgrade your thinking so that your actions have stoic guidance. I believe this stuff should be taught throughout school. Thank you Ryan for your effort on this book!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Michael C. Fernandez
  • 2020-10-23

For the more advanced Stoic historical hobbyist

Great historical review of many important figures in the historical evolution of Stoicism. I'm a big fan of Ryan Holiday. I've pretty much read and bought every single book he's published (minus - trust me I'm lying). He has a very relatable writing style and has made Stoicism very accesible to people of all walks of life. This book is another great example of that kind of writing. I will say that this is more enjoyable if you have, at least, some knowledge of basic Roman history. I can't see this as an enjoyable book if you've never heard or read about the Roman empire or Stoicism more generally. I think this book probably reads better than it sounds. With that said, I think it's time for Ryan Holiday to consider getting someone else to read his books for the Audiobook copy. He talks really fast. His voice lacks the vocal variety to have someone be really engaged for the entire 10 hours. I really appreciate Ryan's work and will continue to support it. I just feel his talent is in his writing, not in his voice. I think there was a huge opportunity missed here by not using a more colorful narrator for this piece. I think what Ryan needs is the same caliber of narrator Ron Chernow's uses in his books. Especially when you consider the fact heavy, historical narrative of this book. This audiobook needs to be slowed down a bit. I found myself lost way too often and having to revert back. Overall this isn't Ryan's best work, but it is a good book. It's worth your time if you consider yourself someone who is committed to learning and practicing Stoicism. Great writing overall. Ryan just needs to stop being the voice of his audiobooks. He needs to pass the mantle to someone more suited to the role.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Berling
  • 2020-10-02

Alright

I love the book, very mind engaging. Only one thing though, narrating voice could be better.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Will
  • 2020-11-21

School of the Porch

Great book, succinct deep dives. Ryan and Stephen have delivered another modern day classic. In accordance with nature.

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  • william
  • 2020-11-15

Excellent historical overview

At times I wanted to exit this excellent book. The reader gave such a hard sell without modulation of voice . I actually experienced a headache! But the machine gun presentation is worth the stress! The book is a wonderful informative read!

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  • Ale
  • 2020-11-15

Great Audiobook

Great book. I learned a lot and gave me insight on how connected and the butterfly effect if you will, of the Stoic philosophers and how they're all tied into each other.

1 person found this helpful