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The Practicing Stoic

Written by: Ward Farnsworth
Narrated by: John Lescault
Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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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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    5 out of 5 stars

Best Stoicism book

I have read several books on Stoicism, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and related philosophies and psychology. The book is organised well, with chapters by principal topics, and the reader does a good job reading. My favourite aspect of the book is the excellent use of original source material, particularly the Medications of Marcus Aurelius, and the writings of Seneca, Epictetus, and other original thinkers. When making a particular point, the author quotes one of the philosophers and cites, as in an academic paper, the specific source of the quote (document, page, section). Very helpful in the event that one would like to read the quote in its original context. A book I will 'read' many times I'm sure.

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  • Deborah Jean Anderson
  • 2019-03-14

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.

23 people found this helpful

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  • J'oli
  • 2019-03-26

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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Education Expert
  • 2020-03-07

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-07-09

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.

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  • Dunewanderer
  • 2019-01-22

practical, reasonable

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

7 people found this helpful

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  • Aaron Holt
  • 2020-01-15

great stoic book

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

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  • Neil A. Baesel
  • 2020-01-13

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.

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  • Vincent Buggs
  • 2019-03-09

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Abysis212
  • 2020-08-04

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.

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  • J and K
  • 2020-06-18

love it

nice amount of depth
good sound
covers many stoics and writers, not just the big 3