The Art of Worldly Wisdom

The Art of Worldly Wisdom


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The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian

The remarkable best-seller -- a long-lost, 300-year-old book of wisdom on how to live successfully yet responsibly in a society governed by self-interest -- as acute as Machiavelli yet as humanistic and scrupulously moral as Marcus Aurelius.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781570627453
Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Publication date: 10/28/2000
Series: Shambhala Classics
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 574,533
Product dimensions: 5.95(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Baltasar Gracián was an aphorist, imaginary biographer, and novelist, who published studies of ideal figures and handbooks on the arts of rhetoric and comportment. His books include The Hero, Shrewdness and the Art of the Artist, The Art of Worldly Wisdom, and The Master Critic. Many high officials felt attacked by the controversial and critical works of this Jesuit priest-professor. Gracián refused to be censored, and was eventually confined to solitary house arrest, where he died.

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The Art of Worldly Wisdom (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Jeffreythebookworm More than 1 year ago
I collect "wisdom books" of all types. They must meet certain criteria. (1) they must meed the demands of a busy life; (2) they must have ideas that are immediately accessible -- no time to "dig;" (3) they must be well written; (4)they must be written in a spirit of education and personal growth, and (5) they must not be just a set of techniques. I agree with the philosopher Schopenhauer's assessment--that this book teaches lessons that would otherwise require a lifetime to learn. The author was a high ranking Jesuit, and his dual focus is on devotion as well as the maneuverings necessary to stay out of trouble with the types of personalities everyone must deal with on the job. The book helps the reader to keep egg off his/her face, avoid gaffes, observe the changing environment carefully, avoid getting ripped off by glib talkers and hare brained schemes, and to get along with superiors in most, and even viscious, circumstances. I think this book should be required reading of everyone, along with Aesop's Fables and the Book of Proverbs.
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Legate_Scipio More than 1 year ago
This work is brilliant even centuries after its writing. It offers sound wisdom for social interaction. It seems to convey that while times change and technologies progress, two variables always remains constant--self and other people. This book seeks to teach proper conduct of one's self and on dealing with others.
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tlt- More than 1 year ago
clever to the point of genius, perhaps the greatest aphorist of all time.
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DonnaMom1 More than 1 year ago
I haven't finished the book yet, but I am really enjoying reading it. It is amazing how the advice is so timeless. Sometimes I have to reread the passage to grasp its full meaning, but it is definitely worth it. I keep it by my bedside and try to read a page or two every night.
Janus More than 1 year ago
A collection of 300 anecdotes, Gracian's The Art of Worldly Wisdom is for the most part, relevant even today. The reader will find many inspiring words to live by. However, each anecdote starts with the central idea Gracian is trying to convey, but quickly degrades into an exercise in verboseness. I would suggest only reading the first sentence or two of each one. That's the important part anyways.