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Journeys of Socrates

Journeys of Socrates

4.6 20
by Dan Millman

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The Way Begins . . .

Sergei was three when the soldiers took him. At fifteen he fled into the wilderness, with nothing to cling to but the memories of a grandfather who called him Socrates and the promise of a gift buried near St. Petersburg. Thus begins The Journeys of Socrates — an odyssey that forged the character of Sergei


The Way Begins . . .

Sergei was three when the soldiers took him. At fifteen he fled into the wilderness, with nothing to cling to but the memories of a grandfather who called him Socrates and the promise of a gift buried near St. Petersburg. Thus begins The Journeys of Socrates — an odyssey that forged the character of Sergei Ivanov, whose story would one day change the lives of millions of readers worldwide. This saga of courage and faith, of love and loss, reveals the arts of war and the path to peace. Ultimately, it speaks to the quest we all share for a meaningful life in a challenging world.

Editorial Reviews

“Way-farers will want to join the journey.”
Sergei Ivanov, the gentle Russian gas station attendant/sage, first made his appearance in Dan Millman's 1980 novel Way of the Peaceful Warrior. This long-anticipated prequel traces the life of this modern-day Socrates from his childhood in Tsarist Russia to his emigration to America. The Journeys of Socrates describes the evolution of Ivanov into a peaceful warrior.
Publishers Weekly
In his landmark 1980 novel, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Millman blended fact and fiction to tell the story of a young man whose life is transformed by his encounter with a mysterious sage named Socrates. In this intriguing follow-up, Socrates takes center stage. It's late 19th-century Russia, and young Sergei Ivanov has been drafted into training to become one of the czar's elite guards. When Sergei saves the life of a brutal fellow student, Dmitri Zakolyev, during a difficult training exercise, he knows this act has actually made him an enemy. Dmitri humiliated by his weakness, gets back at Sergei years later when he becomes part of a pogrom to hunt down Jews; during a chance encounter, Dmitri wounds Sergei, who is part Jewish, and kills his pregnant wife, Anya. After a suicide attempt that leads to a kind of vengeance-oriented enlightenment, Sergei studies with a series of masters to perfect his warrior skills. Millman's narration clips along, and he does a fine job with period flourishes. But the extended training chapters suffer from cliches of character and narrative, and dampen the suspense. A shocking surprise about the fate of Sergei's unborn child and a ham-fisted meeting between Sergei and his rival strain credibility, but Millman's fluid storytelling makes this an easy read. Agent, Candice Fuhrman. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Journeys, the prequel to Millman's novel Way of the Peaceful Warrior published 25 years ago, begins with the violent birth of Sergei Ivanov in 19th-century tsarist Russia. Young Sergei is sent to an elite Cossack military boarding school for intensive training, and in the course of saving another student's life, he makes a powerful enemy. When he leaves the school, his odyssey begins in a quest for revenge. But as he moves forward, Sergei encounters masters who reveal secrets about martial arts and the path to peace. Although Sam Tsoutsouvas's narration is sometimes rather flat, the ending is exciting and moving. Recommended for public library collections.-Barbara Valle, El Paso P.L., TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Insight Series
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Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.79(d)

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Read an Excerpt

The Journeys of Socrates

An Adventure
By Dan Millman

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Dan Millman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060833025

Chapter One

Sergei was worried, that October day, when he was summoned to his uncle's office. Being summoned -- a rare event for any young cadet -- usually meant bad news or punishment. So, in no hurry to stand before the chief instructor's stern face and downturned brows, Sergei wandered across the school compound at a distinctly unmilitary pace.

He was supposed to think of Vladimir Ivanov not as his uncle but as Chief Instructor. He also was not supposed to ask personal questions, though he had many -- about his parents and about his past. The chief instructor had said little about either one, except on that day four years ago when he'd announced that Sergei's father had died.

Each spot Sergei passed in the inner courtyard held memories of earlier years: the first time he'd ridden a horse, bouncing wildly, clinging to the reins in a death grip ... one of many fistfights he'd gotten into due to a quick temper, then lost due to his frail disposition.

He passed the infirmary and the small apartment of Galina, the elderly school nurse, who had watched over him when he'd first arrived. She had wiped his nose when he was sick and brought him to meals until he found his own way around. Too young to live in abarrack, he had slept on a cot just off the infirmary wing until he was five. It was a lonely time, with no place of his own and nowhere he fit in. The cadets treated him like a mascot or pet dog -- petted one day, beaten the next.

Most of the other boys had mothers or fathers at home; Sergei had only his uncle, so he worked hard to please the chief instructor. His efforts, however, only earned the wrath of the older cadets, who called him "Uncle's Vlad's boy." They would trip, push, or punch him at every opportunity -- a moment's inattention might mean bruises or worse. Older cadets routinely bullied the younger ones, and physical beatings were commonplace. The instructors knew about it but looked the other way unless someone was seriously injured. They tolerated the fights because it spurred the younger boys to toughen up and stay alert. It was, after all, a military school.

The first time Sergei was accosted by an older cadet, over in the corner of the compound, he started swinging wildly, sensing that if he backed down there would be no end to it. The older boy gave him a good beating, but Sergei managed to get in one or two good punches, and the boy never bothered him after that. Another time he had come upon two cadets beating a new boy. Sergei had attacked them with more rage than skill. They had backed off, treating the whole thing like a joke. But it was no joke to the new boy, whose name was Andrei and who had been Sergei's only real friend ever since.

Just after his fifth birthday, Sergei was moved into a barrack with the seven- to ten-year-olds. Older boys lived upstairs, and anyone over sixteen lived in another building. The older boys ruled the barracks. Every cadet dreaded a move to the next floor, where he again would be the youngest and therefore the prey. Meanwhile, Sergei and Andrei watched each other's backs.

Of the years prior to his arrival, Sergei had only hazy impressions -- as if he had been cocooned in another world, not yet awakened into this one. But sometimes, when he searched his memory, he glimpsed fleeting images of a large woman with arms as soft as bread dough and a man with a halo of white hair. Sergei wondered who they were; he wondered about a great many things.

He had gazed at maps of Mother Russia and other countries on the classroom walls, and his finger had circled the globe on his teacher's desk, tracing lines across sky blue seas and lands colored orange, yellow, purple, and green. But he no more expected to visit such places than he thought to visit the moon or stars.

His world -- until that day in October of 1880 -- was defined largely by the stone walls, blockhouses, barracks, classrooms, and training grounds of the Nevskiy Military School. Sergei had not chosen this place, but he accepted it, as children must, and passed his early years in orderly routines of class work and physical training: military history, strategy and geography, riding, running, swimming, and calisthenics.

Whenever the cadets weren't in their classrooms or on work assignments, they practiced fighting skills. In the summer Sergei had to swim under the cold waters of Lake Krugloye while breathing through a hollow reed, and practice elementary skills with the saber, and shoot arrows with bows he could barely bend. When he was older he would shoot pistols and carbines.

It was not a bad life or a good life, but the only one he knew.


Excerpted from The Journeys of Socrates by Dan Millman Copyright © 2006 by Dan Millman. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Dan Millman is a former world champion gymnast, college professor, and martial arts instructor. His books have inspired more than three million readers in 28 languages. He has taught at numerous writers conferences and speaks worldwide, presenting Peaceful Warrior seminars to people from all walks of life.

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Journeys of Socrates 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
DeniseGreen1 More than 1 year ago
This book is a must-read! Dan's style is so captivating. It literally pulls you in and ushers you throughout the journey. It's an easy read and I highly recommend it!
of-course More than 1 year ago
It was nice to finally learn about Socrates and how he came to be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Journeys of Socrates was outstanding; The Way of the Peaceful Warrior is the perfect compliment to Journeys of Socrates.
Gatlianne More than 1 year ago
Having read "Way of a Peaceful Warrior" years ago, I quickly bought "The Journeys of Socrates" but it sat on the shelf unread. The Universe has a way of working things out so recently I noticed the book in a box of books still packed from a move. I decided it was time to read. The Universe was correct. Though I had trouble getting into the beginning of the book, things turned around and soon I was drawn into the journey. The beginning tells the history of Socrates and at first I didn't see the relevance and wondered where "the good stuff" was; I later realized that this history was a key part of understanding Socrates, where he'd come from and what he overcame to become the person he was at the end of the book. Socrates' journey is so much like many in life. We hold on to anger and resentments and they overcome us, possess us. We hold them for years just as Socrates did. I only hope that more in the world learn to grow, evolve and let go of such anger and resentment to move on to the next level of themselves. Millman's prequel to "Way of a Peaceful Warrior" is an outstanding tome depicting Socrates' path to becoming a peaceful warrior. The book is filled with guidance and truth. I underlined many sentences throughout my reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dan Millman has done another outstanding job of creating a book that fills one with inspiration and hope. We are all on a journey in this life and anyone who has spent any time in self-exploration will appreicate this latest book from Dan! His writing is down to earth and thought provoking, a joy to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh to shake off the years of aging and to be introduced to this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Glad to read this last part of this story. Magic had happened within these pages and gave me a great insight on myself.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
On a scale of one to ten this is a ten.
TPaine More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed learning more about Socrates background.
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bestofyou More than 1 year ago
Want to know more about this amazing author? View an exclusive interview with Dan at my website: http://www.bestofyoutoday.com/inner-spirit/author-dan-millman-answers-your-questions-our-exclusive-interview.html See you there!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book, escpecially the Way of the Peaceful warrior, and I think it did a good job explaining or showing us who Socrates was back then in the past and how he became what he is now in the Way of the Peaceful Warrior. The reason why I didn't give this book such an outstanding rating is difficult to say. I felt like certain parts of the book were inconsistent, and Socrates development towards the way of the peaceful warrior wasn't as well written as I thought it would be. It was well written, It didn't explain it in details, it had to be explained very briefly due to the fact that the book can be very long for readers to read. There are many things that sparks all kinds of emotions within me as I read this book. It was usually sadness or the sense of unfairness that Socrates went through so much trouble when he didn't really deserve it. But the end is usually a happy ending. I can't say much about this book, It wasn't as good as a peaceful warrior but it proved itself to be a decent work of Dan Millman. Many Authors, from what I observed, tend to dry out when they haven't written a book for a very long time or when they write sequals it tends to do very poorly because writing sequals or 'prequals' is a totally different and difficult field of Author-Ship. Dan Millman did a good job writing a prequal, and kept the plot flowing decently. I reccomend this book to those who read the Way of the Peaceful warrior, and those who love Socrates.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first heard of this series when I observed a commercial on tv for the upcoming movie. After this encounter, I inquired more about the author and his writings. Later to my astonishment I discovered that he had written a prequel to the Way of the Peaceful Warrior. Subsequently, I excitedly had driven to the library to pick it up and from that point on I have become in touch with the true message Dan Millman is conveying. To all those thinking about reading the Way of the Peaceful Warrior first, DON't! Read the Sacred Journey's of Socrates first it will open your eyes to the meaning of this series. This book is phenomenal!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This prequel to ¿Way of the Peaceful Warrior¿ is an enthralling, historically-inspired novel that answers many questions about how Socrates became a warrior and poses many more about how he became a peaceful warrior. His journeys tell the tale of the stark realities within and around him amidst the deeply personal and archetypal cycles of birth, death, and a higher birth once again; tragedies, trials, triumphs, and transformations that shaped his life as a young man, an accomplished warrior, and an emerging sage. The revelations at the end do not complete the story as much as they offer the key to unlocking a previously well-kept yet heartwarming mystery about the deep connections between Millman and his peaceful warrior mentor. Socrates¿ pivotal yet thinly recounted trip to the ¿rooftop of the world,¿ as well as his return trip on an ¿urgent mission¿ years later certainly bode well for one or two sequels to this tale, filling in even more of the tapestry that binds together Socrates, Millman, and his readers.