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The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers

The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers

by Eric Weiner
The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers

The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers

by Eric Weiner


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The New York Times bestselling author of The Geography of Bliss embarks on a rollicking intellectual journey, following in the footsteps of history’s greatest thinkers and showing us how each—from Epicurus to Gandhi, Thoreau to Beauvoir—offers practical and spiritual lessons for today’s unsettled times.

We turn to philosophy for the same reasons we travel: to see the world from a dif­ferent perspective, to unearth hidden beauty, and to find new ways of being. We want to learn how to embrace wonder. Face regrets. Sustain hope.

Eric Weiner combines his twin passions for philosophy and travel in a globe-trotting pil­grimage that uncovers surprising life lessons from great thinkers around the world, from Rousseau to Nietzsche, Confucius to Simone Weil. Traveling by train (the most thoughtful mode of transport), he journeys thousands of miles, making stops in Athens, Delhi, Wyoming, Coney Island, Frankfurt, and points in between to recon­nect with philosophy’s original purpose: teaching us how to lead wiser, more meaningful lives. From Socrates and ancient Athens to Beauvoir and 20th-century Paris, Weiner’s chosen philosophers and places provide important practical and spiritual lessons as we navigate today’s chaotic times.

In a “delightful” odyssey that “will take you places intellectually and humorously” (San Francisco Book Review), Weiner invites us to voyage alongside him on his life-changing pursuit of wisdom and discovery as he attempts to find answers to our most vital questions. The Socrates Express is “full of valuable lessons...a fun, sharp book that draws readers in with its apparent simplicity and bubble-gum philosophy approach and gradually pulls them in deeper and deeper” (NPR).

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501129025
Publisher: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 08/10/2021
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 144,363
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Eric Weiner is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Geography of Bliss and The Geography of Genius, as well as the critically acclaimed Man Seeks God and, his latest book, The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers. A former foreign correspondent for NPR, he has reported from more than three dozen countries. His work has appeared in the New Republic, The Atlantic, National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, and the anthology Best American Travel Writing. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife and daughter. For more information, visit:

Table of Contents

Introduction: Departure xiii

Part 1 Dawn

1 How to Get Out of Bed like Marcus Aurelius 3

2 How to Wonder like Socrates 15

3 How to Walk like Rousseau 39

4 How to See like Thoreau 55

5 How to Listen like Schopenhauer 77

Part 2 Noon

6 How to Enjoy like Epicurus 101

7 How to Pay Attention like Simone Weil 119

8 How to Fight like Gandhi 143

9 How to Be Kind like Confucius 169

10 How to Appreciate the Small Things like Sei Shonagon 183

Part 3 Dusk

11 How to Have No Regrets like Nietzsche 203

12 How to Cope like Epictetus 221

13 How to Grow Old like Beauvoir 243

14 How to Die like Montaigne 269

Epilogue: Arrival 285

Notes 289

Selected Bibliography and Further Reading 303

Acknowledgments 313

Index 315

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