Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience


Product Details

$24.95  $23.20
Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
5.8 X 8.4 X 1.3 inches | 0.95 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Nancy Sherman is University Professor at Georgetown University, Guggenheim Fellow, member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the Inaugural Distinguished Chair of Ethics at the United States Naval Academy. Sherman is a New York Times notable author whose publications include Afterwar, The Untold War (a New York Times editors' pick), Stoic Warriors, Making a Necessity of Virtue, The Fabric of Character, and over 100 articles and essays. An ethicist with research training in psychoanalysis and a Ph.D. from Harvard in ancient philosophy, Sherman lectures worldwide on ethics, the emotions, moral injury, and resilience. She has received honors and awards for her work from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the Wilson Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, and others.


Nancy Sherman goes far beyond the kind of 'pen-and-ink philosophy' that the Stoics had so little time for. In this book, she applies Stoicism where it is most needed--for our warriors and working people alike--and helps them become better and more resilient.--Ryan Holiday, #1 New York Times
bestselling author of The Daily Stoic and Stillness is the Key

What a delight this book is! Stoic Wisdom is a lively, deeply knowledgeable, and wide-ranging exploration of the Stoic tradition, and how it can inform modern life. --Phil Klay, Winner of the National Book Award and author of Missionaries and Redeployment

Moving with grace and nuanced human understanding from ancient Stoic texts to our world today, drawing vivid examples from hospitals, the military, the world of Silicon Valley, and recent protests seeking racial justice, Sherman proves a sure-footed and appealing guide to what is truly worth
holding on to in ancient Greek and Roman Stoicism. Engaging sympathetically yet critically with the ancient texts, she ultimately fashions her own Stoicism for today: based not on detachment but on resilience and adaptability, not on emotional hardness but on empathetic attunement to the needs of
others, not on a retreat from politics but on a commitment to change what we cannot accept. --Martha C. Nussbaum, University of Chicago

Stoicism is more than two millennia old, and yet Stoicism has become - as Nancy Sherman writes - the Zen of the West. I can hardly think of a more clear and useful guide to ancient and modern Stoicism than Stoic Wisdom. --Massimo Pigliucci, author of A Field Guide to a Happy Life

Stoic Wisdom is a fresh and insightful take on this ancient philosophy. Sherman provides ways of updating Stoicism, philosophically and psychologically, so that it can be of practical benefit to modern readers in their daily lives. Its discussion of moral injury and emotional resilience will be
of particular value to those in the armed forces. The lessons in this book contains are relevant to everyone-and increasingly needed for the welfare both of the individual and our society. --Donald Robertson, author of How to Think Like a Roman Emperor

Seneca and Epictetus would greatly appreciate Nancy Sherman's subtle and elegant elucidation of Stoicism. Modern Stoic popularizers embrace a philosophy of individual self-mastery and toughness. Yet Sherman shows that they fail to grasp true Stoic wisdom. She persuasively argues that Stoicism
encourages action in pursuit of a virtuous life aimed at overcoming both individual and shared challenges to realize our collective well-being. --Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Vice Provost of Global Initiatives and Levy University Professor, University of Pennsylvania

An accessible, powerful and thoughtful exploration of Stoicism as guidance for life. Nancy Sherman probes the possible weaknesses as well as strengths of the Stoic approach and in doing so brings out its genuine value for us now. A special merit is that she underlines the Stoic emphasis on social
engagement as well as self-reliance and resilience. --Christopher Gill, University of Exeter

In a season of pandemics, mass death, and worldwide economic dysfunction, it is well worth listening, once again or for the first time, to the views of the ancient Greek and Roman Stoics. Sherman's book is an historically faithful guide to the ancient thinkers, which shows on every page how their
thought finds application in our contemporary predicaments. Filled with lively anecdotes, case-studies, and personal observations, this book is unmatched in its combination of scholarly accuracy and urgent relevance. --Tad Brennan, Cornell University

This is a wonderful book. With deft intelligence, Nancy Sherman displays the part that Stoicism could play for all of us today in these high-pressure times. Her case studies are drawn from the real world of today and illuminated by snippets of ancient Stoic texts. People in high-risk jobs loom
large, because they show clearly what can be done - how we too can break free of what, in good Stoic fashion, she calls our 'enslavement.' Sherman passionately urges that Stoicism could help all of us, whatever form of emotional turmoil is impeding us, to gain control of our lives. --Robin
Waterfield, translator of Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus

Stoicism is directly relevant to the way we live our lives, but it appears at first to make unrealistic demands on us - and it appears to require us to extinguish our emotions. Nancy Sherman introduces us, with grace and liveliness, to the deep, striking and complex ideas behind the seemingly harsh
demands. Appealing to today's events as well as the ancient world, and on our full range of sources as well as the ones familiar from self-help guides, she presents Stoicism in the round. She shows us how we are called on to enlarge our lives as Stoics in our everyday mundane dealings as well as in
extreme and testing situations - because Stoicism strengthens our social and political energies as well as our resilience and grit. Sherman makes Stoicism appealing without oversimplifying it, and calls attention to its relevance to us while keeping us aware of our distance from the world in which
it developed. This is much the best introduction to Stoicism. --Julia Annas, University of Arizona

Nancy Sherman has written a practical, readable guide for everyday living. In this age of political polarization, impulsive tweeting, and the threat of covid-19, Stoic Wisdom is a refreshing reminder that reasonable behavior is still a possibility.--Washington Independent Review of Books