How to Be: Life Lessons from the Early Greeks

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Product Details
$32.00  $29.76
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date
6.28 X 9.2 X 1.04 inches | 1.27 pounds

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About the Author
Adam Nicolson is the author of many distinguished books on history, landscape, and great literature. He is the winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, the W. H. Heinemann Award, and the Ondaatje Prize. His books include Life Between the Tides and Why Homer Matters. He lives on a farm in Sussex, England.

"Wise, elegant . . . richer and more unusual than [the self-help genre], an exploration of the origins of Western subjectivity." --Dennis Duncan, The Washington Post

"This eminently readable tour of Greek philosophy from approximately 650 to 450 B.C. brings the "sea-and-city world" of Heraclitus and Homer to life . . . [He shows] the early Greeks developed intellectual habits, chief among them the use of questioning as the basis of knowing, which laid the groundwork for Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and for how we reason today." --The New Yorker

"I'm not sure I've ever read a book that marries such profundity with such a mischievous sense of fun . . . [How to Be] is like a net strung between the deep past and the present, a blueprint for a life well lived." --Alex Preston, The Observer

"[Nicolson's] exploration of the period is wonderfully rich . . . How to Be teaches many lessons, but most of all that we should savor the strange and stimulating legacy of this lesser-known era." --Timothy Farrington, The Wall Street Journal

"A dazzling meditation on the quest of the early Greek philosophers to understand the world . . . Nicolson is an excellent writer, his work shot through with wonder, erudition, and curiosity. He effortlessly pulls together strands of history, philosophy, language, art, culture, and archaeology . . . Much deeper than a self-help book, this work returns to the past and shows how the ancients' struggles were in many respects our own." --Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

"Nicolson (The Life Between the Tides) illuminates in this meditative account the vital influence geography had on the evolution of Greek philosophy from the 11th to the 5th centuries BCE, arguing that places gave rise to frames of mind that served as wellsprings of new ideas . . . Lyrical and insightful, this graceful analysis is an alluring must-read." --Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"Seductive . . . A poetic tour of philosophical thought." --Thomas W. Hodgkinson, The Sepctator

"Nicolson's own gaze is deeply attentive . . . He weaves . . . a vivid picture that puts flesh on shadowy bones. He has infused his quest for wisdom with a sense of poetry." --Noonie Minogue, The Tablet (UK)