The Practicing Stoic – A gem of a book

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I don’t remember where I got the recommendation for this book. It was either on Goodreads, snuggled within the comments section of another book, or it was on reddit. Either way, I’m grateful to the unknown individual that recommended this book.

The Practicing Stoic is an immensely lucid introduction to stoicism and it breaks apart the main principles of the philosophy beautifully. The author makes liberal references to the famous stoics and later philosphers who borrowed upon the stoic principles and gave their equally profound writings.

The most useful part of the book is its structure. I was amazed on how the author was able to group the various stoic teachings and works into various topics, each of which is very important to develop an all-round understanding of stoicism.

Mark my words, this book is a better introduction to stoicism than even the original texts themselves. The reason being, it simplifies for a beginnner what one should focus upon while reading the great stoic texts themselves. So I’d suggest people to read this before, let’s say, tackling, Meditations, or Letters from a Stoic.

In closing, I want to get one more thing off my chest. If one were to search for contemporary books on introduction to stoic philosophy, the search results would throw up books by a certain Ryan Holiday at the top. But without a doubt, this book blows any of Holiday’s work out of the water. I have read a few of his works, namely – The Daily Stoic, The Ego is the Enemy, etc. and after completing this book, I feel Ryan Holiday is no more than a tool, clubbed with the likes of Tim Ferriss. Save your time and grab this classic instead in case you want to find out more about stoicism.

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