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The Trial of Socrates by I. F. Stone

The Trial of Socrates (original 1988; edition 1988)

by I. F. Stone, Pearl Lau (Cover designer)

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Title:The Trial of Socrates
Authors:I. F. Stone
Other authors:Pearl Lau (Cover designer)
Info:Boston: Little, Brown and Company
Collections:Your library

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The Trial of Socrates by I. F. Stone (1988)


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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
If you've read some Plato, found Socrates vaguely annoying but you're not sure why, Stone can help you out. He juxtaposes Socratic idealism with the messy business of living in the real world, and shows that Socrates' philosophy doesn't offer much practical advice. Not to mention that Socrates was an elitist and really thinks that average people have nothing to offer the world.

Stone also discusses Athenian democracy, and how messy any democracy is because it tries to deal with real life situations which don't have black-and-white answers. Socrates was (and is) less than helpful in this endeavor.

Stone goes on to explain how Socrates ended up pissing the Athenians off so much that they decided to get rid of him.

Stone's writing is lucid and fun, though he tends to make his point very thoroughly, which if you're more interested in the point than the details can be a bit tiresome.

Another reviewer here on LibraryThing questions Stone's understanding of the Greek historical sources. Quite, frankly I'm not sure it matters. He's really talking to modern idealists who don't want to participate in modern democracies because they're messy. Stone is saying it's better to get your hands dirty rather than wait for the ideal solution to come out of the sky. ( )
  aulsmith | Oct 7, 2014 |
Socrates for Dummies.

This is typical of the kind of Anglo-Saxon popular history on classical Athens (see Peter Green, Tom Holland, John Hale, et al.) that takes at face value the Greeks’ political-mythologizing, makes a fetish of “freedom” and “democracy,” and fails utterly to grasp the fundamentals of Greek philosophy. For Stone, democracy is good → Socrates had a “vendetta against democracy” → Socrates was bad. For aficionados of the simplistic and superficial only. ( )
  HectorSwell | Mar 3, 2014 |
Interesting book which shows the real reason why Socrates was executed, because of his political beliefs against democracy. The key point of the book is the chapter that describes Socrates interview with the dictators. He could have chosen to say an offense to the dictators, but he did not. On the other hand he decided to offend the democratic jury forcing the democracy to kill him, proving that democracies are not much different from dictatorships (which we can see nowadays in Guantánamo) and becoming a martyr. ( )
  caju | Apr 16, 2007 |
After reading this book, I've decided if Socrates were alive today, we'd execute him, too. Not for his anti-democratic views, but because of the nonsense "philosophy" he taught. He was obnoxious.

Socrates is one of those people I've heard referred to many times, but never actually knew what his beliefs were or what he taught. I had no idea he was an ardent supporter of dictatorships.

Stone is an excellent writer, he kept me interested every step of the way. ( )
  ArmyAngel1986 | Apr 3, 2007 |
Freedom of speech and philosophy, a potent combination.
  Fledgist | Feb 13, 2006 |
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I. F. Stoneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
David, Jacques LouisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385260326, Paperback)

In unraveling the long-hidden issues of the most famous free speech case of all time, noted author I.F. Stone ranges far and wide over Roman as well as Greek history to present an engaging and rewarding introduction to classical antiquity and its relevance to society today. The New York Times called this national best-seller an "intellectual thriller."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:27 -0400)

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Combines classical scholarship with techniques of modern investigative journalism in an attempt to unravel the mystery behind the trial and conviction of Athens' most prominent philosopher.

(summary from another edition)

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