The Trial of Socrates

I. F. Stone, Author Little Brown and Company $18.95 (282p) ISBN 978-0-316-81758-5
How could ancient Athens, a society that prized and protected free speech, have condemned Socrates to death? Readily, in Stone's estimation. The philosopher we meet on these pages is an arrogant, bullying elitist who welcomed death and did his best to antagonize the jury that sentenced him. Socrates's mock modesty and aloofness irked his interrogators. His open disdain for democracy did not play well in a city-state recently convulsed by temporary throwbacks to dictatorship. Stone, the famed, feisty political journalist, spent over a decade learning classical Greek and delving into primary sources. He not only exposes the social snobbery lurking behind Socrates's dismissal of Athenian democracy, but also attacks the class prejudice underlying his hostility toward the Sophists, teachers who challenged the institution of slavery. In this iconoclastic portrait of a secular saint, Socrates emerges as a thoroughly dislikable, albeit superior, man who upheld unpopular truths. (February)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-385-26032-9
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-1-78497-095-6
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