Wise Guy by M. D. Usher
The Life and Philosophy of Socrates

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Greek philosophy for kids

"I know that I know nothing."

With this classic statement, uttered over two thousand years ago, Socrates set the standard for the future of Western philosophy. By day, he soaked up the sun in the Athenian marketplace, where he'd converse for hours on end about the meaning of wisdom, right and wrong, courage, justice, and love. By night, he feasted and danced with friends. He was charming, but not handsome, happy, but not rich. Unfortunately, his method of thinking did not sit well with everyone. In the end, his fellow Athenians punished him with death.

The story of Socrates' life unfolds through cheerful illustrations and a two-tiered text, one layer quite simple, the other full of juicy additional details about the philosopher's life and times. The ending assembles a "School of Athens," showcasing thinkers, from Erasmus to Martin Luther King, Jr., who have been inspired by Socrates' philosophy.

About M. D. Usher

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M. D. Usher is a professor of classics at the University of Vermont, and this is his first children's book. He lives in Shoreham, Vermont.  William Bramhall is the author and illustrator of one other children's book, Hepcat. He lives in Fairfield, Connecticut.
Published November 2, 2005 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 40 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Education & Reference, Children's Books, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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“He was a curious boy, and cheeky too, but more than anything in all the world he wanted to be happy, he wanted to be good, and he wanted to be wise.” Having opened a dialectic (“a Greek word for an intense logical conversation”) that continues to this day, Socrates remains a seminal figure in th...

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Publishers Weekly

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The final scene depicts Socrates at the center of a roomful of famous thinkers across the ages, followed by quotations about Socrates from each, along with a brief bio.

Dec 12 2005 | Read Full Review of Wise Guy: The Life and Philos...

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