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The Journeys of Socrates

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  3,108 ratings  ·  182 reviews
The international bestselling author is bck with a page-turning tale of the origins of the peaceful warrior

In the heart of nineteenth century Tsarist Russia an orphaned boy born of both Jewish and Cossack blood desperately seeks to find a place in a dangerous world. Sergei Ivanov’s (Socrates’) journey from a military academy to America is a spellbinding and tragic odyssey
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 12th 2005 by HarperOne (first published 2005)
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Average rating 4.32  · 
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 ·  3,108 ratings  ·  182 reviews

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Alexander Murphy
May 24, 2012 rated it liked it
"In truth, Socrates, you have no opponents but yourself.
Make peace within, and there will be no one who can overcome you.
And no one you will wish to overcome." I just finished reading Journeys of Socrates, which was a fantastic and exciting book. Recommended to me by a good friend who also enjoying the book thoroughly, it's a historical story of latter Czarist Russia involving the Cossacks, the Jews, and the intense military procedures as it was in that time. It's a certain type of book that sta
Gatlianne Gatlianne
May 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Absolutely Everyone
Having read "Way of a Peaceful Warrior" years ago, I quickly bought "The Journeys of Socrates" but it sat on the shelf unread. The Universe has a way of working things out so recently I noticed the book in a box of books still packed from a move. I decided it was time to read.

The Universe was correct.

Though I had trouble getting into the beginning of the book, things turned around and soon I was drawn into the journey. The beginning tells the history of Socrates and at first I didn't see the rel
Jun 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: My students
Recommended to JC by: William Parkinson / the Universe
Just when I didn't think Millman could surpass his first book, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, the book that truly changed my life and outlook on the universe. This book tells the journey of his enigmatic mentor, Socrates; from his humble and tragic beginnings to his enlightened training. How was this amazing master formed? The book is based in the Ukraine region of Russia, with Sergei "Socrates" Ivanov being cast as a half Cossack/half Jew (quite the explosive combination, as you can imagine), ...more
Wayland Smith
One of my few books that I reread is Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives. It's the sort of philosophy stuff I usually don't like, but that one has something to it that draws me in. So, when I heard about this book, which tells the back story of Socrates, the mentor in that book, I thought I'd check it out.

I will say right off the bat whatever magic is in Peaceful Warrior isn't here. This is a decent story of adventure, loss, and a man growing up in Tsarist Russia. It was a go
Adrian Fridge
Part truth, part fiction--The Journeys of Socrates is the retelling of the author's great-grandfather's legacy, taken from first-hand accounts and peppered with artistic license. In this journey, we're taken through the hardship and heartache of chosen allegiances, conditional love, and dutiful vengeance, all wrapped in deep philosophical insight. This is not an easy read, but it's surely very satisfying.

Set in anti-semitic Russia, Sergei Ivanov, also known as Socrates, is a man with a conflicti
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Journeys of Socrates is the story of a young boy's journey towards becoming a man, through a life of hardship, trial and a lot of pain, and his ultimate triumph over his circumstances, and, himself. The journey passes through the vast and varied landscape of Tsarist Russia as well as the emotional and spiritual terrain of the young protagonist. The writing is so fluid that it took me only two or three sittings to complete this book; the pace doesn't flag even during the philosophical discou ...more
Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is a breathtaking book. If you have ever come across some of Dan Milman's books your mind will be blown away. It is by far the greatest breakthrough of understanding something I cannot even shape at the moment. I am happy that the world has such a person as Dan. Thank you for your great masterpiece.
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own, fiction
Absolutely stunning and heartbreaking. Filled with wonderful insights that will keep you thinking about the book long after you've finished.
Bernie Gourley
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: martial-arts
The Journeys of Socrates shines the spotlight on Dan Millman's mysterious teacher from The Way of the Peaceful Warrior. We discover that Socrates was born Sergei in Russia to a Cossack father and a Jewish mother.

His youth is scarred by tragedy. His mother died in labor with him and his father died of alcohol poisoning while Sergei was away at military school. His only remaining relative that we know of, his grandfather, dies. He flees the military academy to avoid having to harass Jews as a sol
Nov 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book is Dan Millman's third in the Peaceful Warrior Saga. I didn't know quite what to expect but had heard this book changed course from his previous writings. This is true because this book is more of a narrative as opposed to the other Peaceful books which tend to be a little more instructional.

The Journeys of Socrates is about the early life of Millman's guru, Socrates. It starts off with recounting his early boyhood in a Russian military school. Orphaned and distraught at having to sta
Holden Guillies
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic read. "The Journey of Socrates" followed a young boy, Sergei Ivanov, all the way into his adulthood. Sergei spent his childhood in a military academy In Russia during the late 19th century. Sergei was a jewish boy and he learned of the pogroms in Russia when he was in his early teens. Put in a tough spot, Sergei had to choose between the military academy where his uncle, his only family left, was the instructor, or he could pave the way for his own life. Sergei chose to crea ...more
Leanna Manuel
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is a prequel of sorts to the Peaceful Warrior books. I was quite excited when this new book was announced and I certainly wasn’t disappointed once it arrived. Beyond his exceptional ability as a storyteller, Dan Millman succinctly captures the essence of our modern yearnings for lives that make sense, sanity, and warriorship.

The book is set in Tsarist Russia and follows the life of Sergei Ivanov from early childhood through his adult years. He is the one who is called Socrates in the o
Dec 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
My Sensei gave me homework for class to read a book “The Peaceful Warrior” of a college graduate who befriended a white hair sage working as a gas attendant. Though he was first irritated by him, he returned, became friends, and found the peaceful warrior within himself.

This is a story of Socrates, that white haired sage, who lived in Russia. His mother died and he was shipped to a military academy to become a Cossack. Trouble was he didn’t know he had Jewish blood in him and instead of becoming
Jakob Masic
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this countless stars I would. There are also countless ways to describe how special this book is, that I don't know where to begin. I would like to say this. It is the best story I've ever heard, or read, and is hard for me to imagine I could ever read anything like it again, and believe me when I tell you, I have an active imagination.
On a few occasions I found my jaw just dropping, putting down the book for a second to try and absorb what just happened, then quickly and eagerl
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It is pure wonder that the human heart can not only survive but presevere over severe tragedy and loss. In this final installment of the Peaceful Warrior series we learn about the man called Socrates and his life of extreme heartache and loss. However, through it all he blossoms in to a being more disciplined and amazing than most. Rising above and conquering himself he becomes the Socrates we know and love from the Way of the Peaceful Warrior. If you have not read this series you must. It will ...more
Dec 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
I was catapulted into the heart of a man's search for revenge, and almost taking on his feelings myself. Through his journey I felt as if I were there, beside him, and as "we" continued toward our goal of revenge, my heart lightened and my soul filled with love and forgiveness. I read this book while going through an intense recovery phase in my life and for the first time in years, I regained my faith in God and KNEW the meaning of forgiveness. Amazing, simply amazing.
Jan 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who has read the Peaceful Warrior books.
Recommended to Heather by: My boyfriend's mother
If you really want to see someone overcome major suffering, this is the book for you. Everything that can possibly go wrong in his life does. However, this man turns out to use everything he learned from tragedy and taught others with it. This is based upon journals by Dan Millman's teacher Socrates of Way of the Peaceful Warrior fame.
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is the most powerful, compelleing and insperational jounery that you as a reader will ever go on full of hope loss and guidence you will read this book and never want to put it down untill you get to the end. the end of this book is just mind blowing I recomend everyone to read this book as it sets the bar high for novels from this genre.
Dec 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
If asked to rate this book at the half way mark I would have given it 3 stars. Honestly, it was a little slow in parts. But ..... the END - wow - I didn't see that coming and it struck a deep cord with me. What a beautiful story!

You have to read The Way of the Peaceful Warrior first, or it won't have the same impact.

Heidi Arata
I really enjoyed the book though the violence and cruelty were hard and off putting at times. It's the strength of the over arching message that captured me and kept me reading despite very viseral disgust and dismay at times.

I would say this is a book for mature readers and should possibly be avoided by anyone with sexual traumas as they may possibly be triggered.
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: peaceful-warrior
"Expect nothing, Be Ready for Everything", based on this key philosophy, This books journeys us from happiness to great sorrow and back, without bringing these feelings in our psyche. Again in a life changing book, Dan Millman has provided us the insights to learn from within.
Apr 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People that question and are curious of the life around us.
Recommended to Anirudh by: Alex Elkins
This is a wonderful book. Full of inspiration and joy the Journey of Socrates is simply compelling.
Suzy Atkin
Apr 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is what I call a book! It has everything in it... Drama, war, romance, mystery...the list goes on. The 'Peaceful Warrior' books are a must read! This one is my favourite out of them all though.
Faith Tydings
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a good book. Very dark in places but when it was all over, it was amazing how everything was interwoven and connected. I'm excited to read the rest of the books in the series.
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was a rough adventure.

Some wisdom from this book:
There is a difference between knowing how to do something and actually doing it.

Life can be hard so you must be harder. Softness can overcome rigidity. A river can cut through stone. It only takes time.

In an instant, a life may turn around; a heart may open in a moment of grace. But preparing for that moment can take a lifetime.

Learning can happen quickly. Unlearning takes longer.

Only when you learn to relax under pressure, to relax in motion,
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Quotes I loved from this book

“Every journey has a secret destination of which the traveler is unaware.”
-Martin Buber

“Wounds may heal, and a soldier can return to his family, but death is permanent, and an adversary’s soul rests heavily upon your conscience. So kill an enemy only when there is no other way. “
-Alexei, Cossack solider for the Tsar, Russia pg. 64

“Life can be hard, Sergei, so you must be harder. But remember too that softness can overcome rigidity. A river can cut through stone
Fahim Khan
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I started this book as a novel. It is a novel, indeed. About a Samurai warrior who rose from an integrated military school to find a way of salvation after losing everything dear to him. But, in the end, it was quite surprising for me to learn that, it wasn't just a novel written from complete imagination. Rather it was a biography!

The Journeys of Socrates is superbly written and well-narrated story which teaches you about the way of a peaceful warrior who is broken down by tyranny and robbed of
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A Addam
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful journey of finding soul and humanity. A journey of philosophy and knowledge. This have shown how revenge are useless and unneeded, because justice will come whatever happen next! Believing in god's will and power, one will find peace, happiness , and justice in this mystery life. Thank you Sergei Ivanov of showing your anti-racism, love, courage, dream, journey, and humanity. All those suffering, critically the end, was all part of reality and awarded me the conscious of understanding ...more
Sep 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Journey of the Peaceful Warrior is a book I encountered quite a few years back and re-read now and again when inspiration is needed. So high expectations had been set up for the sequel or prequel really. In a way, I wish Socrates had remained an enigma because the unveiling of how he came to be who he was when Dan Millman met him was anti-climatic. Also, it made his decision to mentor Dan later on a lot less altruistic when this book reveals their relationship/kinship.

Mentally I shelve Dan Millm
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Dan Millman is a former world champion athlete, university coach, martial arts instructor, and college professor.

After an intensive, twenty-year spiritual quest, Dan's teaching found its form as the Peaceful Warrior's Way, expressed fully in his books and lectures. His work continues to evolve over time, to meet the needs of a changing world.

--from the author's website

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November is the time for aspiring writers to get serious about writing that book! It's National Novel Writing Month, the annual event designed to...
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“Today is today. But there are many tomorrows...” 15 likes
“Make peace within, and there will be no one who can overcome you. And no one you will wish to overcome.” 4 likes
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