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Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy Behind the Military Mind
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Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy Behind the Military Mind

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  146 ratings  ·  16 reviews
While few soldiers may have read the works of Epictetus or Marcus Aurelius, it is undoubtedly true that the ancient philosophy known as Stoicism guides the actions of many in the military. Soldiers and seamen learn early in their training "to suck it up," to endure, to put aside their feelings and to get on with the mission.
Stoic Warriors is the first book to delve
Paperback, 242 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published July 1st 2005)
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Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am currently slowly going through this fine work--Her explanation of Epictetus's Philosophy and application to Admiral Stockdale's predicament as a POW in Vietnam is clear and lucid.... ...more
Eddie Black
Dec 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Good read. Would like to have a little more in compare and contrast with stoic thought. For example while a stoic attitude is valued within military culture, a stoic behavior is not. The calm tactician is romanticized, the in truth it is the emotional, angry behaviors that get rewarded implicitly everywhere in our culture. Our culture is a 'masculine' culture and masculine attitudes, while against 'emotional displays' have also defined emotional displays as anything other than anger. It isn't ...more
Matt Leiv
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Even if you should falter again, you may begin again, and, if you once become the victor, you are as one who has never faltered."
A great analysis of the stoic philosophers and how their system applies to modern warriors. It's a philosophy that focuses on self, and reduces your need for external stimuli.
"Virtue alone becomes sufficient for happiness, without dependence on external goods or luck. "
The analysis between modern military circumstances intertwined with ancient ones, was very good
Jun 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Engaging and readable without dumbing down or oversimplifying the philosophy. Though it's advertised as "recommending a moderate Stoicism," I read it more as a simple criticism of orthodox Stoicism's perceived hard edges. Sherman describes a sort of unintentional quasi-Stoic philosophy that is prominent in American (or maybe more generally Western) military culture and recommends some ways in which she believes traditional Stoicism can be revised to better serve servicemembers and help them ...more
Dave Clark
May 01, 2008 rated it liked it
I suggest this book for all military leaders and anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the military mindset and motivation. The book offers some good insight into the military's version of stoicism. It will at times go into deeper, more academic philosophical analysis of stoicism; however, the author warns you before she begins her lengthy caveats.
A great book on both the ancient Greco-Roman philosophy of Stoicism and the thinking of the modern U.S. military, comparing and contrasting the two worldviews. An excellent book that I would highly recommend, but I would warn that this is not light reading - casual readers be warned!
May 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great book.
L Daniel
Sep 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
Jenna M
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
Timothy D. Cook, Jr.
Interesting read

While the subject matter is interesting , this book was somewhat tedious at times. I was hoping for something a little more thought provoking.
Ross Cohen
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sherman's "Stoic Warriors" is a fair assessment of the abilities and limits Stoicism has in shaping a healthy military. Her background as an Aristotelian keeps her from completely praising Stoicism, but occasionally serves as a facile alternative to some of Stoicism's orthodox stances.

Although the book as a whole is excellent, I wonder if its shortness led to over-simplification, which conflates lower-case stoic caricatures with upper-case Stoic philosophic richness.
Joe Koennecke
Dec 19, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is detailed and insightful. It also academic in nature and very difficult to get through. I picked it up because I have a affinity for stoic philosophy. As it turns out I don't enjoy delving this deep into it for an every day read. Would make a great source for anyone researching the topic but should not be undertaken lightly. Not a bad books at all just the wrong book for me at the time.

Interesting use of the Faulklands war as a modern conflict source of coming home from war.
Rachel Bayles
Feb 05, 2013 rated it liked it
It's best to read each chapter as a stand alone, over a period of time. It's too dense to do all at once.
John Castle
Jul 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Still reading, will review when I finish.
Jan 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
I can't find my book!

*update* - no worries people, found it. It was in my laundry basket.

**update** June1809. Oh god, am I going to finish this book?
Dec 21, 2015 added it
Thoughtful and interesting, but I may never not be bitter that my professor made us buy her own book and write papers on it for her to grade.
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My introduction to the psyche of the soldier, in a sense, goes back to my father and my childhood. My dad was a WW II vet who never talked about his war, though he carried his dogtags on his keychain for 65 years. The war never left him; he took it to the grave; and he always felt that his burden was private. I suspect I always felt that the burden ought to be shared, or at least, that I ought to ...more

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