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The Journeys of Socrates: An Adventure Paperback – February 21, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (February 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060833025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060833022
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In his landmark 1980 novel, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Millman blended fact and fiction to tell the story of a young man whose life is transformed by his encounter with a mysterious sage named Socrates. In this intriguing follow-up, Socrates takes center stage. It's late 19th-century Russia, and young Sergei Ivanov has been drafted into training to become one of the czar's elite guards. When Sergei saves the life of a brutal fellow student, Dmitri Zakolyev, during a difficult training exercise, he knows this act has actually made him an enemy... Millman's narration clips along, and he does a fine job with period flourishes. But the extended training chapters suffer from clichés of character and narrative, and dampen the suspense. A shocking surprise about the fate of Sergei's unborn child and a ham-fisted meeting between Sergei and his rival strain credibility, but Millman's fluid storytelling makes this an easy read. Agent, Candice Fuhrman. (Apr.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Millman's autobiographical Way of the Peaceful Warrior (1980) and 94-year-old gas-pump-jockey Socrates, the young Millman's guru in it, are fixtures in the canon of New Age self-actualization literature, thanks to 2.5 million copies sold. This prequel provides an adventurous backstory for Socrates. It begins in czarist Russia with orphaned Sergei fleeing the Nevskiy military academy. He survives in the mountainous wilderness by fashioning a lean-to against the face of a cave near a waterfall on a stream that hosts salmon, trout, and a beaver dam, and by hunting and drying food for the winter. By his second year as a mountain man (1890), he has turned 18 and become part of the wild, high country. A close call with a hungry bear in 1891 drives him to St. Petersburg, where he hopes to verify his grandfather's promise of buried treasure and use it to escape to America. Millman's smoothly written text recounts a spiritual journey while it tells a creditable survival--adventure-coming-of-age story. Way-farers will want to join the journey. Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Most people who've read Way of the Peaceful Warrior (or seen the movie) already know a few aspects of my life. And you may have seen my summary bio at my website, as follows:

"Dan Millman, a former world champion athlete, coach, martial arts instructor, and college professor, is author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior (adapted to film in 2006), and numerous other books read by millions of people in 29 languages. Dan teaches worldwide and has influenced people from all walks of life, including leaders in the fields of health, psychology, education, business, politics, sports, entertainment and the arts. Dan and his wife, Joy, live in Northern California. His most recent book is The Four Purposes of Life.

Dan's website - peacefulwarrior.com -- features a link to the "Life Purpose Calculator,"and to my online courses and other resources."

Now here are some personal notes:

In my youth I focused on self-improvement, taking memory courses, speed reading; practicing martial arts and gymnastics. Then one day I realized that no matter how much I improved myself, only one person benefited -- but if I could influence other people in a positive way, that made my life more meaningful and exciting.

I began teaching gymnastics, and elements from the martial arts -- that soon shifted into the larger arena of personal growth. I began to write and to speak more widely, especially after the publication of my first book.

I've been lucky, maybe blessed, to have the chance to touch many lives around the world.

Joy and I have been married for 37 years and we grow closer each day, it seems, as we gain perspective and cultivate a sense of humor (about ourselves and one another). I'm a proud father of three grown daughters and two grandsons so far.

I believe you'd find me a good (but not perfect) example of what I teach. I continue to practice, to learn, to serve as well as I can. I do my best to keep my head in the clouds but feet on the ground.

For more info about my books and seminars, please visit www.peacefulwarrior.com, sign up for my eList, follow me on Facebook or Twitter, or just search for peaceful warrior.

Customer Reviews

This book is Dan Millman's third in the Peaceful Warrior Saga.
Jason Nelson
I have started to take many ideas from this book and incorporated them into my life and I can see some differences for the better.
Diana Siderides
This is one of those really exciting books that are hard to put down.
D. Pankey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jason Nelson on March 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
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 stay in the school the young Socrates escapes. He starts to build an enjoyable life for himself as a young man with a wife only to meet tragedy. A key nemesis from his old military school days shows up and contributes to a horrific tragedy of unimaginable proportions. Socrates can think of nothing else but revenge. He spends his days and years after this plotting for ways to get back at the evil he has experienced.

As the book progresses Socrates meets many new teachers. These teachers are Masters of certain disciplines (like the martial arts) but more importantly they are Masters of life in general. After years of hard work these wise teachers teach Socrates how to live, breathe, forgive and find happiness. He comes to discover that the only way he can truly be free is by releasing this awful burden of hate he carries around day after day. It's a very wise but painful lesson. For obvious reasons I am not divulging everything but suffice it to say you'll be surprised, horrified, entertained, and inspired by the end of the book.

Concerning the book, I felt the story was very good but the writing seemed a little rough around the edges. I got the impression that Millman, despite having written several other books, is still learning his craft as a narrative type storyteller.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Avalon Daughter on April 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If you were like me you were incredibly curious about the mysterious Socrates. Who was he? Where did he come from? Was he a real person?

This book is all about his life in Russia and how he came to be. It also explains how he came into his "peaceful" power, his family background and how he came to the United States. I'm not going to go into too much detail but I will say it's a definite must-read as a companion to "Way of the Peaceful Warrior."

It can be a bit slow at times and unless you're familiar with Russian names it can also take a bit of thinking to keep track of characters. Some of them have other names they use. Socrates has three at some points and for me, it took a little more careful reading. Doesn't make it less interesting, though.

However, there are three big shockers that will keep you glued to the book. Especially the ending which had me gasp twice, keep reading and blown away by what else Millman discovered. You'll never guess what Dan discovered about Socrates at the end but be amazed when you do; It makes WotPW much, much more personal for Dan.

Definite must-read for fans of the first book -- newcomers, should most definitely read "Way of the Peaceful Warrior" first. That way it would make much more sense.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By MARK DIMASSIMO on October 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved "Way of the Peaceful Warrior" when I first read it at least twenty years ago. And I've continuted to love it as I've re-read it periodically over the years. In "Warrior," Dan Millman created a myth that spoke to the young man I was on many levels -- the usefulness of getting lost and depressed, the possibility of finding a mentor, the magic of training and rigorous discipline, the totality of the present moment, the acceptance of the death of the ego, and the transcendence of life beyond death -- all in a fast-moving, involving story. It's a hard act to follow. This is by far the best of Millman's subsequent novels. It is a much more mature book from a more mature writer for a more mature reader. While the author is still concerned with many of the same themes, he brings in many others with greater depth and seriousness -- devasating loss, ethnic violence, evil, vengence and much more. Who knew that old trickster Socrates came from and through such a dark place? A must read.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By matt on August 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Had I not been interested in Russian martial arts, Russian Orthodoxy and the era of the story, this book would have been a two star. I can say that it is well-written, and that it does flow easy and can be read in a day (even one long sitting). It's a little predictable, but it does have its positives. The role of the monk-warrior is of interest to me and Millman's description was believable and engaging. In particular I found the tie-in of Russian fighting arts with their unique styles and training methods to be a great touch.

Even so, I know other readers wonder where this new history of Socrates came from, which is an understandable thought. What I think happened, and this is where his critics have a point (although I love the direction Millman's heading), is that he discovered Vladimir Vasiliev's fighting system and philosophy, which is in part rooted in Russian Orthodox Christianity, and he then decided to write the history of Socrates to fit into this mold. It is my favorite part of the plot, but it may seen disconnnected from the New Agers that so love his other works. I don't see them as mutually exclusive on the whole, but I can see how it could be odd.

On the whole, a quick read that adds depth to Socrates and may introduce you to some new ideas and history.

Enjoy!
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