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The Wisdom of the Myths: How Greek Mythology Can Change Your Life [Paperback]

Luc Ferry
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.99
Price: 7.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

30 Jan 2014

More than 100,000 copies sold in France

A fascinating new journey through Greek mythology that explains the myths' timeless lessons and meaning

Heroes, gods, and mortals. The Greek myths are the founding narratives of Western civilization: to understand them is to know the origins of philosophy, literature, art, science, law, and more. Indeed, as Luc Ferry shows in this masterful book, they remain a great store of wisdom, as relevant to our lives today as ever before. No mere legends or clichés ("Herculean task," "Pandora's box," "Achilles heel," etc.), these classic stories offer profound and manifold lessons, providing the first sustained attempt to answer fundamental human questions concerning "the good life," the burden of mortality, and how to find one's place in the world. Vividly retelling the great tales of mythology and illuminating fresh new ways of understanding them, The Wisdom of the Myths will enlighten readers of all ages.


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The Wisdom of the Myths: How Greek Mythology Can Change Your Life + A Brief History of Thought: A Philosophical Guide to Living
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (30 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062215450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062215451
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 171,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

“In this marvelously wise and expansive book, Luc Ferry argues for the primacy of Greek myth. ... Ferry writes with warmth, wit, and energy; one could call his prose conversational, but it’s rare to have a conversation quite this wonderful.” (Boston Globe)

“With Luc Ferry as a guide, our passage through the storied landscape of Greek mythology becomes a captivating lesson in philosophy.” (Le Monde (France))

“Ferry’s charm as a teacher bursts through on every page.” (Wall Street Journal)

“A marvelously wise and expansive book. ... Ferry writes with warmth, wit, and energy; one could call his prose conversational, but it’s rare to have a conversation quite this wonderful.” (Boston Globe)

About the Author

Luc Ferry is a philosopher and the author of the national bestseller A Brief History of Thought. From 2002 to 2004 he served as France's minister of national education. He has been awarded the Prix Médicis, Prix Jean-Jacques-Rousseau, and Prix Aujourd'hui, in addition to being an officer of the French Legion of Honor and a knight of the Order of Arts and Letters. He lives in Paris.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Food for thought 17 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So often, the Ancient Greek myths are re-told to give a timeless spin to some modern event or other. The beauty of Ferry's book is that it presents the myths as a metaphysical unity - the struggle of maintaining the cosmos against the ever-present threat of chaos and the tendency of man to be an agent of that chaos. As such, the myths take on new life and meaning because their context is restored. What used to be (for me) a lot of picturesque individual stories now have the cohesive power of a philosophy of life. Ferry has caused me to re-think many of my assumptions - particularly around the meaning of Apollo's exhortation to 'Know Thyself' and 'Nothing to Excess' - and to see hubris as the enemy of the 'good life'. The adventures of Odysseus could serve as a metaphor for our individual life journey, if only we are awake enough to realise it. Not sure if the Greek Myths have changed my life yet - that may be an overblown claim - but for sure Ferry's book gives plenty of food for thought about how I might go about it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars the wisdom of the greeks 8 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Amazing, the author gives a somewhat new approach of the myths as the real foundation of Greek philosophy and offers an explanation to the main problems of real life of humankind, its aspirations, desires, fears,love and death and, in a whole, the reconquest of lost harmony
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If you are knowledgeable about mythology, there is going to be nothing new here. Those with only a little knowledge may find it an interesting introduction into how mythology works. It's not just fairy tales for the ignorant but worked as an imaginative world created by those who wished to make sense of their world without any scientific knowledge to explain it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An introduction to Philosophy 18 Mar 2014
By jontix
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has made think of the world and our lives in a very different way.Before reading this book mythology and philosophy were unknown to me.A very well written explanation of the ancient myths and their relevance to modern life.
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