Book to consider: The Socrates Express

by Eric Weiner

The New York Times best-selling author of The Geography of Bliss embarks on a rollicking intellectual journey, following in the footsteps of history’s greatest thinkers and showing us how each – from Epicurus to Gandhi, Thoreau to Beauvoir – offers practical and spiritual lessons for today’s unsettled times.

We turn to philosophy for the same reasons we travel: to see the world from a dif­ferent perspective, to unearth hidden beauty, and to find new ways of being. We want to learn how to embrace wonder. Face regrets. Sustain hope.

Eric Weiner combines his twin passions for philosophy and travel in a globe-trotting pil­grimage that uncovers surprising life lessons from great thinkers around the world, from Rousseau to Nietzsche, Confucius to Simone Weil. Traveling by train (the most thoughtful mode of transport), he journeys thousands of miles, making stops in Athens, Delhi, Wyoming, Coney Island, Frankfurt, and points in between to recon­nect with philosophy’s original purpose: teaching us how to lead wiser, more meaningful lives. From Socrates and ancient Athens to Beauvoir and 20th-century Paris, Weiner’s chosen philosophers and places provide important practical and spiritual lessons as we navigate today’s chaotic times.

In a “delightful” odyssey that “will take you places intellectually and humorously” (San Francisco Book Review), Weiner invites us to voyage alongside him on his life-changing pursuit of wisdom and discovery as he attempts to find answers to our most vital questions. The Socrates Express is “full of valuable lessons…a fun, sharp book that draws readers in with its apparent simplicity and bubble-gum philosophy approach and gradually pulls them in deeper and deeper” (NPR).

Eric J. Weiner is associate professor of educational foundations at Montclair State University. He earned his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in 2001 in education and cultural studies with a research focus on power, language, culture, critical thinking, and aesthetic education. He works within the disciplinary perspectives of cultural studies, critical pedagogy, and sociology. This is his fourth book.

[Get the book here. BONUS: Massimo and his friend Rob interview Eric Weiner.]

Published by Massimo

Massimo is the K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York. He blogs at and He is the author of How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life.

One thought on “Book to consider: The Socrates Express

  1. Interested in book. Have read some of Rauch, the constitution of knowledge. In intro he discusses, briefly, Theatetus vs Plato Republic. I read Republic 62 yeardps ago and began soon questioning the autocratic view. Interest in how Socrates May have thought otherwise


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