My books are now being issued as Seven Stories’/Triangle Square’s new series, Philosophy for Young People, geared to readers 13-17 years old—but appropriate for anyone who wants a clear introduction to the life, times, and ideas of great thinkers from ancient times to the present day.
Socrates: A Life Worth Living
A Best Teen and Young Adult Non-Fiction Book of 2022, Kirkus Reviews:
“A thorough study of the brilliant, timeless, entertainingly abrasive thinker… A vivid, perceptive portrait aimed at spurring readers to take up the quest”
Socrates: A Life Worth Living traces the life and ideas of one of Western Civilization’s founding philosophers, whose influence is still felt more than two thousand years later. Socrates is famous for how he died, executed by the Athenian government for introducing foreign beliefs and corrupting the youth of Athens. But his most important contribution was to challenge the people around him to test their ideas and opinions in conversation with one other. Only through that process, he believed, can we learn the difference between right and wrong and understand how to conduct lives worth living. He did not claim to have definitive answers, but he knew that knowledge was the key to finding them, and he invited everyone he met to join him in his quest.
Spinoza: The Outcast Thinker
To be reissued in 2023
Winner of the 2014 National Jewish Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature
A 2014 Best Book for Teens, Kirkus Reviews
A brilliant schoolboy in seventeenth-century Amsterdam quickly learns to keep his ideas to himself. When he is twenty-three, those ideas prove so scandalous to his religious community that he is cast out, cursed, and effectively erased from their communal life. The scandal shows no sign of waning as his ideas spread throughout Europe, where he is almost universally reviled as an instrument of the devil. At the center of the storm, he lives the simplest of lives, quietly devoted to his work as a lens grinder and to his steadfast search for the truth—an endeavor that paves the way to all that is best in modern democracies. He does not live to see the results of his efforts, but his ideas change the world.