Book Review: An Insider’s Look at Classical Greece

Jun 30, 2020 by

Ancient Voices: An Insider's Look at Classical Greece by [Louis Markos]

Book Review: An Insider’s Look at Classical Greece
Author: Louis Markos
Publisher: Stone Tower Press
Year of Publication:2020
Pages: 168

There are frivolous books that are just for airport lounge reading, and there are serious books that require thought, reflection and a nearby pen.  Louis Markos’ book is in the latter category. Indeed, this is a book that will challenge readers- ask them to reflect on themes that are not often confronted or discussed ( especially in online classes ) and age old themes that remain as fresh and vibrant to day as they were in the days of Homer, Socrates and Plato.

While the book begins somewhat slowly, it rapidly picks up steam engaging the reader in some of the deep philosophical issues and questions of mankind and then delves into the issues that brought Socrates to his death and later delves into immortal issues such as “the search for truth” , and even the issue of ” thinking about thinking” ( or what we would today refer to as metacognition) .

Louis Markos is a skilled and challenging writer- and his writing implores the reader to think more deeply about certain topics- honor, respect, and of course, democracy- things that have been immortalized in some of the writings of the Greeks.

Markos takes us on a journey- not just of an endeavor toward honor- but a journey of learning about the Greeks- and about some of the personality foibles as well as strengths of the Greeks- while at the same time subtly linking some of what transpired during the various ages of the Greeks to some of the challenges we are facing today in a democratic society.

Keep a pen and pad of paper adjacent if you are really interested in the ancient voices of the Greeks- because you will want to refer back and learn more about some of the leaders that Markos discusses. And keep that same pad of paper adjacent so that you can steal some of Markos’ keen uses of words and vocabulary as he is a true robust wordsmith.

Again, this is a book that will require some thought and dare I say the word-“study” but just as the ” unexamined life is not worth living” this book needs more than a superficial skimming. It needs an integration with a review of those Greek heroes of the past- that one may have been superficially exposed to in some world history course or philosophy course- but now we need to integrate the old with Markos’ new fresh and rich robust examination. Invest the time if you are interested in key concepts and ideas- it will be well worth your while. 

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