Cascoly Books: I F Stone - Triaal of Socrates

Cascoly Books - I F Stone - Triaal of Socrates

After retiring at age 70 as a journalist, Stone took up a new avocation, learning ancient Greek in order to study the originals. His topic was the origins of democracy, and in part, how icons like Plato and Socrates have falsely been given credit for fostering these ideals. In this well reasoned book, Stone presents the case against Socrates - not to argue that his death was justified, but rather to show that he was convicted for the political reason that he supported an anti-democratic oligarchy. . "The paradox and shame in the trial of Socrates is that a city famous for free speech prosecuted a philosopher guilty of no other crime than exercising it. To invoke the memory of our own American lapses, Athens had no Alien and Sedition Laws, Athens had no little Iron Curtain like the McCarran-Walter immigration act to bar visitors with suspect ideas.... Athens was un-Athenian, frightened by the three political earthquakes when the democracy was overthrown in 411 and 404 BC and then threatened again in 401. These events help to explain the prosecution of Socrates, but they do not justify it."

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