As befits a good Stoic, Farnsworth’s expository prose exhibits both clarity and an unflappable calm ... Throughout The Practicing Stoic, Farnsworth beautifully integrates his own observations with scores of quotations from Epictetus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Montaigne and others. As a result, this isn’t just a book to read—it’s a book to return to, a book that will provide perspective and consolation at times of heartbreak or calamity.
According to Ward Farnsworth, that understanding [that Stoics are unfeeling] is wrong, and he exonerates an unfairly impugned philosophy in his idiosyncratic, strange, yet convincing and useful volume ... his tone is erudite, patient, and at times dryly whimsical ... providing short, elegant commentary on quotes that contend with whatever is under discussion. Despite sometimes being dry, he is insightful; though he is occasionally repetitive, he is convincing. Farnworth’s prose, is, well, stoic, but it’s also useful—as it should be.
After a wide-ranging introduction, he offers brief headnotes to accompany a smorgasbord of quotations from his sources meant to illustrate the central stoic teaching on the announced topic. The result is a charming book, perfect for dipping, in which the calm and settling wisdom of the stoics shines forth with bracing clarity ... My one cavil is that the book lacks an index. It makes up for it, however, in the beautifully legible typography and sheer wealth of reference that Farnsworth has marshaled. This is a book any thoughtful person will be glad to have along as a companion for an extended weekend or, indeed, for that protracted journey we call life.