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How to Say No: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Cynicism

An entertaining and enlightening collection of ancient writings about the philosophers who advocated simple living and rejected unthinking conformity.

The Cynics were ancient Greek philosophers who stood athwart the flood of society’s material excess, unexamined conventions, and even norms of politeness and thundered “No!” Diogenes, the most famous Cynic, wasn’t shy about literally extending his middle finger to the world, expressing mock surprise that “most people go crazy over a finger.” When asked why he was called Diogenes the Dog, he replied “because I fawn on those who give, I bark at those who don’t, and I bite scoundrels.” How to Say No is a delightful collection of brief ancient writings about Cynicism that captures all the outrageousness, wit, and wisdom of its remarkable cast of characters—from Diogenes in the fourth century BCE to the column-stander Symeon Stylites in late antiquity. Hardcover, 248 pages.

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