Nancy Sherman: The Stoic Influence on the Modern Military

Just read a very interesting article in the New York Times (many thanks to Rogue Classicism for the link) where Nancy Sherman discusses the profound, albeit often unwitting, impact Stoic philosophy continues to have on the contemporary U.S. army.

She tells the fascinating story of James Stockdale, a fighter pilot held in captivity for seven years by the Viet Cong. His immense perseverance was apparently inspired by what he’d read from Epictetus’ Enchiridion, a gift he’d received on leaving Stanford University. Sherman has written widely on the modern reception of Stoic philosophy and her 2007 book “Stoic Warriors” goes into much more depth on its impact on military thinking.


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