I first read The Peaceful Warrior almost two decades ago, in college. It truly did change my life in that it opened my eyes to a different way of being in the world, one that was more accepting, less controlling. It still took years (and years!) to enact that attitude completely, but the seeds were laid. I took up Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior: A Companion to the Book that Changes Lives with a strong sense of anticipation, sadly, my feeling was not borne out.

Described as “. . . Millman takes more than 100 of the book’s most interesting and enigmatic passages and explores in detail the key ideas behind them, showing their genesis in spiritual philosophies old and new.” I was hoping for something enlightening, but instead, I found explanations that felt . . . diminutive. It was as if the power of the remembered stories was no longer present.

Perhaps Millman felt that people needed more explanation, more depth to Socrates pithy perspective, but in providing it, he has given in to our culture’s tendency to OVER explain everything, diminishing critical thinking and obscuring the mystery of finding out for ourselves where the path leads.

Let me hasten to say that for the newcomer to Millman’s work, my not liking Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior should in no way diminish their enjoyment of – and learning from – his other books, The Peaceful Warrior and No Ordinary Moments, in particular.


~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Dan Millman

New World Library, 2007

pp. 224, $12.95