All those who have traveled with Ronald Gross (Peak Learning) on the road of lifelong learning know that he is a fireball of creative energy and enthusiasm. More than 100,000 professionals, business people, and college students have met him wearing the garb and speaking the talk of Socrates at major national conventions and conferences. In this user-friendly and innovative paperback, the author shares what he finds so amazing about the life and work of this man from ancient Athens who has been called the father of philosophy.

If you want to bring out the Socrates within you, here is the perfect resource to get you thinking in his engaging way. For example, while Gross points to physicist Richard Feynman and psychologist Carl Jung as exemplars of the Athenian's spirit for today, we considered the question and decided we would give that honor to best-selling author and documentary filmmaker Michael Moore. He is the No. 1 gadfly in America who has made a career out of independent study, asking probing questions, challenging the Establishment, and encouraging dialogue about the true colors of patriotism. His current duo, the book Stupid White Men and the documentary film Bowling for Columbine, illustrate his distinctive vision of where the nation is now and where it should be going in the future. He is a most unconventional citizen!

Okay, back to Socrates' Way. The seven master keys to a rich and full life inspired by Socrates are: know thyself, ask great questions, think for yourself, free your mind, grow with friends, speak the truth, and strengthen your soul. Gross, who chairs the University Seminar on Innovation in Education at Columbia University and is an on-line columnist for ABOUT.COM, sees Socrates as an "Executive Coach" whose insights and soulful strategies can change the way we function in relationships, at work, and as citizens. He peppers his text with stories about the sage, anecdotes that reveal that his times were not so different from our own. There are questions to discuss with others, exercises to do to get in touch with what you really think and why, worksheets, and more.

In Peak Learning, Gross provides a tool kit for those who want to become active, adventuresome, and accomplished learners. In Socrates' Way, he gallops through contemporary culture and recommends the best resources and practical exercises to enable us "to use our minds to the utmost." Be sure to check out the wonderful material at the end of the book on reading more about Socrates and tapping into his world on the Internet.

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