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The Art of Worldly Wisdom


First published in 1637.

Translated to English by Joseph Jacobs in 1892.

A collection of 300 aphorisms on life and the way you should live, Balthasar Gracian's work has been used as a modern day guide to life much in the way that Sun Tzu's Art of War or Machiavelli's The Prince have.


Whether you realize it or not, everyone can always use more wisdom. While most of us acquire wisdom naturally through living our lives, it certainly can't hurt to pick up a really good book for additional words of advice. The wise words of the ancients seem more appealing to us on account of the pure fact that these people lived so many years ago. It's difficult for our contemporary minds to fully comprehend this basic fact. So, get off your computer, put down your electronic device, and read Gracian's The Art of Worldly Wisdom the old fashioned way.--Submitted by mcd


"Life is warfare against the malice of others." Balthasar could not distilled this sentence down any better. This is but one of 300 warnings, facts, and intuitive words that he, with wit and a great understanding of people, wrote down as a guidebook to success in life. I bought this book in 2002, and have read and re-read it every month since. It is my north star, a truly insightful book that is timeless. Almost 400 years ago, and none of it is out of place in our time. They should hand this out in high schools along with the diploma. The language used is not contemporary, and it has been translated I am sure with the inflections of the translator. This was done in the 1800's, so it has the tone of the English that was spoken at the time. The only book you will ever need to put your best face forward, guard against people, and generally be prepared for anything that life can throw your way.--Submitted by Anonymous

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