About the authors
picture of Socrates

Socrates of Athens

Socrates of Athens, The Greatest of Greeks, was born in 471 or 470 B.C. He was the son of Sophronicus, an Athenian stonemason. His famous "Socratic method" is still widely practiced in major law schools throughout the United States to this day.

A long career in public discourse led Socrates to a position of fame throughout Athens. He was named "Wisest Man in Greece" by the Oracle of Delphi at some point around the year 428. Plato described him in the Seventh Letter as "without question, the most upright man then living." One modern scholar has said of his work: "Socrates' position in European thought is unique... He has influenced subsequent thought as much as any other single person." (Lee, "Translator's Introduction")

In 399, an Athenian jury condemned Socrates to death on charges of impiety and subverting the young. Again to quote Plato, in the Seventh Letter: "When I saw all this, and other things as bad, I was disgusted and drew back from the wickedness of the times..."

In late June, 1996, Socrates was channeled to Washington D.C. to conduct a critique of the Washington press corps. His controversial findings are published here for the first time under the title SOCRATES READS.

picture of Bob Somerby

Bob Somerby

Bob Somerby was born in Boston, Massachusetts, heir to a colorful family show business tradition.

His father, Al Somerby, owned and operated Boston's Old Howard theater for a period of almost fifty years. He once hired Fred Allen for $50 a week.

His grandfather, Rufus "Colonel Al" Somerby, was one of America's better-known travelling showmen through the latter half of the nineteenth century.

The eldest Mr. Somerby once brought a show of trained monkeys to the towns and villages of New Brunswick, Canada, the first such program ever seen in that area. On that matchless tradition of novel presentation, Mr. Somerby seeks to build here in SOCRATES READS.

In June, 1996--in response to a promotional book tour by The Washington Post's Robert Woodward--Mr. Somerby devised the unusual plan of channeling Socrates of Athens to Washington, D.C. to conduct a critique of the Washington press corps. The exhaustive results of that astonishing survey are now published as SOCRATES READS.