A short history of cynicism, from the fearless speech of the ancient Greeks to the jaded negativity of the present. Everyone's a cynic, yet few will admit it. Today's cynics excuse themselves half-heartedly—“I hate to be a cynic, but..."—before making their pronouncements. Narrowly opportunistic, always on the take, contemporary cynicism has nothing positive to contribute. The Cynicism of the ancient Greeks, however, was very different. This Cynicism was a marginal philosophy practiced by a small band of eccentrics.