Man's Search for Meaning

by Viktor E. Frankl

4967299 mans search for meaning

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When Beacon Press first published Man's Search for Meaning in 1959, Carl Rogers called it "one of the outstanding contributions to psychological thought in the last fifty years." In the thirty-three years since then, this book — at once a memoir, a self-help book, and a psychology manual — has become a classic that has sold more than three million copies in English language editions. Man's Search for Meaning tells the chilling and inspirational story of eminent psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, who was imprisoned at Auschwitz and other concentration camps for three years during the Second World War. Immersed in great suffering and loss, Frankl began to wonder why some of his fellow prisoners were able not only to survive the horrifying conditions, but to grow in the process. Frankl's conclusion — that the most basic human motivation is the will to meaning — became the basis of his groundbreaking psychological theory, logotherapy. As Nietzsche put it, "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." In Man's Search for Meaning, Frankl outlines the principles of logotherapy, and offers ways to help each one of us focus on finding the purpose in our lives. This new edition of Man's Search for Meaning includes a new preface by the author, in which he explains his decision to remain in his native Austria during the Nazi invasion, a choice which eventually led to his imprisonment. It also includes an updated bibliography of books, articles, records, films, videotapes, and audio tapes about logotherapy.

About the Author

Viktor E. Frankl

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Reviews

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(based upon 2 reviews)

"Man's Search for Meaning" is a book worth reading to all those who wish to understand more about their potencial.
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

“Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor E. Frankl, is a thought provoking book about Frankl’s ideas, theology, and understanding that he discovered and gained during his life; especially while in the Nazi Concentration camps. He gives his own in-depth insights to how we all can find meaning and purpose in life, especially through the hardest times. His ability and will power of mind and determination over strength and suffering is absolutely fascinating and inspiring. Also, his ability to describe and convey his feelings and thoughts helps you to feel like you were there with him suffering in the camp. Overall I would recommend this book to those people who are interested in strengthening their resolve and willpower, want insight on how to overcome adversity and trials, or to anyone who wants to understand more about the power of decision and purpose in life.

At the same time this book is definitely not for everyone and has some weaknesses. First, the book is not light reading, but is more geared towards a college or adult audience. Second, the book is not written as a story, but more of a collection of his ideas and insights he has mostly gained over the duration of his three year stay in concentration camps. The book jumps around a bit, explaining his feelings and insights he gained when liberation came to his camp, and then jumping back in time to how he felt when he had to work in the snow and cold. That annoyed me a bit because I would get lost with which of the four camps he was referring to, and to what time period of his stay he was at.

Third, the book, to me, felt more like a journal of his thoughts, ideas, and impressions rather than a book. Sometimes in the middle of a chapter he would jump from one thought to the next with no connecting dialog to help you understand the path he was trying to take you on in the book. Last, his book did not seem to have a strong thesis or message but was more of a number of different techniques and observations he made, during his time in prison, which led to his understanding of logo therapy.

Overall, I would still recommend reading this book, though you might want to read it twice through to gain a better understanding of information that Dr. Frankl is trying to convey to you.

Beyond Inspirational
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

Absolutely one of the books every person must read during their life. It will change the way you view evil, forgiveness and hope.

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