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Man's Search for Meaning: Introduction to Logotherapy [Hardcover]

Viktor E. Frankl
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 1993 0807029181 978-0807029183 New edition
We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life-daily and hourly. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.

When Man's Search for Meaning was first published in 1959, it was hailed by Carl Rogers as "one of the outstanding contributions to psychological thought in the last fifty years." Now, more than forty years and 4 million copies later, this tribute to hope in the face of unimaginable loss has emerged as a true classic. Man's Search for Meaning--at once a memoir, a self-help book, and a psychology manual-is the story of psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's struggle for survival during his three years in Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. Yet rather than "a tale concerned with the great horrors," Frankl focuses in on the "hard fight for existence" waged by "the great army of unknown and unrecorded."

Viktor Frankl's training as a psychiatrist allowed him a remarkable perspective on the psychology of survival. In these inspired pages, he asserts that the "the will to meaning" is the basic motivation for human life. This simple and yet profound statement became the basis of his psychological theory, logotherapy, and forever changed the way we understand our humanity in the face of suffering. As Nietzsche put it, "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." Frankl's seminal work offers us all an avenue to greater meaning and purpose in our own lives-a way to transcend suffering and find significance in the act of living.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; New edition edition (Dec 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807029181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807029183
  • Product Dimensions: 22.5 x 14.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,823,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Viktor Frankl was born in Vienna in 1905 and was Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School. His wife, father, mother and brother all died in Nazi concentration camps, only he and his sister survived, but he never lost the qualities of compassion, loyalty, undaunted spirit and thirst for life (earning his pilot's licence aged 67). He died in Vienna in 1997.

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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book should be required reading for life! 2 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning is a book that any reader can learn from. Frankl shares his experience as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp during WWII, and how this experience helped him to develop an approach to psychotherapy (called logotherapy). Even those readers who are not interested in the details of his theory will enjoy Part I, which consists of the story of his experiences at Auschwitz and Dachau. His main point is that everyone can find the will to go on, even in the direst of circumstances, if only we can identify something that we are willing to live for. Frankl's tragic experiences, and his glorious victory are an example for every human to aspire to. Man's Search for Meaning should be required reading for life!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Viktor Frankl takes a topic, logotherapy, and weaves into it the emotion, horror and insight of the holocaust in World War II.

Logotherapy is not explained only intellectually, but in recounting his life and stay during Auschwitz, Dachau, and other concentration camps, Frankl causes his readers to FEEL the necessity of understanding the treatment and survival of he, his family and friends.

An excellent, readable work for students, practicing psychiatrists, and all human kind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Survival of Mind, Body and Spirit 25 Sep 2012
By Graham Mummery TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It seems strange to call the memoir of someone in a concentration camp beautiful. Yet that is what this book is. It's one I come back to many times. It's ninety odd pages can be read in a single sitting.

In it, Victor Frankl chronicles his experience of life in a concentration camp. He observes the effect this horrific environment had on him and his fellow inmates. How some would put their faith in false hopes and die, while others held to something that enabled them to survive. In Frankl's case, he suggests it was the love of his wife and his work. He looks at the behaviour of the guards, pointing out that not all were complete villains: some also showed kindness, though there were others who were cruel.

There also moments where Frankl describes how he, and fellow inmates, would stop to take in beauty such as for a sunset, despite all the ugliness around. And he looks at the effects the ugliness had on those who survived, and argues that this experience taught him that one freedom that nobody can take from another is the freedom to decide ones own reaction to what is happening. It's to my mind a powerful lesson, and from someone who has experienced that under extreme circumstances, and thus has authority.

The other two chapters covering a further forty odd pages give an overview of Frankl's psychotherapeutic technique Logotherapy and his philosophy of life. In some ways this is a repeat of what has gone before, and is less elegant reading. It is of interest, but the real power lies in the memoir, that remains to me an inspiration
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