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The Power of Myth [Paperback]

Joseph Campbell , Bill Moyers
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.09
Price: 17.88 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

20 Sep 1989
The Power Of Myth launched an  extraordinary resurgence of interest in Joseph  Campbell and his work. A preeminient scholar, writer,  and teacher, he has had a profound influence on  millions of people. To him, mythology was the  "song of the universe, the music of the spheres."  With Bill Moyers, one of America's most prominent  journalists, as his thoughtful and engaing  interviewer, The Power Of Myth touches  on subjects from modern marriage to virgin births,  from Jesus to John Lennon, offering a  brilliantcombination of intelligence and wit.

Frequently Bought Together

The Power of Myth + The Hero with A Thousand Faces (Collected Works of Joseph Campbell) (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell) + Joseph Campbell - The Power of Myth [DVD]
Price For All Three: 41.35

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Product details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group; Reissue edition (20 Sep 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385247745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385247740
  • Product Dimensions: 27.4 x 21.1 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
Why myths? Why should we care about myths? Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The message is what counts! 9 Jun 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book summarizes myth and the reason behind myth! It's unforfunate that people would consider writings like this as being existential or overly pragmatic! Although it is in a sense, the power of myth is the most spiritual book that I have ever come across! You don't need to believe in an all-powerful supreme being who's gonna get ya if you don't follow his rules! Writings like this help you realize what's right and what's wrong in your heart! That's where all the answers are! People just aren't looking in there! This book is for everyone regardless of what you believe in!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Journey Starts Here 23 Dec 2006
By Meredon
Format:Paperback
This book is an excellent primer for Campbell's more in-depth books "Hero with A Thousand Faces" and the Masks of God series.

Bill Moyers does get in the way of Campbell's message but this should not distract the reader from being encouraged to embrace a more balanced personal and cultural point of view. The journey is well worth the effort.

Other reviewers particularly "A reader" seem either not to have read the book or lack the courage to move on.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, Educational, Provocative, Truthful 10 Aug 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
One of the best books I've ever read. Campbell's insights and interpretations supercede religious doctrines, while fully respecting them. The conversational style of the book makes it a quick read. Bill Moyers' role should not be overlooked. His preparation was impeccable. A great follow-up Campbell book might be "Transformations of Myth Through Time," (ISBN 0-06-096463-4) consisting of 13 lectures. Again, Campbell brings out the similarities among cultures brilliantly and positively.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mind expanding musings minus heroic effort 4 Nov 2011
Format:Paperback
Several years ago I tried to work my way through Campbell's Hero With a Thousand Faces (HWATF). I was designing a university course based on Star Wars at the time (true story) and learned that Lucas was influenced by Campbell in matters of plot and characterisation. So Campbell became a must read.

Almost immediately I ran into difficulties. HWATH is a hard study, at least for someone with my type of brain and training. If you, like me, are educated in the ways of Western thinking, especially in the Anglo-Saxon linguistic tradition, then Campbell may give you a migraine. How? His style is not analytic. There is a lack of definitions, sequential reasoning, accumulative evidence, cautious conclusions etc. Everything seems thrown together at once. Knowledge of all sorts of different disciples - literature, psychology, anthropology, theology - seems to be assumed. You have to know the whole before you can decipher the parts. By instinct and method, Campbell is a generalist; this is not in itself a bad thing.

However, I did need to find a different way into his thought. The Power of Myth (TPOM) provided this for me.

Here's what I got out of it.

First and foremost, I got an introduction to Campbell's ideas. Campbell, along with Henry Morton Robertson, wrote A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake. Well, TPOM serves as a sort of key to Campbell's thought. It'll get you started. I've since gone back to HWATF after reading TPOM and I feel I finally 'get it'.

Second, it could serve as a general introduction to the study of mythology. I've found it hard to come across such an intro. I've recently read Myth: A Very Short Introduction by Robert A Segal with mixed results.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, Educational, Provocative, Truthful 10 Aug 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
One of the best books I've ever read. Campbell's insights and interpretations supercede religious doctrines, while fully respecting them. The conversational style of the book makes it a quick read. Bill Moyers' role should not be overlooked. His preparation was impeccable. A great follow-up Campbell book might be "Transformations of Myth Through Time," (ISBN 0-06-096463-4) consisting of 13 lectures. Again, Campbell brings out the similarities among cultures brilliantly and positively.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Following Your Bliss, Aurally 27 Mar 1998
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Moyers and Campbell's conversation first aired on the PBS special: "The Power of Myth." The tapes capture the relaxed and entertaining essence of six programs: The Hero's Adventure; The Message of the Myth; The First Storytellers; Sacrifice and Bliss; Love and the Goddess; and Masks of Eternity. There is something very comforting in hearing Campbell's voice respond with ease to Moyers questions about myth: questions that anyone might ask. Campbell was a great storyteller, but it is his range of stories and depth of insightful interpretation that will keep the listener engaged - maybe awed. Taking place on George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch, "The Hero's Adventure" discussion has an interesting piece where Campbell laments the paucity of modern heroes and its consequences for adults and children alike. Then he relates the plot from the Lucas film "Stars Wars" with elements of the hero's journey; the listener can hear Campbell's optimistic excitement as he links the film's characters and plot to the Hero's rite of passage. The listener can sense Campbell's hope for future hero/heroine role models with universal appeal as his voice trys to keep pace with his thoughts. After listening to a tape individuals may feel a sense connectiveness to all that surrounds them: touched by the wisdom of myth. Campbell's words still echo in my ears, "If you follow your bliss . . .the life you ought to be living is the one you are living." For those who need to see the words and visually hold them in space and time, Moyers and Campbell's book "The Power of Myth" [edited by Flowers] provides the orginal PBS transcipt and additional material that was edited out. In addition to the six topics detailed on the tapes, the book includes the program on The Journey Inward.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful interview
Standout complimentary material to the series of interviews by Moyers to the late Joe Campbell. You'll find magnificent insights cut out from the televised interviews due to time... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Edu Portas
5.0 out of 5 stars powerfull
a well executed book. the writing and illustrations are excellent. written for the alternatve person. well worth the purchase. buy it
Published 5 months ago by PeterDarby
5.0 out of 5 stars well researched
JC has done a lot of research to write this book; it is amazing how he has the knowledge of several seemingly unconnected civilizations. has an original approach.
Published 9 months ago by R. Suryanarayanan
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing interview
This is a must have if you are interested or studying mythology - it opens the door to a whole other thought process.
Published 14 months ago by weaver
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book
Incredible insights from one of the last century's greatest thinkers. Told with incredible grace and finesse with beautiful visuals. Read more
Published on 14 April 2012 by Jamie
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful.
This is one of the most powerful books I have ever read & one of the few, where I can remember how I felt while reading it.
Published on 22 Dec 2011 by Russell J. Weston
1.0 out of 5 stars Only Similarities, No Differences
The greatest problem with this book is Mr. Campbell's insistence on looking at myths only through their similarities and never their differences. Read more
Published on 11 April 2010 by JeremiahA
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeper than it appears
Firstly - for those that don't know who Campbell is, he has a wonderful, and in my opinion deserved, reputation that goes beyond his official field of anthropology. Read more
Published on 10 Aug 2009 by SteveM
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply wonderful!
"The Power of Myth" was a series on PBS where Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell explored myth through various archetypes. Read more
Published on 19 July 2007 by B. Virk
3.0 out of 5 stars a bit of a disapointment
although this book has certainly encouraged me to read more by Joseph Campbell, I don't think it is a good book on its own merit. Read more
Published on 23 Feb 2003 by ex nihilo
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