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Man's Search for Meaning

4.7 out of 5 stars 472 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (Aug. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786125071
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786125074
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 11.1 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (472 customer reviews)

Product Description

Review

One of the ten most influential books in America. Library of Congress/Book-of-the-Month Club "Survey of Lifetime Readers"
"Viktor Frankl's timeless formula for survival. One of the classic psychiatric texts of our time, "Man's Search for Meaning" is a meditation on the irreducible gift of one's own counsel in the face of great suffering, as well as a reminder of the responsibility each of us owes in valuing the community of our humanity. There are few wiser, kinder, or more comforting challenges than Frankl's." Patricia J. Williams, author of "Seeing a Color-Blind Future: The Paradox of Race"
"Dr. Frankl's words have a profoundly honest ring, for they rest on experiences too deep for deception A gem of a dramatic narrative, focused upon the deepest of human problems." Gordon W. Allport, from the Preface
"An enduring work of survival literature." "The New York Times"
"["Man's Search for Meaning"] might well be prescribed for everyone who would understand our time." "Journal of Individual Psychology"
"An inspiring document of an amazing man who was able to garner some good from an experience so abysmally bad Highly recommended." "Library Journal"
"One of the great books of our time." Harold S. Kushner, author of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People"
"One of the outstanding contributions to psychological thought in the last fifty years." Carl R. Rogers (1959)" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Born in Vienna in 1905, Viktor E. Frankl earned an MD and a PhD from the University of Vienna. He published more than thirty books on theoretical and clinical psychology and served as a visiting professor and lecturer at Harvard, Stanford, and elsewhere. Frankl died in 1997. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way". This, in essence, summarises the main thrust of this extraordinary book as well as Frankl's psychotherapy. I have spent the last year doing a counselling course and have read innumerable books and have been introduced to innumerable psychological theories, yet none have touched me so profoundly nor changed my perspective so radically as this slim book which Frankl wrote in 9 days and which has become an international bestseller. Unlike so many theoreticians, Frankl lived by what he preached. During his two and a half years spent in four different concentration camps, he came to realise that those who survive the terrors of life are not the physically strong or physically healthy, but those who have an internal strength, who are able to find a sense of meaning and purpose 'within' adversity. Frankl quotes Nietzsche to make this point, 'he who has a why to live for, can bear with almost any how'. Half the book is autobiograhpical, the other half outlines the basics of his theory, demonstrating once again that his life reflected his thinking and vice versa. In a world where despair and a sense of meaninglessness seem to torment us more each day, Frankl's words are more pertinent than ever.
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Format: Paperback
In my opinion, "Man's search for meaning" (1946) is a very interesting book, that will leave you with some practical knowledge easy to apply in your daily life. In a nutshell, and if you aren't feeling like reading a more or less long review, the main idea of this book is that "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how".
The above quoted phrase is from Nietzsche, but don't jump to conclusions: Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) certainly does not share his philosophical ideas. Frankl merely chose one of Nietzsche's phrases as a way to crystallize his own ideas: that is, that the most important force in a person's life is his will to meaning. In a way, this book shows how Frankl reached that conclusion.
The first part of "Man's search for meaning" deals with the author's experiences in a concentration camp, and the lessons he draw from that torturous experience. Frankl said that those that survived had one thing in common, a purpose, and that "everything can be taken from man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way no matter the circumstance".
In the second part of this book, Frankl explains logotheraphy, the theory of psychotherapy he developed. According to the author, logotherapy focuses on the meaning of human existence as well as on a person's search for such meaning, and the consequent purpose. Frankl says that "The meaning of life always changes, but... it never ceases to be", and that we really find ourselves when we find it, or at least our own personal version of it.
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By A Customer on 28 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
If I said to you that this is a book about the Holocaust which made me roar with laughter I will communicate to you its unique quality.
The first half is harrowing. The account of his time in Auschwitz and Dachau. The second half is about logotherapy. On a few pages he tells a few stories that you will remember for your whole life. By a simple change in perspective he shows how the most brutal and dehumanising experiences can be reinterpreted.
The humour comes in the statement of the theory of 'paradoxical intention'. He tells the story of a man who had a terrible stutter. Never in his life had this young man been free from the problem of stuttering, except on one occasion. This was when he jumped on a bus without buying a ticket. He resolved that the only way to escape was to enlist the sympathy of the conductor by demonstrating that he was a poor stuttering boy. At the moment, when he tried to stutter, he was unable to do so. Without meaning to, he had practised paradoxical intention.
This is an amazing book. I feel it has clarified in my mind ideas I have been yearning to understand for many years.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of the greatest books of the 20th century. Some time in the future, when humans finally turn off the TV and start asking themselves why the hell they're here in the firstplace, this book might be of great assistence. Best read annually.
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Format: Paperback
Who was Victor Frankl - not any influential politician or a business tycoon who has gone down in world history. He experienced, like the other millions of victims of the Holocaust, life in the concentration camps. With his education in psychotherapy, during the few years that he spent helping people cope with crisis, little would he have ever imagined being himself a subject of so severe a test in life that death would seem like a sweet dream. The first part of the book that renders his experiences of life in the concentration camp is so lucid and yet intense. Every moment, every day is uncannily identical - shrouded in pain and suffering that few can even imagine in the current day. And yet even in the camp, where the only unchanging reality was hopelessness and death, the author narrates how the inmates managed to find the little springs of hope, love, luck and even humour.

With fortuity and strength, he survived to live and make his ordeal count and therein lies the greatness of this ordinary human being. This short book is a legacy that he has left behind for many generations to savour and enrich themselves. That somebody can go through so much of pain and suffering and yet emerge out of it to find meaning in it and go on to live a full life indeed is a display of the strength of human character and spirit in all its resplendent glory.

I read this book at a time when there is widespread apprehension and anxiety over the economic crisis. And yet this book depicts that man has proved that he is capable of taking much worse crisis into his stride and triumphantly defy it.

This book is thought provoking and appeals to our sensitivities - it is a must read for every human being. Else all the pain and suffering of those who lived and died in the concentration camps will be in vain.
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