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Out of My Life and Thought: An Autobiography Paperback – 11 Jun 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; 60th anniversary ed edition (11 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801894123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801894121
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Out of My Life and Thought shatters the old myth and allows us to glimpse the real Albert Schweitzer, a man whose moral example is as relevant and compelling... as it was in the 1930s on first publication. Eloquent and heartfelt.

(Los Angeles Times)

An authentic twentieth-century classic. Few books in our time have had a greater impact on the life and values of untold numbers of people.

(Norman Cousins)

Book Description

The best known of Albert Schweitzer's many books

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book about a great man. I love the introduction of Jimmy Carter, one of the best president of the United States, a man of peace!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x902400b4) out of 5 stars 34 reviews
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x914e50d8) out of 5 stars A book that matters... 9 Dec. 2003
By C. Middleton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is an elegant though brief memoir written by the great man himself. One should not expect too much detail, however, as the text only gives us glimpses into the man's life and the singular events that shaped who he was and what he became and, more importantly, what he accomplished. Schweitzer focuses mainly on the development of his theological and philosophical thought, beginning with his early endeavours leading to his famous work, `The Quest for the Historical Jesus'. From this point, he continues on towards the shaping of his magnum opus, `Philosophy of Civilization'. It is in this section of the text that he discusses two worldviews of life-affirmation and life-denial and pessimism. This work evolves into his philosophical perspective of Reverence for Life.
The biography ends in the year 1931, well before the advent of the Second World War. Schweitzer was only fifty-six years of age when he penned this work, well before receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, living and working for another forty-four years. Curiously, when his publisher requested that he write an autobiography, he was hesitant, as he was more or less still in his prime. However, as he wrote to his publisher fourteen years later on his seventieth birthday, memory fades with age, and he believed that writing about himself at that stage of his life, he could put down those important memories that remained fresh in his mind.
Schweitzer is certainly an inspiration - a man of immense strength, physically, emotionally and spiritually, with an almost endless capacity for work. The man worked in the most difficult of circumstances. Practicing medicine in intense tropical heat, day after day, disease run rampant; constant worry over funds to purchase much needed medical supplies. Moreover, the terrible events of two world wars - the odds he worked against to maintain the Lambarene Hospital, to my mind, is simply unimaginable. But the man persisted, rising every morning to meet disease, suffering, violence, death and loneliness.
This is an inspiring little book, charming and entertaining.
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x914e5138) out of 5 stars For students of this great mind, this is a must read. 9 Feb. 2003
By fdoamerica - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There is no better short book available on the mind and thoughts of Albert Schweitzer than this book. His theology on Jesus and Paul, his thoughts on Bach and organ building, his philosophy on Reverence for Life are all laid out here.
George Marshall (see my review of Marshall's excellent biography: Schweitzer) once asked Dr. Schweitzer what professors would best provide him an education on Schweitzer's thoughts. He replied that Marshall should not go to professors but "read my books! No one can express the ideas of a man as well as he has expressed them himself.... read my books".
Bob Frost of "Biography Magazine" once wrote, "Albert Schweitzer is not exactly forgotten today, but his name won't crop up in daily conversation. Fifty years ago, though, people talked about Schweitzer all the time. An American magazine selected him, ahead of Albert Einstein, as the "world's greatest living nonpolitical person." He was the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary, won the Nobel Peace Prize, and appeared on the cover of Time magazine. Fueled by idealism and burning spiritual passion, this medical missionary led one of the most intense lives of the 20th century."
Be apprized that "Out of my Life and Thoughts" is not an easy read. Dr. Schweitzer's theology and philosophy, though dense, is not incomprehensible. And due to the translation from French to English, you many find yourself reading a passage multiple times to get the gist his thoughts.
That said, for students of this great mind, this is a must read. Strongly recommended. 4.5 stars.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x903bea74) out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to Schweitzer's life and ethics. 9 Feb. 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Dr. Schweitzer's autobiography, this book describes both his life and his philosophy. It describes
his childhood and early years of theological study,
his love of organs and Bach, his decision to enter missionary
work, the subsequent years of medical training, and his first 16 years of missionary work in Africa.
It covers his life up to 1930, when he was 55 years old.

A very readable book, this book is an excellent introduction to Dr. Schweitzer's life and ethics.
According to the preface, he considered it his most important book. In Schweitzer's usual modest
but not self-denigrating style, he describes how he came to believe in the important of service to
humanity. The reader is bound to be awed by the scope of Schweitzer's intellectual and
spiritual accomplishment, but reassured by the man's humble concern for others.

The only significant drawback of this book is that it ends fairly early in his missionary career. It is
left to others to complete his biography.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x914e56e4) out of 5 stars An inspiring journey with a true disciple of Christ 17 Sept. 2002
By Sheeba Arnold - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Albert Schweitzer was an acclaimed organist, a world authority on Bach, a church pastor and principal of a theological seminary, a university professor with a doctorate in philosophy, and above all a humanitarian. This book gives a stunning account of how he grew into his ideals and I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in ethics or philosophy. I was left with an urge to read more about this true human, who believed and practiced the basic principle of goodness, as I finished reading the book. Schweitzer's faith in what he believes in and how he transforms it to the needy is absolutely inspiring. The epilogue of the book is very thought provoking as it gives a clear idea of his vision and the relevance of it in the world we live in.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x914e5390) out of 5 stars seek ye first the kingdom.... 4 Jun. 2000
By Craig Chalquist, PhD, author of TERRAPSYCHOLOGY and DEEP CALIFORNIA - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A memorable account of the theologian, musician, author, and philosopher who up and went to the jungle one day to become a doctor... and of the opposition he encountered by "people passing as Christians." If you are in doubt about whether to risk living your own dreams, then this is your book. Schweitzer relinquished everything, received everything, and was free.
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