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Man's Search For Meaning: The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust Paperback – 6 May 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 557 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Rider; New Ed edition (6 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844132390
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844132393
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (557 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"Remarkable...It changed my life and became a part of all that I live and all that I teach." (Susan Jeffers, author of Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway and Embracing Uncertainty)

"A poignant testimony...a hymn to the phoenix rising in each of us who choose life before flight." (Brian Keenan, author of An Evil Cradling)

"His works are essential reading for those who seek to understand the human condition." (Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks)

"An enduring work of survival literature." (New York Times)

"If you read but one book this year, Dr Frankl's book should be that one." (Los Angeles Times)

Book Description

Man's Search For Meaning is undoubtedly one of the seminal pieces of literature to emerge from World War 2: a moving account of Viktor Frankl's experiences in Auschwitz and what we can learn from them. Now in its 74th edition, it has been translated into at least 24 languages and sold over 9 million copies worldwide.

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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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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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