Man's Search for Meaning

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Beacon Press, 1992 - Psychology - 165 pages
Man's Search for Meaning has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 psychiatrist Viktor Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the stories of his many patients, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl's theory—known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos ("meaning")—holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful. "What man actually needs," Frankl writes, "is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task . . . the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him."

In the decades since its first publication in 1959, Man's Search for Meaning has become a classic, with more than twelve million copies in print around the world. A 1991 Library of Congress survey that asked readers to name a "book that made a difference in your life" found Man's Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America. At once a memoir, a meditation, a treatise, and a history, it continues to inspire us all to find significance in the very act of living.

"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)

"One of the ten most influential books in America."
—Library of Congress/Book-of-the-Month Club Survey of Lifetime Readers

Born in Vienna in 1905, Viktor E. Frankl earned an M.D. and a Ph.D. 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. In 1977 a fellow survivor, Joseph Fabry, founded the Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy. Frankl died in 1997.

Harold S. Kushner is rabbi emeritus at Temple Israel in Natick, Massachusetts, and the author of several best-selling books, including When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Living a Life That Matters, and When All You've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough.

William J. Winslade is a philosopher, lawyer, and psychoanalyst who teaches at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and the University of Houston Law Center.

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Very Moving

User Review  - morrell101 -

This is one of the most moving recollections of human suffering and will to exist i have ever read. I read the whole thing start to finish. This book will speak to the depths of your soul and make you ... Read full review

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Man's search for meaning { the book} changed my outlook on life and subsequently changed my life for the better.
It taught me that my life has been a blessed trip from beginning until today.It taught
me that I really have NO problem that I cannot overcome.
No matter how bad things or how good thing become I have the choice as to how I approach them---even my death.
The survivors of the "camps" all had something to live for. The ones who did not survive often simply gave up.
Never--never--never---never give up!!!!!!!!!
If humans can survive what the prisoners went through then surely I can survive anything that may happen in my life.
For many years after I first read the book I ordered paper back copies form Grove Press for about $2.95 each ---and 10 at a time and carried them with me ---just waiting and watching for an opportunity to introduce another person to its seemingly magical story..
Today I keep 3 or 4 with me at all times. I buy them used from a book trader for a fraction of the original cost and I know that someone else has also read and passed the books along to me.

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Preface by Gordon W Allport
About the Author 155

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About the author (1992)

Viktor E. Frankl was professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School until his death in 1997. His twenty-nine books have been translated into twenty-one languages. During World War II, he spent three years in Auschwitz, Dachau, and other concentration camps.

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