Man's Search for Meaning

Man's Search for Meaning

Book - 2006
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Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, 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.

At the time of Frankl's death in 1997, Man's Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages. A 1991 reader survey for the Library of Congress 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.

Beacon Press, the original English-language publisher of Man's Search for Meaning, is issuing this new paperback edition with a new Foreword, biographical Afterword, jacket, price, and classroom materials to reach new generations of readers.
Publisher: Boston : Beacon Press, 2006.
ISBN: 9780807014271
Characteristics: xvi, 165 p. ;,22 cm.


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Aug 29, 2018

Man’s Search for Meaning was written by the remarkable Viktor E. Frankl, a neurologist and psychiatrist; he was also a survivor of four Nazi concentration camps. The first half of the book describes in detail the experiences of Frankl while he was imprisoned in many camps, one being the infamous Auschwitz. He recalled everything that he and his comrades had experienced, and analyzed each emotion that men had felt throughout their years of being locked away. The second half of the book explored Frankl’s school of psychology and philosophy, which was named “logotherapy” or the “Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy.” “Logos” means “meaning” in Greek, and logotherapy is the idea that “we are strongly motivated to live purposefully and meaningfully.” Frankl had written his second manuscript for his theory in the camps after his first manuscript was confiscated at Auschwitz. Once he was liberated, he shared his story with us and introduced us to the idea of logotherapy, which is being used all over the world to help patients. I give this book a 9/10 star rating and recommend it to ages 14 and up.
@ilovefood of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

Aug 01, 2018

What a great, fantastic, tough book -- one that only more people should read. There were moments where I gasped out loud at the accounts of suffering, and yet he persevered. A deep study of not only the horrors of the Holocaust, but of the turn of mind that can bring us through even the most difficult times. The later part of the book bears plenty of useful lessons for people unmoored in the modern world, and serves as quite a testament to what can be endured by the human spirit.

Mar 20, 2018

Great book. Definitely recommend that everyone read --and, because it's such a quick read, there's really no reason to not have it on your list.

Mar 16, 2018

The most vivid and horrifying portrayal of Hell I have ever read. Most frightening of this depiction is that Hell is a real place - and it had the names Auschwitz, Dachau, and Mauthausen - and the author lived there for several years, which he describes in the first half of this book. Somehow, the author, Viktor Frankl, found the will and resolve to make his time in Hell mean *something*, and then explains how this could even be possible in the second half of the book.

This book moved me. Perhaps not because of the clinical psychological approach Frankl details for attributing meaning to life, but because it exposes the reader to the types of absolute horror which humans are capable of inflicting on each other.

Not for the faint of heart, but a very important must-read nonetheless.

Mar 15, 2018

Two of Frankl's tenets (1) that each of person is unique and irreplaceable (2) there is purpose
for each person's life bring hope , optimism and clarity regardless of spiritual background.
A hard but worthwhile read.

Feb 22, 2018

I think this book was a tad overhyped for me. I really liked the accounts of world war 2, but the logotherapy chapter was a bit loose and could have been delivered better. In all I enjoyed it, and there were some great life lessons, but I left wanting more.

Feb 18, 2018

A wonderful account of resilience, the human spirit an Frankl's observations. This book is a must read.

Dec 20, 2017

Great book.

One of the best ones out there in general.

Really happy I picked this up.

Nov 30, 2017

I decided to listen to the CD version of this book, thinking that perhaps it might help my perspective. I have been looking at the problems unfolding in here America (and around the globe) with such pessimism -- evidence of looming environmental, catastrophes, growing income disparities, injustices that just seem to be increasing, more impediments to free speech, along with information fatigue in citizens, while a massive transfer of more and more of, "the commons" to private control is accelerating like never before...
I thought that, Man's Search For Meaning, might help me to appreciate that not only have there been darker times/places, but that, even under the most horrific of conditions, the human spirit has an incredible ability to continue on. That was why I got this book. It is an extraordinary book, so powerful that at times I had to stop the CD simply to think about and process what was being said.
Although at times the narrative was darker than I imagined it would be, the narrative combined with the author's analysis -- as a psychiatrist -- was both illuminating and reassuring: The human being is capable of adapting to and surviving through some pretty extraordinarily dispiriting, dehumanizing and degrading experiences. In that, I found a bit of hopefulness -- along with the reminder that even though we may ourselves be headed for some enormous challenges as a nation, at least for right now and for many of us, things really are SO MUCH better then what many others have had to endure.
It is worth noting -- that many scholars believe an important part of what led up to the Holocaust -- was the declining social and economic conditions in Germany following WWI -- a scary thought now as we watch the neoliberal movement remove public safety nets, and shift wealth increasingly away from the masses and towards the most privileged, while Facebook and other technologies remove privacy and make big brother monitoring of us easier and easier -- but I diverge.
The take away is that while we often can't control the events that happen to us, we do have a choice about how we react to those events.

LPL_PolliK Sep 26, 2017

A classic work of philosophy. Frankl survived four camps during the Holocaust and he turned his experience into his life's work, logotherapy, while asserting that the key to survival is a sense that one’s life has meaning. Frankl theorizes three key concepts frame our sense of meaning in the world: work, love, and suffering. A poignant read that transcends the horrors of the camps and illuminates our world and search for meaning, even today.

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Apr 01, 2008

Personal narrative of time in Nazi concentration camp, including insights about how he was able to cope psychologically with the ordeal.


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Jul 20, 2014

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." Viktor Frankl

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