Man's Search for Meaning

Man's Search for Meaning

Paperback - 2006 | Large print edition.
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We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life-daily and hourly. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.

When Man's Search for Meaning was first published in 1959, it was hailed by Carl Rogers as "one of the outstanding contributions to psychological thought in the last fifty years." Now, more than forty years and 4 million copies later, this tribute to hope in the face of unimaginable loss has emerged as a true classic. Man's Search for Meaning --at once a memoir, a self-help book, and a psychology manual-is the story of psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's struggle for survival during his three years in Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. Yet rather than "a tale concerned with the great horrors," Frankl focuses in on the "hard fight for existence" waged by "the great army of unknown and unrecorded."

Viktor Frankl's training as a psychiatrist allowed him a remarkable perspective on the psychology of survival. In these inspired pages, he asserts that the "the will to meaning" is the basic motivation for human life. This simple and yet profound statement became the basis of his psychological theory, logotherapy, and forever changed the way we understand our humanity in the face of suffering. As Nietzsche put it, "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." Frankl's seminal work offers us all an avenue to greater meaning and purpose in our own lives-a way to transcend suffering and find significance in the act of living.
Publisher: Boston : Beacon Press, [©2006]
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9780807000007
0807000000
Branch Call Number: Large Print 150.198
Characteristics: xxii, 299 pages ; 25 cm

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Gina_Vee Jun 06, 2019

As a classic, this was an extremely interesting read. There were things I did not expect from this book, and they were hard to take in, but there were some extremely impactful tidbits in this book.

A psychiatrist meets existential philosophy in Nazi death camps. Eloquent, brief, and touching. Highly recommended. The Observer wishes he had read it as a younger man.

b
byoneoka
Nov 25, 2018

Stupendous work!

It stands as perhaps the most profound generation of rebirth -- to find the meaning in life to live-- in the deepest despair of the horrors of the Nazi death camps. This paradox only intensifies the magnificence of the human spirit.

VaughanPLDavidB Nov 09, 2018

Having heard Jordan Peterson mention this book more than once, I thought I should give it a read. Now having read it, I know I will have to read it again. Clearly this is a foundational work for the development of Peterson both as a lecturer and as a clinical psychologist.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
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

r
raydot
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.

j
JJR678
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.

p
Pretzel_OPL
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.

n
nickster13
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.

d
darcyhudjik
Feb 18, 2018

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

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grownflow
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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