Man's Search for Meaning
by Viktor E. Frankl
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Frankl's timeless memoir and meditation on finding meaning in the midst of suffering With a new Foreword by Harold S. Kushner and a new Biographical Afterword by William J. Winslade 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.

Holmes's Review

HolmesHolmes wrote a review
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Much has been said about the concentration camp, but Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning stands out in his profound account of the horrendous psychological reality of camp life. In this book we see the full spectrum of human responses (in its full glory or ugliness) when a person is stretched beyond the breaking point. Amazingly, there are individuals who nevertheless manage to rise above it all.

In Frankl's own words, "the true meaning of life is to be discovered in the world rather than within man or his own psyche. Being human always points, and is directed, to something, or someone, other than oneself - be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter." To be a survivor, one needs a reason to survive, for "he who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how." That reason must be sought in the form of work to be done, or of love to be loved, or, in the most hopeless case, of suffering to be suffered.

The only thing I don't like about this book is the postscript - I feel that it's a rather unnecessary addition to what's already a masterpiece.