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.
Publisher: Boston : Beacon Press, c2006
ISBN: 9780807014295
Characteristics: xvi, 165 p


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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.

Jul 26, 2017

I highly recommend this book to anyone. It enabled me to put things into perspective and remind myself what I am living for, what really matters. The first section Frankl describes his experience in the concentration camps, followed by an introduction to logotherapy (Frankl's branch of psychoanalysis), followed by an afterword of the author's life. I usually like to read up on the author prior to reading their books, however it worked out just fine in this case.

Jul 19, 2017

The view of a psychologists who survived Auschwitz and other concentration camps. Moving observations into human behaviour but sometimes too generalized. A worthwhile reading.

Jul 04, 2017

Yes, it has its content and phrasing that is (politically?) inappropriate in today's western culture, and perhaps especially in Canada's where we display some uniquely progressive politics.

But it is genuine. Frankel wrote this quickly, and soon after being released from hell (hell because it was caused intentionally by fellow humans, not only because of how he was treated).

Let him ruminate with his 1930's-academic mind. Let him struggle to make sense of it with his personal world view. He describes something we cannot imagine, but should try to.

Because it can happen and does happen all over the world and could happen here. Just look at your neighbours and yourself (and me) for bigotry and group-think.

I salute his concise reply to his fellow inmates on the reason to continue to hold on, that we are each part of a family that we are important to and to which our actions have a positive or negative impact. It is a truth that remains true not just as you want to die in a nazi death camp but true afterwards as you become free to make something of your life and choose how to live.

For balance, I recommend Sheldon Solomon and others' "The Worm at the Core: The Role of Death in Life".

Jun 01, 2016

The first part of this riveting book describes Frankl's experiences in the Nazi work camps during the second world war. But Frankl is really talking about the importance of finding personal meaning in our daily lives.

May 12, 2016

A remarkable book and a must read for everyone.

May 09, 2016

left off on page 116 actually

sandro51 Aug 13, 2015

Self-indulgent? Much of the book is taken up by Frankl's description of human beings in extremis, and the attitudes that helped some of them them survive the death camps.
Read it and make up your own mind.

May 06, 2015

This book is essential reading in the realm of man's treatment of each other. Frank was a clinical psychiatrist and often writes is dispassionate prose, but it is exactly that distance that allows us to bear witness to the horrors within without the reader's mind listening to it as if it were a story. It's brutal and honest, yet he concludes his concentration camp stay with an end to the philosophical journey that has sustained him the entire while. It should be necessary reading for every history student, if not in high school, then in university.

Dec 23, 2014

It is understandable why this is one of the greatest books written. Not so often do we come across a book that explores a malady from an experience so horrible, provide the painful stages of survival and then the solutions for the rest of humanity. This is the story of life, a valuable inoculation and prescription, also backed by research, that can take away pain and hopelessness.

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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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