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The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell

The Power of Myth (original 1988; edition 2009)

by Joseph Campbell

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5,40440803 (4.2)52
Title:The Power of Myth
Authors:Joseph Campbell
Info:MJF Books (2009), Hardcover
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:Literary Criticism, Non-fiction

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The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell (1988)

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About the authors and editor: quoting from the book's back cover, "Joseph Campbell began his career in 1934 as an instructor at Sarah Lawrence College, where he taught for almost forty years, and where the Joseph Campbell Chair in Comparative Mythology was established in his honor. Bill Moyers is an acclaimed television journalist, widely respected for his work both at CBS News and PBS. . .Betty Sue Flowers teaches poetry and myth at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author and co-author of several books. . ." About the book: quoting from the book's back cover, "In 'The Power of Myth,' [Joseph Campbell] and distinguished journalist Bill Moyers, offer a brilliant combination of wisdom and wit in conversations that range from modern marriage. . .to virgin birth, from savior figures to heroic figure such Luke Skywalker from 'Star Wars' (. . '.By overcoming the dark passions, the hero symbolizes our ability to control the irrational savages within us.'"
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  uufnn | Jan 28, 2017 |
I highly recommend Joseph Campbell's books to anyone who loves reading about mythology. He's an extremely intelligent man. ( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
Bill Moyers interviewed Joseph Campbell for a 6-hour PBS series on The Power of Myth. But there were many more hours of footage that were not used in the series. This book provides more of their conversations in interview format. Campbell describes his work as finding "the commonality of themes in world myths, pointing to a constant requirement in the human psyche for a centering in terms of deep principles" and that "myths are clues to our deepest spiritual potential." This book is filled with wise conversation that unearths the power of myth layer by layer. ( )
  porch_reader | Sep 24, 2016 |
This is a true classic! ( )
  deldevries | Jan 31, 2016 |
I really like the interesting perspective on much of what Campbell had to say. My one irritation is that he sometimes came across with the attitude that his view was the only non-ludicrous option. It was much like anyone but Melville stating the definitive symbolism of the white whale. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
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Theology and myth are stepsisters of truth. The one probes with questions, the other spins out tales on gossamer threads. But both serve a common mystery.

I was reminded of this recently in reading Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyer's conversation on The Power of Myth. This wonderful book is filled with pictures of Tibetan and Native American art, photographs of aboriginal initiation rites and drawings by William Blake. Adapted from a six-part television series filmed at George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch shortly before Campbell's death, the book moves from the tales of ancient Greece and India to the latest episodes of Rambo and Star Wars. Here the power of story still lives. As Campbell once said, "The latest incarnation of Oedipus, the continued romance of Beauty and the Beast, stands this afternoon on the corner of Forty-second Street and Fifth Avenue, waiting for the traffic light to change."

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joseph Campbellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Moyers, Billmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Flowers, Betty SueEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cathy SaksaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grieco, Agnesesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grubin, Davidsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hille, FransTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Larsson, Lars Göransecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lingiardi, Vittoriosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tatge, Catherinesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Judith, who has long heard the music
First words
MOYERS: Why myths?
This conversation between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell took place in 1985 and 1986 at George Lucas's SKywalker Ranch and later at the Museum of Natural History in New York.
INTRODUCTION (by Bill Moyers)
For weeks after Joseph Campbell died, I was reminded of him just about everywhere I turned.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the book. Do not combine with any video edition.
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The companion book for the series, The Power of Myth, (Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers, and editor Betty Sue Flowers) was released in 1988 at the same time the series aired on PBS. In the editor's note to The Power of Myth, Flowers credits Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, as "the Doubleday editor, whose interest in the ideas of Joseph Campbell was the prime mover in the publication of this book." The book follows the format of the documentary and provides additional discussions not included in the original six hour release. 
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385418868, Paperback)

Among his many gifts, Joseph Campbell's most impressive was the unique ability to take a contemporary situation, such as the murder and funeral of President John F. Kennedy, and help us understand its impact in the context of ancient mythology. Herein lies the power of The Power of Myth, showing how humans are apt to create and live out the themes of mythology. Based on a six-part PBS television series hosted by Bill Moyers, this classic is especially compelling because of its engaging question-and-answer format, creating an easy, conversational approach to complicated and esoteric topics. For example, when discussing the mythology of heroes, Campbell and Moyers smoothly segue from the Sumerian sky goddess Inanna to Star Wars' mercenary-turned-hero, Han Solo. Most impressive is Campbell's encyclopedic knowledge of myths, demonstrated in his ability to recall the details and archetypes of almost any story, from any point and history, and translate it into a lesson for spiritual living in the here and now. --Gail Hudson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:35 -0400)

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From the Publisher: This extraordinary best-seller is a brilliant evocation of the noted scholar's teachings on mythology. Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers offer a brilliant combination of wisdom and wit in conversations that range from modern marriage to virgin births, from saviors to heroes in the Power of Myth-a great summing up of Campbell's works.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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