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Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E.…

Man's Search for Meaning (original 1946; edition 2006)

by Viktor E. Frankl (Author), William J. Winslade (Afterword), Harold S. Kushner (Foreword)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,956163335 (4.26)175
Title:Man's Search for Meaning
Authors:Viktor E. Frankl (Author)
Other authors:William J. Winslade (Afterword), Harold S. Kushner (Foreword)
Info:Beacon Press (2006), Edition: 1, 184 pages
Collections:Your library, To read, Read
Tags:philosophy, stoicism

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Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl (1946)


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English (154)  Spanish (5)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All (162)
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
From woebegone to beautiful and then enlightening. A friend suggested me to read this book. I am grateful that I did. I highly recommend this book. This book gave me hope, explained the meaning of life, and over everything it taught me that even when the we think the decision is not in our hands we have the important decision of deciding how we react to circumstances. I am sure I will be re-reading this book. Thank you Google Play Books for giving me this book for free. ( )
  nalinisriv | Jun 12, 2018 |
La première partie du livre, intitulée "Experiences in a concentration camp" est d'une puissance inouïe, où l'on perçoit à chaque instant la palpitation de la vie qui s'affaiblit inexorablement et l'énergie surhumaine de la lutte déployée pour survivre et conserver le dernier souffle de vie. Frankl livre un témoignage précieux et bouleversant, à travers le regard du médecin qui note les prodigieuses capacités de l'homme à survivre parmi les conditions les plus abominables qui soient. Ce texte, écrit en seulement 9 jours après la libération du camp de concentration, comporte indéniablement l'intelligence et l'urgente nécessité du témoignage de Primo Levi. Ce qui frappe néanmoins chez Viktor Frankl, c'est sa force de caractère inébranlable, son optimisme et sa capacité à faire usage de cette cruelle expérience pour développer des modes thérapeutiques fondés sur la recherche du sens chez l'homme. Lorsque Victor Frankl écrit au début de son récit, après avoir précisé la nécessaire perte de ses scrupules pour survivre dans un camp de concentration, "The best of us did not return", on a du mal à le croire; Frankl est un formidable humaniste doué d'un mental hors du commun.
Suite à la lecture d'une expérience aussi extrême et éprouvante, c'est avec une curiosité impatiente que j'entamais la seconde partie du livre dédiée à la logothérapie, considérée comme la troisième école de psychothérapie de Vienne, après celles de Freud et d'Adler. Cette découverte n'a pas du tout été à la hauteur de mes attentes tant les éléments avancés manquaient d'épaisseur et de relief. Il ne semble d'ailleurs pas que la théorie de Frankl ait réellement fait école car qui connaît et vante encore aujourd'hui les vertus de la logothérapie?
Reste le témoignage lucide, implacable et puissant d'un homme capable de décrire l'enfer sans jamais se fourvoyer, sans succomber à la haine ni au désespoir. Par cette grâce, il force l'admiration. ( )
  biche1968 | May 10, 2018 |
I read this book for the first time during my senior year in high school. The year prior, I had gone to Germany for spring break with some fellow classmates. During the trip, we spent a day visiting a former WWII concentration camp in Dachau. As one might expect, this visit had a profound affect on me. I had of course read and knew about the atrocities that occurred under the Nazi regime, but to actually see the gas chambers in person is a deeply haunting and disturbing experience. Perhaps for this reason, Frankl's book affected me even more deeply than it otherwise might have.

The book is divided into two parts. The first section recounts in vivid detail Frankl's horrifying experiences as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. Frankl, a former psychiatrist, also describes his observations of other prisoners, and what he felt to be the main way in which people tried to cope with the insurmountable obstacles they faced. He found that those who could find meaning or purpose in their suffering were the ones who also seemed better able to find the strength to go on. As I recall, Frankl personally found his purpose in the hope of someday being able to see his wife again... a hope that was strong enough to get him through the daily horrors he faced.

The second half of this book is devoted to the therapy he developed based on the search for meaning, which he calls logotherapy. The basic premise is that those who can find meaning in their suffering are better able to cope with what would otherwise be a struggle too hard to bear. As one who majored in psychology, I found this section as fascinating as the first.

I have read this book at least 3 times now, and it is one of the few books I can say truly changed my life. I am ever grateful that I have the wisdom of this book to fall back upon when needed.

Several years ago, at a very young age (in my 20s), I became ill with a disease that left me bedridden and barely able to speak above a whisper. Now 36, I am still bedridden and fighting the same battle. It is Frankl's reminder to find meaning and purpose in suffering (which I found in the love of my fiancé and my hope of recovery) that has helped me to get through each difficult day. As Frankl tells us, "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

I highly recommend this book!! ( )
  Brightraven | Apr 26, 2018 |
This is the first non-children book that I finished in three days. I can't recommend it enough.

I happened to read it just a short time after The Power of Now hence I had the chance to compare its view with the spiritual view introduced in The Power of Now which I also appreciate. Different from spiritual view which advises us to detach ourselves from the physical world, the mind and the body and reach a higher level of Being where there is no existence of suffering, Man's Search for Meaning helps readers to live, sustain and strive based on less abstract concepts and therefore easier for one to grasp.

In Man's Search for Meaning, the reasons for one to live wrap around concrete things - work, love, etc. It does not denounce pain, suffering, unhappiness, etc. I would not say this is truer than the idea offered in the spiritual view where the highest level is that a being is detached from emotional and physical world. To me, these two views are not comparable. The spiritual view provides readers a way to look for a free life beyond physical and emotional world which requires a significant effort to attain it. Man's Search for Meaning offers readers a way to live within the very basic emotional and physical resources that make up a man.

Besides suggestion on how to view about one's life, Man's Search for Meaning reaffirms us that kindness exists in every circumstances and there is no such thing as an absolute evil or kind group. Kind person could be found among Nazi camp guards and an evil can be found among fellow prisoners who came from one's own country.

There are numerous other things I take out from this book. I've stopped to mark almost every few pages until I told myself "ok, I'm going to stop marking and re-read it."

Highly recommend everyone to read. Even if you're not keen on learning the meaning of one's life, the story about the concentration camp and the unimaginable stories about human and their attitudes under these circumstances are astonishing. ( )
  chrysedonia | Apr 26, 2018 |
I am not sure how I had never come across this book before. A classic memoir by Frankl that tells his story of how he survived the concentration camps of World War II. The book also doubles as a psychology study where Frankl argues that the most important part of life for human beings is the search for meaning. No matter what the circumstances or what life throws at a person, searching for meaning is what keeps us going. It is obviously more complex than this short review, but I highly recommend it to all. ( )
  msaucier818 | Apr 9, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (61 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Viktor E. Franklprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kushner, Harold S.Forewordmain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lasch, IlseTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winslade, William J.Afterwordmain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Allport, Gordon WPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Šuvajevs, IgorsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the memory of my mother
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This book does not claim to be an account of facts and events but of personal experiences, experiences which millions of prisoners have suffered time and again.
He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How
Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning.
Man's inner strangth may raise him about his outward fate
Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you feel and do about what happens to you.
Life is meaningful and that we must learn to see life as meaningful despite our circumstances.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 080701429X, Mass Market Paperback)

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is among the most influential works of psychiatric literature since Freud. The book begins with a lengthy, austere, and deeply moving personal essay about Frankl's imprisonment in Auschwitz and other concentration camps for five years, and his struggle during this time to find reasons to live. The second part of the book, called "Logotherapy in a Nutshell," describes the psychotherapeutic method that Frankl pioneered as a result of his experiences in the concentration camps. Freud believed that sexual instincts and urges were the driving force of humanity's life; Frankl, by contrast, believes that man's deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. Frankl's logotherapy, therefore, is much more compatible with Western religions than Freudian psychotherapy. This is a fascinating, sophisticated, and very human book. At times, Frankl's personal and professional discourses merge into a style of tremendous power. "Our generation is realistic, for we have come to know man as he really is," Frankl writes. "After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord's Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:49 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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. Based on his own experience and the stories of his patients, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward. At the heart of his theory, known as logotherapy, is a conviction that the primary human drive is not pleasure but the pursuit of what we find meaningful. Man's Search for Meaning has become one of the most influential books in America; it continues to inspire us all to find significance in the very act of living. Book jacket.… (more)

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Beacon Press

3 editions of this book were published by Beacon Press.

Editions: 080701429X, 0807014265, 0807014273

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