‘A book to read, to cherish, to debate, and one that will ultimately keep the memories of the victims alive’ John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
A prominent Viennese psychiatrist before the war, Viktor Frankl was uniquely able to observe the way that both he and others in Auschwitz coped (or didn’t) with the experience. He noticed that it was the men who comforted others and who gave away their last piece of bread who survived the longest – and who offered proof that everything can be taken away from us except the ability to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances. The sort of person the concentration camp prisoner became was the result of an inner decision and not of camp influences alone. Frankl came to believe man’s deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. This outstanding work offers us all a way to transcend suffering and find significance in the art of living.
A book for finding purpose and strength in times of great despair, the international best-seller is still just as relevant today as when it was first published.“This is a book I reread a lot . . . it gives me hope . . . it gives me a sense of strength.”
—Anderson Cooper, Anderson Cooper 360/CNN
This seminal book, which has been called “one of the outstanding contributions to psychological thought” by Carl Rogers and “one of the great books of our time” by Harold Kushner, has been translated into more than fifty languages and sold over sixteen million copies. “An enduring work of survival literature,” according to the New York Times, Viktor Frankl’s riveting account of his time in the Nazi concentration camps, and his insightful exploration of the human will to find meaning in spite of the worst adversity, has offered solace and guidance to generations of readers since it was first published in 1946. At the heart of Frankl’s theory of logotherapy (from the Greek word for “meaning”) is a conviction that the primary human drive is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but rather the discovery and pursuit of what the individual finds meaningful. Today, as new generations face new challenges and an ever more complex and uncertain world, Frankl’s classic work continues to inspire us all to find significance in the very act of living, in spite of all obstacles.
A must-read companion to this classic work, a new, never-before-published work by Frankl entitled Yes to Life: In Spite of Everything, is now available in English.
One of the ten most influential books in America. —Library of Congress/Book-of-the-Month Club “Survey of Lifetime Readers”
“An enduring work of survival literature.” —The New York Times
“[Man’s Search for Meaning] might well be prescribed for everyone who would understand our time.” —Journal of Individual Psychology
“An inspiring document of an amazing man who was able to garner some good from an experience so abysmally bad… Highly recommended.” —Library Journal“This is a book I try to read every couple of years. It’s one of the most inspirational books ever written. What is the meaning of life? What do you have when you think you have nothing? Amazing and heartbreaking stories. This is a book that should be in everyone’s library.”
“This is a book I reread a lot . . . it gives me hope . . . it gives me a sense of strength.”
—Anderson Cooper, Anderson Cooper 360/CNN
“One of the great books of our time.” —Harold S. Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People
“One of the outstanding contributions to psychological thought in the last fifty years.”
—Carl R. Rogers (1959)
About the Author
Viktor E. Frankl was professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School until his death in 1997. His twenty-nine books have been translated into twenty-one languages. During World War II, he spent three years in Auschwitz, Dachau, and other concentration camps.
Harold S. Kushner is rabbi emeritus at Temple Israel in Natick, Massachusetts, and the author of bestselling books including When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Living a Life That Matters, and When All You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough.
William J. Winslade is a philosopher, lawyer, and psychoanalyst who teaches psychiatry, medical ethics, and medical jurisprudence at the University of Texas Medical School in Galveston.