Cover art for Man's Search For Meaning
Random House, May 2011
Hardcover, 176 pages
22.2cm × 14.4cm × 2.1cm

Man's Search For Meaning The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust (With New Material)

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A handsome gift edition of one of the seminal pieces of literature to emerge from the Second World War- Viktor Frankl's moving account of his experiences in Auschwitz.

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 prisoner became was the result of an inner decision and not of camp influences alone. Only those who allowed their inner hold on their moral and spiritual selves to subside eventually fell victim to the camp's degenerating influence - while those who made a victory of those experiences turned them into an inner triumph. 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.

Recommended by Bill

Bill is one of the founders of Boffins and has selected the books we stock since the store began in 1989. It’s a job that he loves. His favourite reading is history, with psychology, current affairs, and business books coming close behind. He’s very fussy with fiction, with a rule that if a novel hasn’t earned his attention by page 50 then it’s time to start a new one. Magic realism causes him great anxiety, and of course he’d never agree with you if you said that is because he’s an earth sign.

Viktor Frankl was a Viennese psychiatrist who spent the last two and a half years of World War Two in German concentration camps, and survived. He died in 1997 at the age of 92. This book was written to share his experiences of that awful time, and to explain how some people survived the awful ordeal that he shared, whilst most did not. It has become a classic of its kind, a book from which so many of us have drawn inspiration for over 70 years. I read it in the late 1970s when I was confused about my direction in life. It affected me in a very positive way, helping me to focus on what really mattered to me and to understand what motivates me and draw on that knowledge in a practical way. It’s a book I often recommend to people, and often have them coming back to tell me how they felt rewarded by reading it.

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