Title of book – Man’s Search for Meaning
Author – Viktor E. Frankl
Genre – Motivational, Psychology, Spirituality
Price – Rs 299/- for paperback, buy it here
Pages – 154
Language – English translated from German
About the Author of Man’s Search for Meaning
Before I share my review of the book “Man’s search for meaning”, let me share a bit about its equally celebrated author.
Dr. Viktor E. Frankl was a professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at University of Vienna Medical School. He has done some great work in the field of Psychology after Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler and Jung. He spent three years as a prisoner in four different Nazi concentration camps during the second World War, including the most infamous Auschwitz camp. Miraculously or by his own survival instinct , he did survive the camps and came back alive.
This book carries his experiences from the concentration camp and the learnings from his incarceration. Dr. Frankl has had 30 books published and most of them have been critically acclaimed by his peers and also translated in other languages. He died in 1997. At the time of Frankl’s death in 1997, this book had already sold more than 10 million copies.
Book Review of Man’s Search for Meaning
The book is divided into two main parts – the first part is titled “Experiences in a concentration camp” and the second part is titled “Logotherapy in a nutshell”.
Experiences in the concentration camp
The first part of Man’s Search for Meaning is very engaging. Although there have been innumerable books about the Nazi concentration camps till date, but Dr. Frankl’s account is very different from others. Despite the inhuman conditions of the camps, the author does not dwell on the cruelty, the depressing conditions of the concentration camps. On the contrary, he looks for the positives and the power of human endurance in the most adverse situations and draws inspiration from it. Why some men behaved like devils and some behaved like saints when faced with the same tribulations triggered his thought process.
This quote from Nietzsche, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how,” sums up the philosophy of logotherapy.
Logotherapy in a nutshell
Quite predictably the second part of this book titled “Logotherapy in a nutshell” is more academic in nature. Here Dr. Frankl proposes his theory of logotherapy and its principles. The interesting parts are where he explains why meaningful living is important. Furthermore, he goes on to explain how every person can find the true meaning to his life.
The Final Verdict on Man’s Search for Meaning
While some of the assumptions and theories in this book are debatable according to other psychologists but from a layman’s point of view, this is a book that should be read by everyone. The first part of the book is captivating and keeps you bound to the book. The language is clear, concise and fluid. Some readers may find the second part of the book dealing with logotherapy, a bit drab because of its purely psychotherapeutic subject, but even in that complexity one is able to glean a lot that make sense to living life with more purpose and happiness.
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