Monday, July 11, 2016

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Man's Search for MeaningMan's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of the best nonfiction books I've read. A huge part of why this book is so good is the because the source of the book is an author who has gone through and seen so much suffering. The same message wouldn't seem as valid coming from someone else. It's full of observations that anyone who has suffered can relate to- but that many who have not yet suffered have no familiarity with. And yet, the suffering Frankl experienced and witnessed is so extreme, that it's difficult to pity yourself-- or even doubt yourself-- in the face of it.

The first half of the book describes Frankl's experience in four concentration camps during WWII and the second part of the describes his particular brand of psychotherapy called "logotherapy." This therapy seeks to help people find meaning in their lives and even in their suffering.

Frankl doesn't try to tell you what is meaningful (though there is a strong bias towards helping others in the examples he gives that seems correct to me) but rather that person should pursue whatever is meaningful to them in the particular situation that they're in.

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