Man's Search for Meaning

1946 book by Viktor Frankl / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Man's Search for Meaning is a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl chronicling his experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose to each person's life through one of three ways: the completion of tasks, caring for another person, or finding meaning by facing suffering with dignity.

Quick facts: Author, Original title, Translator, Coun...
Man's Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy
Second edition (1947)
AuthorViktor E. Frankl
Original titleEin Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager
TranslatorIlse Lasch (Part One)
GenreAutobiography, psychotherapy
PublisherVerlag für Jugend und Volk (Austria)
Beacon Press (English)
Publication date
1946 (Vienna, Austria)
1959 (United States)
Followed byThe Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy in Logotherapy 

Frankl observed that among the fellow inmates in the concentration camp, those who survived were able to connect with a purpose in life to feel positive about, and then immersed themselves in imagining that purpose such as conversing with an (imagined) loved one. According to Frankl, the way a prisoner imagined the future affected his longevity.

The book intends to answer the question "How was everyday life in a concentration camp reflected in the mind of the average prisoner?" Part One constitutes Frankl's analysis of his experiences in the concentration camps, while Part Two introduces his ideas of meaning and his theory called logotherapy.

According to a survey conducted by the Book-of-the-Month Club and the Library of Congress, Man's Search for Meaning belongs to a list of "the ten most influential books in the United States."[1] At the time of the author's death in 1997, the book had sold over 10 million copies and had been translated into 24 languages.[2][3]