With its accounts of life in Nazi extermination camps and lessons for spiritual survival, psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's memoir has captivated generations of readers. Frankl worked in four camps between 1942 and 1945, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Frankl contends that while we cannot avoid suffering, we can choose how to live with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose, based on his personal experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his profession. Frankl's approach, dubbed logotherapy after the Greek word logos ("meaning"), asserts that our major motivation in life is not pleasure, as Freud claimed, but rather the discovery and pursuit of what we find personally significant.
Man's Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages by the time Frankl died in 1997. Man's Search for Meaning was ranked among the top ten most influential books in America in a 1991 reader survey for the Library of Congress, which asked readers to pick a "book that made a difference in your life."
Until his death in 1997, Viktor E. Frankl was a professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School. He founded the school of logotherapy, which is now known as the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy (after Freud's psychoanalysis and Adler's individual psychology).
Dr. Frankl graduated from the University of Vienna with a doctorate in medicine and a doctorate in philosophy in 1905. He endured three years in concentration camps such as Auschwitz, Dachau, and others during WWII.
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