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Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl (1946)

The shrink of Auschwitz

by
Dara Horn
September 17, 2013

Viktor Frankl was a psychiatrist who continued practicing his profession at Auschwitz, in conversations with his fellow prisoners. In this short, readable, and life-changing book, he explains what most affected inmates’ survival, beyond chance: having something to live for, whether a person to love, creative work to complete, or an awareness of suffering’s meaning. His conclusions, which he later shaped into a new form of psychiatry called logotherapy, are applicable to any life. What matters most in life is not pursuing happiness, but pursuing meaning—not fulfillment, but commitment.

Dara Horn is the author of five novels, most recently Eternal Life.

Dara Horn is the author of five novels, most recently Eternal Life.

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