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Markings Hardcover – September 12, 1964


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf (September 12, 1964)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039443532X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394435329
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Perhaps the greatest testament of personal devotion published in this century."—The New York Times

"The conviction when one has finished [Markings is] that one has had the privilege of being in contact with a great, good, and lovable man."—W. H. Auden


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Language Notes

Text: English, Swedish (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By S. Miska on March 20, 2002
I like this book. It captures the innermost struggles and thoughts of a man who achieved greatness in many senses. Dag Hammarskjold's musings illuminate that even people of worldly importance wrestle with the same internal conflicts that the rest of mankind does, when we take the time to reflect. That a man as busy as the U.N. Secretary General took the time to engage in such introspection speaks highly of his humility and character.
Markings has given me inspiration to continue exploring my own innermost struggles through journaling and taking counsel with my conscience on long runs. If we could all emulate Hammarskjold's ability to capture the essence of a moment, feeling or internal conflict, we would probably be more at peace with the world and ourselves. Highly recommended for any wishing to peer into the thoughts of a philosophical leader.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Brian Melendez on August 11, 2000
Verified Purchase
Hammarskjold was a Swedish diplomat who served as secretary-general of the United Nations at the height of the Cold War (and whose death in a plane crash in Africa in 1961 may not have been an accident). Throughout his life he struggled with balancing the tension between the active life and the contemplative life that always faces the political intellectual. This book is his private journal, in which he struggles with a deeply personal and private faith in the context of a vocation that called him to one of the most visible and influential offices in international politics. That struggle, which emerges in bits and pieces in entries that span nearly four decades, both celebrates life and indulges deep feelings of doubt and isolation.
"Markings" is far more a work of philosophy than autobiography. Hammarskjold's frend W.H. Auden contributes a moving foreword that supplies a context for Hammarskjold's writing. But as the foreword notes, Hammarskjold does not "make a single direct reference to his career as an international civil servant, to the persons he met, or the historical events of his time in which he played an important role."
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jackie M. Sthilaire VINE VOICE on January 30, 2000
Although a man of worldly success, Dag Hammarskjold gives to us in his own words, his in-depth search for the meaning of life. Upon his death in 1961, his request is to have his diary published if it proves to others to be worthy of publishing. This diary is rich with the struggle to live his life without the benefit of thanksgiving from his peers. His deep conviction, which comes after much search and struggle, is to lay down his life for others, no matter the consequence, the praise, the outcome. To live each day by giving up the self and rising above to meet the other on his/her journey. Although Dag Hammarskjold did indeed receive much praise and gratitude as Secretary General for the United Nations, he realized deep down that this was not the true focus of his life but to give without the idea of getting anything in return, this is the real self rising, the spirit of God. Many have given to us "this road less traveled" by their exemplary life: Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, Francis of Assisi, Meister Eckhart, who is quoted in the introduction to Markings: " Only the hand which erases can write the true thing", Simone Weil, Mother Teresa, Dalai Lama and many other's whose lives are lived in this way but with no recognition. It is a humble way to live with sometimes having to turn the other cheek but the letting go of the ego and the releasing of God's spirit is a gift worthy of the sacrifice.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Rabideau on March 12, 2001
Upon his tragic death in September 1961, Hammarskjöld left his diary in the care of a friend, saying only that if the friend thought there was material therein worth publishing, then he was entitled to do so.
In the starkest of terms, this book represents a man's search for meaning, faith, virtue, and the Way. He does not engage in fatuous comfort, nor is any illusion created that life is intended to be simple. He does not indulge in the (far too common, to my mind) practice of lamenting his own humanity. Instead, in both the tradition of the Stoicists and Kierkegaard, he embraces it, and looks for the faith and the courage to utilise his capacities to their fullest extent.
This is also a work of universal relevance: there is truly much in here worth sharing. This is the one book that stays by my bed. The faith, simplicity, care and stoicism are deeply touching. This I find to be a wonderful book...largely for helping us to reconcile the world as it is, with the world as it needs to be, for reminding us to take joy in our burdens, and not to lament our transitory nature. As near as I have ever found, Hammarskjöld's thoughts encapsulate what I believe it is to be human.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dr. W. G. Covington, Jr. on January 23, 2004
As a single man, Hammarskjold's legacy was in his work, including the recorded ideas he left. This autobiographical glimpse of the man allows the reader to empathize with the loneliness of growing old without a mate. Although his life ended on less than desirable terms, there are some positives in his story as well. Hammarskjold made the most of the hand he was dealt in life. One can see an evolution of his thoughts over time. The book starts somewhat chaotic, but to the patient reader, the growth that emerges is worth the struggle of reaching the climax.
Various other thinkers are quoted in his "markings." Sometimes it's a stream of consciousness type reflection that is recorded.
Consider this "marking" from 1956, "We act in faith--and miracles occur...Faith is, faith creates, faith carries."
Here's another jewel from the following year: "We have to acquire a peace and balance of mind such that we give every word of criticism its due weight, and humble ourselves before every word of praise."
And another excerpt: "In any human situation, it is cheating not to be, at every moment, one's best."
To conclude this review here are some final thoughts that show the power of his concluding reflections:
"...He (God) is wholly in all you meet...
...each of your acts is an act of creation...
...everything, therefore, has a meaning. So live, then, that you may use what has been put into your hand..."
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