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Markings Hardcover – January 1, 1970

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.; 1st English translation edition (January 1, 1970)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000EVG8MY
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,620,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
I highly recommend this book for one's own library and to give as gifts.
The book left me with the desire to be better, live better and take a harder look at my spiritual condition.
I read this book quite some time ago and just recently purchased it and re-read it.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 19, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought my first copy of Dag Hammarskjold's book of meditations, Markings, shortly after its release in the early 1960's. It was a strange and haunting book and left me deeply affected. Hammarskjold, for many years the Secretary General of the United Nations - at a time when there was still high hope for the U.N. to eliminate war and improve human welfare around the globe - wrote this journal of spiritual search and dispair in apparent recognition of his failure to achieve the high goals he aspired to. I forget who I gave that first book to, but I have since purchased and given away many copies of this book. There is much that all of us modern, media drugged folks can learn from the insights he penned in his dark moments. It is both uplifting to realize the depth of soul that can exist behind public action and at the same time depressing to recognize that no amount of fame or power will necessarily bring happiness or overcome one's sense of isolation in the universe.
This is not a book one can just sit down and read. It is, as the title suggests, a journal of isolated notes or 'Markings' that Hammarskjold made over a long period of time. Many similar ideas and themes are repeated in different words throughout the book and the reader really has to pause frequently to think about what he has read. This is not an uplifting book but ultimately it is a very moving one, and to the extent that it encourages similar meditations from the reader, potentially a very valuable one as well. I highly recommend this book for those hours when a reader wants to turn inward and shine a light on what is really meaningful in life.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 11, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Over the years, in this collection of personal reflections and meditations, I have slowly learned, as Hammarskjold did, "the explanation of how man should live a life of active social service in full harmony with himself as a member of the community of the spirit." Hammarskjold found his answer "in the writings of those great medieval mystics for whom 'self-surrender' had been the way to self-realization, and who in 'singleness of mind' and 'inwardness' had found strength to say Yes to every demand which the needs of their neighbors made them face, and to say Yes also to every fate life had in store for them ... Love--that much misused and misinterpreted word--for them meant simply an overflowing of the strength with which they felt themselves filled when living in true self-oblivion. And this love found natural expression in an unhesitant fulfillment of duty and an unreserved acceptance of life, whatever it brought them personally of toil, suffering--or happiness."
This is my favorite quote from the entire book, one to which I have returned many times over the years, but there are many more treasures to be found in this collection. W.H. Auden's foreword I found deeply insightful, and I have returned to it as well many times over the years. How to reconcile our twentieth-century life with what is truly asked of us, when we care to face those questions, is an overarching concern throughout this book. Time and again, Hammarskjold challenges himself, and by sharing in his spiritual struggles, we challenge ourselves as well by meditating on his reflections. His writing is deeply inspiring and sobering, and I feel a sense of grateful humility at the end of each rereading of it. This is a book to keep by your bedside, to turn to when you are in despair and need some soul-strengthening.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Quaker Annie on May 30, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an inspiring, moving, remarkable book written by a 20th century man who struggled with making his every day life fit with his spiritual beliefs.

This summer I kept feeling that I should read this book again (first read it some 20 years ago). I had little memory of what it was about, just that I knew it was written by someone who was an important world leader. He was Secretary-General to the United Nations and died on the way to Northern Rhodesia in 1961, on his way to negotiate a cease fire between the UN and Katanga forces.

This book tells almost nothing of his daily work, or of his thoughts about world events. Instead, it focuses on his struggle and changing relationship with God.

Excerpts are from his diary, starting when he was a young man in 1925 and ending just a few months before his death at the (to me!) tender age of 57.

A reviewer here made comments about this being thoughts of a socialist and athiest -- clearly he did not read the book. The writings inside this awe inspiring book are from a man deeply and directly talking to his God. His concerns are for others, not for himself.

When I read the book, I realized some part of me must have remembered this deep connection with God, something I, too, have longed for and have found at times (when I am open to receive!) Dag Hammersjold had been filed in my subconscious as a mentor, a teacher I could return to when I could better understand what his words were expressing.

This book is a wonder to experience -- what a privilege to have been allowed to come so close to his thoughts, his soul, his own experiential experience of the Divine.
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