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The Wheel of Life: A Memoir of Living and Dying Paperback – June 19, 1998


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The Wheel of Life: A Memoir of Living and Dying + On Death and Dying: What the Dying Have to Teach Doctors, Nurses, Clergy and Their Own Families + On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Touchstone ed edition (June 19, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684846314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684846316
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Psychiatrist and author of On Death and Dying Elisabeth Kübler-Ross has long been considered an expert on the terminally ill, and she is credited with bringing the hospice movement to the United States. Now retired after a series of strokes, and, at 70, facing her own death, she has written The Wheel of Life: A Memoir of Living and Dying, a highly personal memoir. Besides telling her unusual life's story, this book is also a startling treatise on death. Recounting her research with the dying and with those who claim to have "returned" after dying, Dr. Kübler-Ross also writes eloquently about her belief in the afterlife. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Kubler-Ross's landmark On Death and Dying (LJ 7/69) influenced much of today's work with the terminally ill. Now in her 70s and facing her own death, the renowned psychiatrist recounts here the story of a life spent not only endeavoring to understand dying but also "explaining that death does not exist." Against her father's wishes, the Swiss-born author went to medical school and studied psychiatry in New York after marrying an American physician. Drawn to end-of-life counseling, Kubler-Ross developed her techniques into professional workshops, the basis for her earliest and most influential books. Falling in with a channeler of dubious background, Kubler-Ross claims to have undergone out-of-body experiences, meetings with spirit guides, and visions of fairies. Unfortunately, this book is a puzzling combination of hastily sketched reminiscence and the worst of New Age ramblings, providing little insight into the author's character. A disappointment.
-?Karen McNally Bensing, Benjamin Rose Inst. Lib., Cleveland
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

This is a book on her life experience but through her there is so much for us to learn.
Mohammed Faheem Khan
This book is a must read for anyone going through either path of going through, suffering and having a loved one pass away.
Allan Baker Ortegon
I just finished reading this book, which is essentially Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's autobiography.
Jennifer May, Ph.D.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 13, 1998
Format: Paperback
I first saw and heard Elisabeth Kubler-Ross on public tv in the mid 70's; I was fascinated with her and with her work from that first introduction. This writing of her life was a must read for me personally and I was engrossed from cover to cover. Though I was a little surprised to read about her involvement with channelers (something I personally can't accept), her writing about it as part of her own life was not a turnoff to me. She has a very good point, as she says many times in her book, that we should be open to all things and not rule out happenings as being within the realm of possibility. When EKR speaks or writes about death and dying the listener/reader does not feel great sadness. She was granted the gift of passing on to others an understanding of death as a natural and very important part of living, to be dealt with with dignity and compassion. With this book, as with everything I've ever read or heard by her, EKR has helped me to understand just a little more about how to live life to the fullest. This world is better by far for having been influenced by her wisdom.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Ian Lawrence Daoust on December 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross has done the world a tremendous service by helping to humanize death and the process of dying, and in this autobiography she tells of all the surprises and inevitabilities that marked her own growth, and the growth of her work. Somewhere along the line, however, a few years back, Kubler-Ross adopted the role of an amateur prophet, and some of her later works deliver a confusing, inconsistent, and often strident set of contradictory neo-Jungian messages about matters spiritual. Those who think she lost her marbles will find plenty of evidence here as elsewhere to support their views. But this book is actually a whole lot more accessible, and far less preachy, than some of her other books have been. I think one would be unwise to ignore the complications entailed by Kubler-Ross's many spiritual injunctions, but one would be uncharitable to also dismiss the tremendous good that has come out of her life's work. I don't find in this book the accepting, non-ideological compassion of Stephen Levine, nor the unassuming experimental spirit of Raymond Moody, but Kubler-Ross remains incomparable as the initiating spokesperson for a humane death. Her tale is extraordinary, and this book is an exceptional, welcome, and one-of-a-kind read.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Mycroft on March 11, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Those who grouse & are dismayed at the second half of the book perhaps have not traveled far enough on their own spiritual journeys yet to understand. I found the book, like all her works, thoughtful, insightful & honest. Having worked in hospice nearly 30 yrs, in part due to Dr. Kubler-Ross, I can honestly say that in hospice you see many things that are beyond the scope of everyday life. The more I see of human Spirituality in hospice paitents & their families the less judgmental I tend to be.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Cipriano on October 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
I believe that anything Dr. Kubler-Ross has written is worthy of our attention, and this autobiographical book is no exception. I just finished it today... found it very thought-provoking overall. However, this particular one needs to be read more CRITICALLY than her others, and I don't mean "skeptically" in a negative sense so much as simply "requiring careful judgment"... especially the last third of the book. In this latter section, the author really gets specific about her experiences with "channeling the other side" and outlines her concept of her own "cosmic consciousness." I tried to be as enlightened and open as possible, and yet found that I could just not buy into everything she had experienced and was teaching others to experience. I am referring mainly to her ongoing relationships with disembodied spirits, her ability to conjure them up at will, and (maybe most remarkably) their apparent ability to physically manifest themselves (as in, writing things down on a piece of paper in response to her questions). She refers to these spirit-friends as her "spooks" and by her own admission at one point she even attributes the collapse of her otherwise successful marriage to her profound belief in these entities. Many people felt she had lost her marbles. She admits that a few of the experiences were proved to be the hoax of her Californian spiritual instructor, whom she calls "B". Also, throughout the last half of the book is an underlying allusion to her belief in re-incarnation.
For the first half of the book I could think of so many people I would have recommended it to, but then it suddenly arrived at a place where I think a reader has to be very selective, or adept at SIFTING through to their own concept of truth.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Van Cat on May 13, 2004
Format: Audio Cassette
IF you want to be touched and moved by love and tears...this is it. one of the great books that I've ever read. It touches your heart and brings down your tears as well. I want to recommand this great book to everyone who want to live a meaningful life.
P161 *Naturally I shared these kinds of rewarding moments with my family and hoped they learned not to take anything for granted. There were no guarantees in life, except that everyone faces struggles. It is how we learn. Some face struggle from the moment they are born. They are the most special of all people, requiring the most care of compassion and reminding us that love is the sole purpose of life.
P. 163 * Later someone would ask what all those dying patients had taught me about death. First I thought about giving them a very clinical explanation, but then I would have misrepresented myself. My dying patients taught so much more than what it was like to be dying. They shared lessons about what they could have done, and what they should have done, and what they didn't do until it was too late, until they were too sick or too weak, until they were widowers or widows. They looked back at their lives and taught me all of the things that were really meaningful, not about dying....but about living
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