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Viktor Frankl: A Life Worth Living Hardcover – December 18, 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up–When Frankl was a child in Vienna, his dream was to be a doctor. While pursuing that goal, he became intrigued with Sigmund Freud and eventually moved into psychiatry, developing his own theory of logotherapy, a way to encourage patients to live fully by looking to the future rather than reliving the past. Frankl's professional plans were interrupted by the events of the Holocaust, with his arrest and imprisonment in four different concentration camps over a two-and-a-half-year period. Faced with the unimaginable, he applied his theory of logotherapy and helped many of his fellow camp victims to survive. When the war ended and Frankl returned to Vienna, he learned of the deaths of his beloved wife and parents in the camps. Years of his own depression were countered with encouragement from colleagues and a new relationship and marriage. He began to write about his experiences from a psychological viewpoint. The result was his widely read and acclaimed book Man's Search for Meaning. Redsand has written an intriguing biography of a man who made a huge impact on the lives of many. His story presents a valued and readable look at one man's life.–Rita Soltan, Youth Services Consultant, West Bloomfield, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

A survivor of Theresienstadt and Auschwitz, Viktor Frankl became a world-renowned psychiatrist, and his book Man's Search for Meaning (1946) has sold millions. This biography, illustrated by a plentiful selection of black-and-white photos, sets his personal story against the history of his time, including discussion of the rise of Hitler and the destruction of the Jews, as well as Frankl's own incredibly painful experience--the loss of his family and his years in the death camps. Less accessible than the history is Redsand's turgid explanation of Frankl's psychological analysis. Although this book lacks the stark immediacy of some Holocaust memoirs--for example, Primo Levi's The Drowned and the Saved (1988)--there's still a lot to discuss here--especially Frankl's ideas of salvation through love and personal responsibility, and his opposition to revenge and collective guilt. Includes an annotated bibliography and chapter notes, mainly to Frankl's own writing. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (December 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618723439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618723430
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #952,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Clarion Books is a children's book publisher so rarely do their titles ever appear in our adult issues - but Viktor Frankl: A Life Worth Living is a young adult read too important to be limited to the children's section alone, and many an adult will appreciate this survey of his achievement. A prison in the Nazi camps during the war, Frankl's development of logotherapy - a form of psychotherapy encouraging patients to look to the future rather than reliving traumas of the past - was to serve as a key to recovery and finding meaning in lives destroyed during the war. His biography is a powerful blend of Holocaust images, history, and facts, and makes for an outstanding coverage not to be missed by any age.
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Format: Hardcover
For those curious about the man behind the famous book Man's Search for Meaning, this solid, serious biography chronicles an inspiring life. Austrian Jew, Viktor Frankl, was a practicing psychiatrist and creator of logotherapy. His new treatment differed from Sigmund Freud's and Alfred Adler's, giants who began as his mentors and ended as his angry competitors. Frankl spent two and a half years in four concentration camps during the Holocaust. He believed people could exist on their inner strength. Using his previous experience doctoring suicide patients, he helped many fellow inmates survive. Upon liberation, he wrote one of the first camp exposés, Man's Search for Meaning, one of the ten most influential books in America, according to the Library of Congress. More than a personal story, Frankl analyzed the situation as a psychiatrist connecting it to his logotherapy, which finds meaning in action, creation, and suffering. Frankl, a prankster as a child, grew into a man with a flair for risk; his favorite activities included brain surgery, mountain climbing and casino gambling. The volume chronologically unfolds his life, often making parallels with Adolf Hitler who once lived near the Frankl home in Vienna. Marvelous family portraits and wonderful old postcards of Vienna set the scene and recapture the era. Warm moments discuss Frankl's family life, his two marriages and one daughter. If only title and chapter fonts had followed suit; they are frenetic, slanted and tacky. These are small quibbles in a well written book that, though text bookish, overflows with clearly explained information about heavy topics: competing psychiatric theories, discipline of logotherapy, Nazi rise to power and targeted destruction of Jews. For ages 12 and up.
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Format: Hardcover
What genius to make the Victor Frankl story accessible to young adults! On the verge of flying solo in a world that can be cruel, teens need a story of hope from someone who survived one of the cruelest periods in history. This book brings to light some overlooked facts about the second world war, particularly Hitler's rise to power. Frankl's discovery of how life's meaning gives a person the power to survive, however, is a staff that will guide many young adults throughout their lives.
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Format: Hardcover
Gallup Independent newspaper, Albuquerque Judasim Examiner review: While Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, is being observed in the U.S., an author who survived the Holocaust and whose famous book about it has been published in 24 countries and sold 22 million copies, Viktor Frankl, is better known today outside the Jewish community than within it and his book is not easily found at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Still, it remains surprising that an outstanding new biography, Viktor Frankl: A Life Worth Living that has been receiving national book awards and that brings his work to a whole new generation of young people, was written by a seemingly unlikely author: a non-Jewish Albuquerque high school teacher:

Many school teachers dream of having a book published by a top publisher. Anna Redsand, raised by Christian Reformed missionary parents on the Navajo Reservation, has worked 37 years as an educator and counselor throughout New Mexico and is now Curriculum Director at Cesar Chavez Community School in Albuquerque. She is the author of "Viktor Frankl: A Life Worth Living," a nationally award-winning biography of the world-famous Jewish psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor.

Redsand attended schools at Teec Nos Pos and Shiprock and was also home-schooled, and at age nine began attending Rehoboth Mission School in Gallup. There her scholastic abilities stood out but this also made her a target. Not fitting in was a challenge to overcome that steered her towards a career in counseling and gave her empathy in helping students who she says are traumatized daily by societal conditions in New Mexico. Along the way she found that logotherapy, the approach developed by Frankl, was profoundly hopeful and useful, and began to apply it in her work.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read Victor Frankl's classic book, "Man's Search for Meaning several times, I decided to purchase "Victor Frankl: A Life Worth Living," to learn more about the man. Although written for high school students, the book is also an excellent resource for people of all ages.

Anna Redsand has done exhaustive research on Frankl's life, encompassing all of the periods of his life. While "Man's Search for Meaning," provides the reader with the horrendous details of Frankl's time in several concentration camps, this book provides missing details about the man himself. It's very well written, includes many large photographs, and does an outstanding job of chronicling the life of this very important man. It offers a great deal of insight on Frankl, that until reading the book, I was unaware of.

Frankl is the founder of logotherapy and was a practicing psychiatrist and neurologist. In "Man's Search for Meaning," he details how he survived the Nazi concentration camps by putting his theories of logotherapy into practice. His basic premise states that if a person has a "why" for living, than he will somehow come up with a "how." He found "meaning" to be the most important thing that enabled him to survive the atrocities of the Nazi's. He looked beyond the unthinkable realities of the concentration camps, and tried to focus on thoughts that would provide him with a purpose for staying alive. In this regard, he helped many fellow inmates by providing them with extra scraps of food, and by educating them on his theory of logotherapy. While outside forces couldn't be changed, he believed that a prisoner would have a much greater chance of survival if he relied on his inner strength.
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