Viktor Frankl: A Life Worth Living

Viktor Frankl: A Life Worth Living

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by Anna Redsand
     
 


When he was a teenager in Austria, Viktor Frankl began developing logotherapy, a revolutionary form of psychotherapy based on the belief that humanity’s primary motivational force is the search for meaning. Unlike most forms of psychotherapy, logotherapy encourages patients to look to the future and live their lives fully, rather than relive the past. Then… See more details below

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Overview


When he was a teenager in Austria, Viktor Frankl began developing logotherapy, a revolutionary form of psychotherapy based on the belief that humanity’s primary motivational force is the search for meaning. Unlike most forms of psychotherapy, logotherapy encourages patients to look to the future and live their lives fully, rather than relive the past. Then something happened that put Frankl’s philosophies to the test: He and his wife and parents were sent to a concentration camp.

Frankl survived; his family did not. In his grief, Viktor turned to his work. The outcome was his magnum opus: Man’s Search for Meaning, an account of life in the camps from the point of view not only of a survivor but a psychologist. The writing of this book saved Viktor in his darkest hour and was the beginning of a new start in what was to be a long and rewarding life. Man's Search for Meaning went on to become one of the most influential books of our time.
This thoroughly researched biography is a compelling account of one man’s struggles and, ultimately, his triumphant success in forging a life worth living. Author’s note, bibliography, end notes.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An intriguing biography of a man who made a huge impact on the lives of many." School Library Journal

"[Anna S. Redsand] successfully illuminates how the Holocaust deeply affected Frankl's life and career." Publishers Weekly

"This account resounds with the optimism that characterized Frankl's life despite his profound losses during the Holocaust." Horn Book Guide

Publishers Weekly
In Redsand's biography, her first book, she addresses the life and work of Austrian psychoanalyst Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) who was responsible for developing logotherapy. The basic principle of logotherapy, a psychological treatment for suicidal patients, is that "finding meaning in life can enable a person to survive even the worst conditions," a test Frankl himself had to endure in the Nazi camps. A contemporary of Freud and Adler, Frankl opened a private practice in neurology and psychiatry in 1937; however, Nazi troops invaded Austria the following year. The author movingly describes a pivotal moment in 1941, when Frankl had to choose between going to America on a visa to further his work and remaining with his parents and risk being sent to a concentration camp; he decided to stay with his parents. In 1942, Viktor and his family were rounded up in Vienna with 1300 other Jews and wound up at Auschwitz. Redsand gives specific examples of how, as a prisoner, Frankl used his treatment of logotherapy to keep himself and others going. At the end of the war, discovering his family and wife had all perished, a depressed Frankl wrote Man's Search for Meaning, which became one of the most important books on the Holocaust. The author successfully illuminates how the Holocaust deeply affected Frankl's life and career, as he continued to find meaning through his writing, lecturing and his practice. Ages 10-14. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
Let me just say that when I looked at the cover of this book my heart sank. "No, not another Holocaust book," I thought. I've read so many of them—stories, novels, biographies, personal narratives. But now I feel as if my education has been sorely lacking. I had heard the name Viktor Frankl, but I had no idea of the depth of his influence on modern life. He was a brilliant psychiatrist who by the age of about thirty had developed a new way of dealing with depression. Rather than digging into the past of his patients, he guided them to talk about their lives in the present and their goals for the future. He found that love always became the impetus for change. What really grabbed me was the style of Redsand's writing. Until the war began, everything about Frankl's life seemed perfectly normal. He and his wife lived very happily in Vienna, and his work was going well—he knew the psychiatrists Freud and Adler and respected them both, although his theories contradicted most of theirs. He had received a visa to the United States for further study, but when rumors about the Nazis' treatment of the Jews began to spread, he realized that his parents would never survive if he was not there. So he did not leave. Then came the Anschluss, Kristallnacht, and rumors of concentration camps. Suddenly the people who had considered themselves loyal Germans or Austrians realized that to the Nazis they were barely human. Frankl was separated from his wife during the first of the transports, and he never saw her again. But through it all—the transports, the beatings, the starvation—he kept his humanity, and said yes to life. With a list of chapter notes, a bibliography, a page ofsuggestions for further reading, and an index, this book is a page-turner, and highly recommended.
School Library Journal
Gr 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 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Many adults will remember the power of Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning when they first read it years ago. Translated from German into 27 languages, this early work of Holocaust literature sold four-million copies in English alone, a testament to the power of an inspirational tract on how one man found meaning in tragedy. That power, however, is diffused in Redsand's debut, marred by overwritten and meandering prose. Too much is told in the introduction, so that the rest of the volume feels like reiteration. By chapter seven, the audience has been forgotten, as the work begins to sound like a textbook on psychotherapy. Readers seeking to learn about the Holocaust and understand how individuals learned to live with the memory of unspeakable horror will be better served by many of the fine personal accounts, such as Anita Lobel's No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War (2000). (acknowledgments, source notes, bibliography, suggestions for further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618723430
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
12/18/2006
Pages:
150
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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