Yes to Life: In Spite of Everything (Paperback)
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Find hope even in these dark times with this rediscovered masterpiece, a companion to his international bestseller Man’s Search for Meaning.
Eleven months after he was liberated from the Nazi concentration camps, Viktor E. Frankl held a series of public lectures in Vienna. The psychiatrist, who would soon become world famous, explained his central thoughts on meaning, resilience, and the importance of embracing life even in the face of great adversity.
Published here for the very first time in English, Frankl’s words resonate as strongly today—as the world faces a coronavirus pandemic, social isolation, and great economic uncertainty—as they did in 1946. He offers an insightful exploration of the maxim “Live as if you were living for the second time,” and he unfolds his basic conviction that every crisis contains opportunity. Despite the unspeakable horrors of the camps, Frankl learned from the strength of his fellow inmates that it is always possible to “say yes to life”—a profound and timeless lesson for us all.
About the Author
Viktor E. Frankl was a professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School until his death in 1997. He was the founder of what has come to be called the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy—the school of logotherapy.
Born in 1905, Dr. Frankl received the degrees of Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Vienna. During World War II, he spent three years at Auschwitz, Dachau, and other concentration camps; most of his family, including his wife and parents, perished in the camps.
In his lifetime, Frankl published many books, most notably the international bestseller Man’s Search for Meaning, which has been translated into 50 languages. He was a guest lecturer at universities throughout the world and made 51 tours throughout the United States alone.
“This slim, powerful collection from Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning) attests to life’s meaning, even in desperate circumstances...This lovely work transcends its original context, offering wisdom and guidance.”
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“The case studies are relatable and the overall viewpoint convincing. More than 70 years later, Frankl’s philosophy still inspires.”
“Frankl’s ideas bear particular consideration right now.”
“Yes to Life is a provocative invitation to think about what you believe and what you can do to get through tough times. Its brevity invites you to linger on phrases or re-read pages that interest you. In your pursuit of providing compassionate care under trying conditions, you may find just what you need in a phrase, an insight, or this poem by Rabindranath Tagore: I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was duty. I worked—and behold. Duty was joy.”
Praise for Man’s Search for Meaning
“An enduring work of survival literature.”
—The New York Times
“[Man’s Search for Meaning] might well be prescribed for everyone who would understand our time.”
—Journal of Individual Psychology
“An inspiring document of an amazing man who was able to garner some good from an experience so abysmally bad . . . Highly recommended.”
“This is a book I try to read every couple of years. It’s one of the most inspirational books ever written. What is the meaning of life? What do you have when you think you have nothing? Amazing and heartbreaking stories. This is a book that should be in everyone’s library.”
“This is a book I reread a lot . . . it gives me hope . . . it gives me a sense of strength.”
—Anderson Cooper, Anderson Cooper 360/CNN