From Death-Camp to Existentialism

Viktor FRANKL

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"THE LAST OF THE HUMAN FREEDOMS… TO CHOOSE ONE'S OWN WAY": FIRST EDITION OF VIKTOR FRANKL'S FROM DEATH-CAMP TO EXISTENTIALISM

FRANKL, Viktor. From Death-Camp to Existentialism. A Psychiatrist's Path to a New Therapy. Boston: Beacon, (1959). Octavo, original burgundy cloth, original dust jacket.

First edition in English of Dr. Frankl's groundbreaking work in modern psychotherapy—later issued as Man’s Search for Meaning—the foundation for his theories of logotherapy, "an enduring work of survival literature" forged by his imprisonment in Nazi death camps.

This is the first edition in English of Frankl's seminal work in psychotherapy. Later issued under the title Man's Search for Meaning, it "contributed to the development of humanistic psychotherapy and existential philosophy" and forged a path for his theories of logotherapy. Frankl, whose parents, brother and pregnant wife were killed in concentration camps, was also imprisoned there. "He lost everything, he said, that could be taken from a prisoner, except one thing: 'the last of the human freedoms, to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.'" Frankl had begun developing the theoretical principles that inform this work before his imprisonment. The experience taught him "that even at Auschwitz some prisoners were able to discover meaning in their lives—if only in helping one another through the day… An enduring work of survival literature," this and other writings by Frankl opened "the door to the wide variety of psychotherapies that now exist. This was a major change from the strictures of Freud and Adler, who attributed what they called neurosis to single causes… To Frankl, behavior was driven more by a subconscious and a conscious need to find meaning and purpose" (New York Times). Initially published in German in 1946 under the title, Ein Psycholog erlebt das Konzentrationslager. With preface by psychologist Gordon Allport of Harvard. Translation into English by Ilse Lasch. Small contemporary owner inscription dated 1960.

Book fine; light edge-wear with creasing to front panel of very elusive near-fine dust jacket.

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