Tom Butler-Bowdon on Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl

In a recent blog post, Tom Butler Bowdon says this:

One of the books that had the biggest impact on me was Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning – which I wrote about in 50 Self-Help Classics.

Viktor Frankl was put into Nazi concentration camps in World War Two. He survived, emigrated to America and told his story. You wouldn’t expect someone who’d been through this to be a bundle of laughs, and he wasn’t.

Frankl became a psychologist, and pioneered something called “Logotherapy”, or the psychology of meaning (which I covered in 50 Psychology Classics). The basic idea is that it is foolish to pursue happiness in this world. Rather, our task is to make sense of it and find meaning. We might gain a measure of happiness, but only as an unintended by-product of the meaning we find in work, relationships and suffering.

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Tom Butler-Bowdon is most notable for the 50 Classics series of books, which provide commentaries on key writings in personal development, psychology, philosophy and economics. The series is published in English by Nicholas Brealey Publishing, and has been translated into 23 languages.

Referring to his earlier work on the personal development literature, Butler-Bowdon was described by USA Today as “a true scholar of this type of literature”. His 50 Self-Help Classics won the 2004 Benjamin Franklin Award (US) for the Psychology/Self-Help category. Butler-Bowdon’s “50 Economics Classics: The Greatest Books Distilled” was awarded a silver medal in the 2018 Axiom Business Book Awards, in the Business Reference category.

To learn more about Tom, please click here.

Here is a direct link to my reviews of most of Tom’s books.

To learn more about Viktor Frankl, please click here.

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