Book Suggestions

Man’s Search For Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy

Author: Viktor Frankl (March 26, 1905 – September 2, 1997)

Man’s Search for Meaning is a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl chronicling his experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positive about, and then immersively imagining that outcome. According to Frankl, the way a prisoner imagined the future affected his longevity. The book intends to answer the question “How was everyday life in a concentration camp reflected in the mind of the average prisoner?” Part One constitutes Frankl’s analysis of his experiences in the concentration camps, while Part Two introduces his ideas of meaning and his theory called logotherapy.

Sick Societies

Author: Robert Edgerton (November 28, 1931 – July 2016)

Sick Societies is a scholarly work by anthropologist Robert Edgerton, published in 1992. It has become controversial among some anthropologists for its deconstruction of cultural relativism. In Sick Societies, Edgerton questions the belief that cultures are naturally “adaptive”, pointing out instances of violence, misogyny, and social malaise in pre-colonial indigenous societies. He intended the book as an attack on the “myth of primal harmony”, and the idea of the noble savage in general; instead, he postulates, all human societies have been imperfect, and many have been quite inefficient at maximizing happiness and even health and strength among their members.

The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements

Author: Eric Hoffer (July 25, 1898 – May 21, 1983)

The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements is a non-fiction book authored by American philosopher Eric Hoffer. Published in 1951, it depicts a variety of arguments in terms of applied world history and social psychology to explain why mass movements arise to challenge the status quo. Hoffer discussing the sense of individual identity and the holding to particular ideals that can lead to fanaticism among both leaders and followers.

Escape from Freedom

Author: Erich Fromm (March 23, 1900 – March 18, 1980)

Escape from Freedom is a book by the Frankfurt-born psychoanalyst Erich Fromm, first published in the United States by Farrar & Rinehart [1] in 1941 with the title Escape from Freedom and a year later as The Fear of Freedom in UK by Routledge & Kegan Paul. It was translated into Dutch and first published in 1952 under the title ‘Die Angst vor der Freiheit’ (The Fear of Freedom). In the book, Fromm explores humanity’s shifting relationship with freedom, with particular regard to the personal consequences of its absence. His special emphasis is the psychosocial conditions that facilitated the rise of Nazism.

The Right to Heresy – Castellio against Calvin

Author: Stefan Zweig (November 28, 1881 – February 22, 1942)

In this book Stefan Zweig talks about how a religious man turns into a tyrant when he achieves power and the atmosphere of oppression which he creates. Systematic establishment of tyranny through religion, acceptance of the public and their enlistment in this new despotic order and the final disappearance of all that is good is told in chilling plainness.