Books That Inspire 2003


 
The Denial of Death
Ernest Becker


In 1975, while full astride my mid-life crisis, I accidentally read The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker. It was a gift and I needed something to read on an eighteen-hour flight. It became the perfect bibliotherapy for me as a forty-two year old American male.

This book – a convergence of psychology, existentialism and religion – did not teach me about death. It unveiled my mortality to me just as I reached the top of the hill over which everyone goes. The book became so personally powerful that I went beyond interpreting it. I allowed it to interpret me. One suggestion: read it in your forties.
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Tom Boyd
David Ross Boyd Professor Emeritus
Philosophy