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The Denial of Death


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Ernest Becker tackles our relationship to mortality and searches for alternative ways to live

About the Author

Ernest Becker was born in Massachusetts to Jewish immigrant parents. After completing military service, in which he served in the infantry and helped to liberate a Nazi concentration camp, he attended Syracuse University in New York. In his early 30s, he returned to Syracuse University to pursue graduate studies in cultural anthropology. The first of his nine books, Zen: A Rational Critique was published in 1961. He died in 1974 at the age of 49, two months before he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Denial of Death. After his death, the Ernest Becker Foundation was founded, using Becker's ideas to support research in science, the humanities, social action and religion.


A brave work of electrifying intelligence and passion, optimistic and revolutionary, destined to endure. * New York Times Book Review *
An original, creative contribution to a synthesis of this generation's extensive explorations in psychology and theology. * Boston Herald *
One of those rare masterpieces that will stimulate your thoughts, your intellectual curiosity, and last but not least, your soul. * Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, author, On Death and Dying *
Concerns the 'universality of the fear of death'... Its approach is more philosophical than psychologically or medically empirical. -- Theology
Meditating on death and its influence on our culture... that the fear of death is the single motivating fact of human endeavour and that all art and philosophy come from trying to deal with obsolescence. -- The Catholic Herald
One of the few great books of the 20th or any other century. -- Albuquerque Journal Book Review
It is hard to overestimate the importance of this book: Becker succeeds brilliantly in what he sets out to do, and the effort was necessary. -- The Chicago Sun-Times

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