The Denial of Death

The Denial of Death

4.13 (10,577 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 6-9 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.


'It made me rethink the roots of our deepest fears and insecurities, and why we often disappoint ourselves in how we manifest them' Bill Clinton, Guardian

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1974 and the culmination of a life's work, The Denial of Death is Ernest Becker's brilliant and impassioned answer to the 'why' of human existence. In bold contrast to the predominant Freudian school of thought, Becker tackles the problem of the vital lie - man's refusal to acknowledge his own mortality.

The book argues that human civilisation is a defence against the knowledge that we are mortal beings. Becker states that humans live in both the physical world and a symbolic world of meaning, which is where our 'immortality project' resides. We create in order to become immortal - to become part of something we believe will last forever. In this way we hope to give our lives meaning.

In The Denial of Death, Becker sheds new light on the nature of humanity and issues a call to life and its living that still resonates decades after it was written.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 20mm | 237g
  • Souvenir Press Ltd
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 1788164261
  • 9781788164269
  • 2,320

Review quote

It made me rethink the roots of our deepest fears and insecurities, and why we often disappoint ourselves in how we manifest them -- Bill Clinton * Guardian * 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
show more

About Ernest Becker

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.
show more

Rating details

10,577 ratings
4.13 out of 5 stars
5 47% (5,020)
4 29% (3,080)
3 15% (1,573)
2 6% (619)
1 3% (285)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X