Which Albert Schweitzer Book to Read?
I am occasionally asked which one book by or about Albert Schweitzer
I recommend most highly. The answer, as for so many things in life, is
"It depends." In this case, it depends on what the reader wants to
know. Therefore, I have provided several recommendations below. Feel
to contact me via email if you
like more information or to ask a Schweitzer-related question.
If you are interested in getting an introduction to Albert Schweitzer
and his work, I highly recommend his autobiographical Out of My Life and Thought. Written
for a general audience, it remains the best introduction to
Schweitzer's life, including his ethical philosophy of Reverence for
Life. Currently in print and also available in many libraries. Note,
however, that is was written in 1930, before Schweitzer's Nobel Peace
Prize and his work on nuclear disarmament.
The best Schweitzer biography that I have read is James Brabazon's Albert Schweitzer: A Biography ,
Second Edition. Be sure to get the second edition, which has many
interesting updates from the first edition.
- For Children
There are quite a few children's books about Albert Schweitzer, but I
have only read a few of them. Among the best are Schweitzer's own The Story of My Pelican, and for
better readers, Albert Schweitzer:
Genius in the Jungle . Schweitzer's Out
of My Life and Thought is also appropriate for teenagers (and
- Reverence For Life
The best introduction to Schweitzer's ethical
philosophy of Reverence for Life is in
Albert Schweitzer: Essential Writings, an edited volume
of his writings by James Brabazon. Also highly
his autobiographical Out of My Life and Thought. For
those interested in a fuller explanation of Reverence for Life and its
place in modern society, see The
Philosophy of Civlization.
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