Myths to Live By

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Joseph Campbell Foundation, Apr 30, 2011 - Philosophy
6 Reviews
Joseph Campbell famously compared mythology to a kangaroo pouch for the human mind and spirit: “a womb with a view.” In Myths to Live By, he examines all of the ways in which myth supports and guides us, giving our lives meaning. Love and war, science and religion, East and West, inner space and outer space-Campbell shows how the myths we live by can reconcile all of these pairs of opposites and bring a sense of the whole. This classic book has been newly illustrated and annotated in its first new edition since its original publication, which also marks the first ebook in the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell series. In the tradition of The Power of Myth and Pathways to Bliss, Myths to Live By remains one of Joseph Campbell’s most enduring, popular, and accessible works.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Campbell, author of The Masks of God and a respected mythologist, conceived these essays originally as lectures for Cooper Union's Forum series. They still resonate with echos of the hall as he ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - millsge - LibraryThing

Very few understand myth as does Campbell. Even fewer love myths as he does and even less understand how trenchant mythic truth really is. Read this book and attempt to live by these myths and you will affect society more than you can imagine. Read full review


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About the author (2011)

Joseph Campbell was born in White Plains, New York on March 26, 1904. He received a B.A. in English literature in 1925 and an M.A. in Medieval literature in 1927 from Columbia University. He was awarded a Proudfit Traveling Fellowship to continue his studies at the University of Paris. After he had received and rejected an offer to teach at his high school alma mater, his Fellowship was renewed, and he traveled to Germany to resume his studies at the University of Munich. During the year he was housemaster of Canterbury School, he sold his first short story, Strictly Platonic, to Liberty magazine. In 1934, he accepted a position in the literature department at Sarah Lawrence College, a post he would retain until retiring in 1972. During his lifetime, he wrote more than 40 books including The Hero with a Thousand Faces, The Mythic Image, the four-volume The Masks of God, and The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers. During the 1940s and 1950s, he collaborated with Swami Nikhilananda on translations of the Upanishads and The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. He received several awards including National Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Contributions to Creative Literature and the 1985 National Arts Club Gold Medal of Honor in Literature. He died after a brief struggle with cancer on October 30, 1987.

David Kudler (born in 1962) is an American editor and author. He is best known for editing several posthumous editions of the books of Joseph Campbell, including Pathways to Bliss and the 2008 edition of The Hero with a Thousand Faces.He has served as the publishing director for the Joseph Campbell Foundation since 1999. While there, he has been the managing editor of the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell series.

The Joseph Campbell Foundation was incorporated in 1990 to...1. Preserve, protect, and perpetuate the work of Joseph Campbell by:Cataloging and archiving his worksDeveloping new publications based on his worksDirecting the sale and distribution of his published worksProtecting copyrights to his worksIncreasing awareness of his works by making them available in digital formats on the Foundation's website ( Further his pioneering work in mythology and comparative religion by:Promoting the study of mythology and comparative religionImplementing and/or supporting diverse mythological education programsSupporting and/or sponsoring events designed to increase public awarenessDonating Campbell's archived works and personal library (Joseph Campbell/Marija Gimbutas Archive & Library)Utilizing the Foundation's website ( as a forum for relevant cross-cultural dialogue3. Help individuals enrich their lives by participating:Globally in the Foundation's Internet-based Associates ProgramLocally in one of the Foundation's international network of Mythological RoundTablesPeriodically in various related activities that JCF undertakesJoseph Campbell Foundation is a US-registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation (Federal Tax I.D. #99-0285097).