Book Review: The Power of Myth

Joseph Campbell & Bill Moyers 1988

This book is a real gem, a good introduction to the work of Joseph Campbell, a renowned scholar of mythology.

The book takes the form of a conversation between Moyers and Campbell in which they discuss the common themes in myths from diverse eras and cultures. 

They identify common threads running through myths from antiquity to the present day.  The fact that the conversation took place at George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch means that there are plenty of Star Wars references.  George Lucas in fact credits Campbell’s work as a major influence.

They discuss the relevance of myths to living in the present.  The book contains page after page of timeless wisdom, quests and lessons from many of the world’s cultures and myths.

This book is a great companion to life’s journey – how reassuring it is to know that whatever challenges we are facing we are on a well-worn path. 

“Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us.  The labyrinth is thoroughly known.  We have only to follow the thread of the hero path…”

Although not marketed as a “self-help” book, it probably contains more useful insights than most other books in that genre!

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