"The best book on this subject that I have so far read; it genuinely does what its title implies." — Philosophical Books "Should be of great help in dispelling some of the mystery that surrounds the subject." — Review of Metaphysics At one time or another almost everyone has reflected upon the major existentialist themes: the sources of despair and suffering, the triumph over adversity, the nature and limits of reason, the encounter of the individual with other humans and with society, authenticity, death, and freedom. This book is for serious readers for whom previous accounts have been either too impressionistic or too limited in scope, and who wish to approach the original texts with perspective and critical understanding. Although this is a first-rate work of scholarship, no previous training in philosophy is required of the reader. The topical treatment introduces not only the existentialist position on each topic but also supporting arguments, historical context, and the line of criticism adopted by contemporary philosophers who oppose the existentialist stand. Readers will also be rewarded with a good knowledge of individual representatives of the movement, particularly Sartre and Heidegger.