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10 Best Joseph Campbell Books (2020)

Best Joseph Campbell Books Review Bio

Campbell was a brilliant man who has many achievements, original ideas, and more to his name. He lived from 1904 until 1987 and worked as a professor of literature at Sarah Lawrence College. He was a man who could explain much through his love for mythology. 

Inspiration

Joseph was known for many things, he wrote books that spoke to many and inspired others to become great. His name was even credited by George Lucas when he thanked Joseph for inspiration for his Star Wars saga. But that’s not even close to where this list ends as Joseph is responsible for many other successes.

Best Joseph Campbell Books

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Photo Title Rating Length Buy
The Power of Myth 9.32/10 320 Pages Check Price On Amazon
The Hero with a Thousand Faces 9.12/10 416 Pages Check Price On Amazon
Myths to Live By 9.06/10 276 Pages Check Price On Amazon
The Masks of God Series 9.38/10 4 Books Check Price On Amazon
Pathways to Bliss 9.52/10 224 Pages Check Price On Amazon

Photo Title Rating Length Buy
A Joseph Campbell Companion 9.64/10 320 Pages Check Price On Amazon
The Hero’s Journey 9.58/10 288 Pages Check Price On Amazon
The Inner Reaches of Outer Space 9.22/10 160 Pages Check Price On Amazon
Goddesses 9.16/10 303 Pages Check Price On Amazon

Writing

Here, you will have a look at Joseph’s most successful and inspiring books of all time such as The Power of Myth, The Masks of God, his most popular book ever The Hero With a Thousand Faces, and more. If you are already familiar with his work then you know what to expect. For those who aren’t, these are a few of the best Joseph Campbell books you want to start with.

The Power of Myth

 

Extraordinary

Our Campbell books list starts off with a popular work, one that was published in 1988, soon after his death. The main word that would complement this extraordinary book is “insightful”. The book offers so much in terms of learning and opening your eyes about topics such as modern marriage, virgin births, Jesus and religion, and so much more. 

Through his love of mythology, Joseph has had no trouble at all reaching people’s hearts and offering insight for everything from daily life to complex problems and more. Myth has always helped us make more sense of the natural world and Campbell has managed to capture this so well.

Comparative Mythology

This one, like most of the best books written by Joseph Campbell, does a wonderful job of explaining how mythology can impact things like society, culture, religion, and so much more.  Joseph loves the idea of comparative mythology.

The fact that you can compare different myths and ideas from different cultures to decide what they have in common can be very powerful when it comes to proving certain facts and ideas. More than anything, this book is the perfect choice when it comes to giving insight and opening our eyes to much of what life has to offer. Just give it a shot and you will see what this man is capable of.

The Hero With a Thousand Faces

 

Star Wars Inspiration

Here is one of the best-selling Campbell books you can find and hardly anyone will have a problem with understanding why this book is a favorite to so many Campbell fans. This is the book that helped inspire the Star Wars movies, the book that opened so many people’s eyes, and the book that has helped many others realize much about life through the powerful words inside. 

So, what can you expect to read in this book? For the sake of not giving away too many spoilers, we will leave all the fun parts for you to discover, but a short brief won’t hurt anyone.

More Than Exciting

Everyone who loves myths and mythology, in general, is going to have a blast with this book. Campbell offers over 400 pages of pure excitement. He discusses a theory that he had been developing about the mythological structure of the journey of the archetypal hero found in the world of myth.

His wonderful storytelling will make you read for hours, begging to find out what happens next, and trying to figure out what it all means and how we all can relate. This is another one of the best books to read from Joseph Campbell and the journey that awaits has the power to change lives for the better and make many things about life a bit clearer.

Myths to Live By

 

Fascinating Stories

Myths to Live By is another one of Joseph Campbell’s best books and here you have the pleasure of reading an introduction by Johnson E. Fairchild. After the foreword, you get to dive into the fascinating stories that Joseph has prepared for you in this collection of some of his favorite myths and stories which he originally used as lectures at the Cooper Union Forum. 

It can be easily said that this might be the best Joseph Campbell book for new fans who are just trying to get to know his work. The collection features some amazing stories of his that become very relatable with our daily lives and everything that goes on in them. It’s hard to lose interest in everything that this amazing author has to say as story after story, it simply gets more and more amusing.

The Theme of the Book

What Joseph is trying to share with others is the power of myths, similar to many of his other books. In many of the most popular Joseph Campbell books, he tries to explain that we give less credit to myths than what they are really worth. Considering this, he advises his readers to really try to understand the contents of this, and all of his other books as his themes are often similar. 

No matter if you take myths seriously or not, having a look at what he tries to explain if you are at all interesting might just change your life for the better. This book has been the first step to a new world for many and the book that makes you want to read every other Joseph Campbell book.

The Masks of God Book Series

 

Favorite Series

When asked “what are some of the best Campbell book series?”, this one usually tends to be a favorite among his fans. Inside you can expect to find 4 books. Here are Joseph Campbell’s books in order: Primitive Mythology, Oriental Mythology, Occidental Mythology, and lastly, Creative Mythology. 

Their publications were from 1959 to 1968 but reading them as a series is going to be more enjoyable and will allow you to grasp the full concept a lot better. 

What the Books Offer

These books offer detailed analysis and discussions about a variety of topics that Joseph was very familiar with and ones he found fascinating. For example, the first book, Primitive Mythology, discusses the early stages, the roots of mythology itself. He analyzes details through recent findings related to archaeology, psychology, and anthropology. 

Volume 2, Oriental Mythology is known for the massive amount of useful and exciting information it possesses on topics such as Eastern Religions, Western Beliefs, and much more. 

Volume 3, Occidental Mythology lets readers become familiar with Western Mythology. Joseph writes over 500 pages of pure excitement and fascination regarding the Western world.

Powerful Message

And Volume 4, Creative Mythology, is the last book of the series and this one includes over 700 pages of exploration of the Dark Ages and comparison with the modern world. You will be extremely surprised by how this man implements his mythology knowledge in this one to deliver powerful messages to everyone.

The Hero’s Adventure

 

The Hero’s Adventure Fascinating Knowledge

The Hero’s Adventure is the first book from another one of the best Campbell series in which he offers a few books that complement each other very nicely. The series is called Power of Myth and this is book number one out of seven. 

The book is short, around 60 pages of audio content as every book in the series is most commonly now in audio format. This doesn’t mean that it’s not packed with fascinating information and knowledge about the world of myths and Joseph’s take on all of it. 

Joseph’s Message

What this brilliant author is trying to tell people through his work is how people’s decisions and choices affect them. Ultimately, he wants us to understand and achieve inner peace and realize our destiny in life, whatever that may be for every individual case. The content proves very interesting while at the same time providing some very unique and useful information about the mentioned topics. 

It won’t be long before you start relating to most of what he says in the book and eventually realize this man’s intelligence and capacity to be able to explain so much through his love of mythology. A read you want to be a part of and follow up with the rest of the books in the series.

Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation

 

Personal Fulfillment

One of Joseph’s biggest goals was to make every individual have an easier journey through life by trying to share insights through mythology. This is among the top Joseph Campbell books that does exactly the same by explaining a few things about the term he calls “Bliss” and bringing some motivation and inspiration to all who read it. 

First of all, the term known as “Bliss” comes from Joseph himself and he refers to it as a way or journey towards personal fulfillment in life. He believed that everyone should work on achieving this Bliss as the rewards would be unforgettable. 

Sides of the Myth

This is the main theme of the book once you dive a bit deeper and start reading what Campbell is trying to say. He explores these two sides of the myth, the personal and psychological, as he believes that they have a huge impact on a person, on every person’s life. 

His ability to apply his amazing storytelling skills and extreme knowledge of mythology to personal growth and fulfillment is what makes many of his books best-selling and helpful to everyone who listens to what this man has to say. The wisdom inside this book about personal satisfaction and how to enrich our daily lives should not be taken for granted and carefully studied.

A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living

 

Discovering the Bliss

“Follow the bliss” is something that is making an appearance in this book by Campbell once more and not one of Joseph Campbell’s book reviews have ever disagreed with this idea. If you have ever felt like a big decision in your life is making you feel stressed or are feeling this way now, this is the perfect book for the occasion. Many of Joseph’s books tend to aid the mind when it comes to having doubts about various things in life. These doubts provoke unhappiness and stress. 

Lucky for you, this author has spent his entire life building his knowledge and experiences through the love of mythology and eventually found “bliss”. After that point, he urges everyone to discover their “bliss” through books such as this one.

Benefits of This Book

After hearing what he has to say about points in life such as the mentioned above, it wouldn’t be a surprise if you found more clarity in your life and knew more about where you are currently than before. Most importantly, figuring out what you want in life is very difficult but this book offers help with just that. 

Take Joseph’s knowledge of the myth to your advantage and start applying his methods as early in life as you can. If you seek happiness and fulfillment in life, this is one way you can try if you want insight, clarity, and motivation. All of the choices here are some of Campbell’s suggested books so it’s hard to go wrong here.

The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life & Work

 

Favorite Memories

Finally, this is a book by Joseph that reveals a lot more about his personal life and work. This is something many fans await when they discover an author they simply adore and it seems that with this book, Joseph’s fans finally got what they wanted. 

The Hero’s Journey reveals a first-hand experience of a few of Joseph’s favorite memories from his life, the way he thinks and understands certain things, his family life, illustrations from his past, and so much more. Information for this book has been gathered and analyzed from many interviews and discussions with other poets, anthropologists, philosophers, and more. All of that, to bring you an amazing experience and analysis of Joseph’s life. 

Joseph’s Wisdom

Overall, this book basically offers a transcribed collection of various interviews and conversations that feature Joseph himself. Although the book is not very organized and the transcripts are a bit scattered, it is still easy to learn a lot about this man and his way of life, his way of thinking, and his way of understanding things. 

This doesn’t mean that The Hero’s Journey shouldn’t be a part of our best Joseph Campbell books list as the amount of insightful knowledge inside is still priceless and very meaningful to many.

The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor as Myth and as Religion

 

Love for Outer Space

When it comes to discovering the best books by Joseph Campbell, this is an excellent candidate for that list as this is another amazing pick that will leave you speechless. This book is inspired by more series of his own lectures and features a lot of material from various studies.

Joseph is no stranger to space and facts about the universe which is why he has managed to find an amazing way to implement his love of outer space into his own books. In this one, he used new space discoveries around the time that the book was published in 2002 and he combined his research with mythology to deliver another powerful piece of insightful content to his fans. So, what is this book all about?

Exploration of the Space Age

First of all, it’s important to mention that this book is, in fact, a collection of his own lectures. They are reworked to fit the theme more precisely and some are edited more than others. What Campbell does here is he takes his knowledge of perennial philosophy to implement and further express his thoughts on religion and science. 

You can expect many Campbell’s quotes, discussions, and explanations that will leave you thinking for quite a while. The book is filled with this type of content and it’s an amazing way to open your eyes and see the world a bit differently.

Goddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine

 

Fascinating Aspects

Our final, and probably one of the best Campbell novels ever, is a book that focuses on the Goddess, a term that Joseph hasn’t really discussed often. The book is introduced and edited by Safron Rossi, curator of collections at Opus Archives and Research Center.

This is another book that is produced by the countless research papers and lectures that Campbell had done in his time. Much of the content inside is fascinating aspects of mythology that have often been overlooked until this book.

Feminism and Religion

You will be glad to know that the narrative of the story is very exciting as is the message that he tries to deliver. This amazing discussion about feminism, religion, and more will make it easy to understand why this could be the best Joseph Campbell novel for many. 

Hopefully, you were able to discover much about this amazing author and some of Joseph Campbell book recommendations. It won’t be difficult to become a true fan of his once you have a taste of his amazing work.

Author
Michael Englert
Michael Englert
Michael is a graduate of cultural studies and history. He enjoys a good bottle of wine and (surprise, surprise) reading. As a small-town librarian, he is currently relishing the silence and peaceful atmosphere that is prevailing.