In 1946, Simon & Schuster published Rabbi Joshua Loth Liebman's bestselling book Peace of Mind, a self-help manual that explained how psychiatry and religion together could help individuals achieve emotional and spiritual maturity, and ultimately happiness. At the time of its publication, Liebman was a rabbi at Boston's Temple Israel and was well known from his sermons on the NBC radio program Message to Israel, broadcast in Boston and New York City. Significantly, Liebman was, in the words of Matthew S. Hedstrom, the first "non-Christian author to reach a mass audience in the United States" and Donald Meyer has called Peace of Mind "the book first heralding the whole flood of postwar religious bestsellers."1 The book reached readers on six continents, was on the New York Times bestseller list for 173 weeks and the Publishers Weekly bestseller list for 147 weeks, and, by 1964, went into its thirty-eighth printing.2
This document was originally published by The Pennsylvania State University Press in Reception, volume 6, edited by James L. Machor and Amy L. Blair, © 2014. This article is used by permission of The Pennsylvania State University Press. Copyright restrictions apply.
Oestreicher, Cheryl. (2014). "Readers of Joshua Loth Liebman's Peace of Mind". Reception: Texts, Readers, Audiences, History, 638-51.