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All about Love : New Visions

by
ISBN13:

9780060959470

ISBN10:
0060959479
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
1/21/2010
Publisher(s):
HarperCollins Publications
List Price: $13.99

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Customer Reviews

All About Everyone  August 4, 2011
by


I was moved by this textbook and I enjoyed the read. Hooks' approach is straight forward, feminist yet her voice is affirming and gentle, especially in the latter chapters about love and healing and spirituality. She is a gifted writer who makes you wonder why society's overt messages are so hostile to loving, then shows you the way to find your own way. Her ideas stimulate intelligent and loving thought, conversation, and action. Read this book.






All about Love : New Visions: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

Summary

"The word "love" is most often defined as a noun, yet...we would all love to better if we used it as a verb," writes Bell Hooks as she comes out fighting and on fire in All About Love.

Here, at her most provocative and intensely personnel, the renowned scholar, cultural critic, and feminist skewers our view of love as romance. In its place she offers a proactive new ethic for a people and a society bereft with loveless. As Bell Hooks uses her incisive mind and razor-sharp pen to explode the question "What is love'" her answers strike at both the mind and heart.

In thirteen concise chapters, Hooks examines her own search for emotional connection and society's failure to provide a model for learning to love. Razing the cultural paradigm that the ideal love is infused with sex and desire, she provides a new path to love that is sacred, redemptive, and healing for the individuals and for a nation. The Utne Reader declared Bell Hooks one of the "100 Visionaries Who Can Change Your Life." All About Love is a powerful affirmation of just how profoundly she can.

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Introduction Grace: Touched by Love xiii
Clarity: Give Love Words
I
Justice: Childhood Love Lessons
15(16)
Honesty: Be True to Love
31(20)
Commitment: Let Love Be Love in Me
51(18)
Spirituality: Divine Love
69(16)
Values: Living by a Love Ethnic
85(18)
Greed: Simply Love
103(24)
Community: Loving Communion
127(18)
Mutuality: The Heart of Love
145(22)
Romance: Sweet Love
167(22)
Loss: Loving into Life and Death
189(18)
Healing: Redemptive Love
207(16)
Destiny: When Angels Speak of Love
223

Excerpts

All About Love
New Visions

Chapter One

The men in my life have always been the folks who are wary of using the word "love" lightly. They are wary because they believe women make too much of love. And they know that what we think love means is not always what they believe it means. Our confusion about what we mean when we use the word "love" is the source of our difficulty in loving. If our society had a commonly held understanding of the meaning of love, the act of loving would not be so mystifying. Dictionary definitions of love tend to emphasize romantic love, defining love first and foremost as "profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person, especially when based on sexual attraction." Of course, other definitions let the reader know one may have such feelings within a context that is not sexual. However, deep affection does not really adequately describe love's meaning.

The vast majority of books on the subject of love work hard to avoid giving clear definitions. In the introduction to Diane Ackerman's A Natural History of Love she declares "Love is the great intangible." A few sentences down from this she suggests: "Everyone admits that love is wonderful and necessary, yet no one can agree on what it is." Coyly, she adds, "We use the word love in such a sloppy way that it can mean almost nothing or absolutely everything." No definition ever appears in her book that would help anyone trying to learn the art of loving. Yet she is not alone in writing of love in ways that cloud our understanding. When the very meaning of the word is cloaked in mystery, it should not come as a surprise that most people find it hard to define what they mean when they use the word "love."

Imagine how much easier it would be for us to learn how to love if we began with a shared definition. The word "love" is most often defined as a noun, yet all the more astute theorists of love acknowledge that we would all love better if we used it as a verb. I spent years searching for a meaningful definition of the word "love," and was deeply relieved when I found one in psychiatrist M. Scott Peck's classic self-help book The Road Less Traveled, first published in 1978. Echoing the work of Erich Fromm, he defines love as "the will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth." Explaining further, he continues, "Love is as love does. Love is an act of will-namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love." Since the choice must be made to nurture growth, this definition counters the more widely accepted assumption that we love instinctually.

Everyone who has witnessed the growth process of a newborn child from the moment of birth on sees clearly that before language is known, before the identity of caretakers is recognized, babies respond to affectionate care. Usually they respond with sounds or looks of pleasure. As they grow older they respond to affectionate care by giving affection, cooing at the sight of a welcomed caretaker. Affection is only one ingredient of love. To truly love we must learn to mix various ingredients-care, affection, recognition, respect, commitment, and trust, as well as honest and open communication. Learning faulty definitions of love when we are quite young makes it difficult to be loving as we grow older. We start out committed to the right path but go in the wrong direction. Most of us learn early on to think of love as a feeling. When we feel deeply drawn to someone, we cathect with them, that is, we invest feelings or emotion in them. That process of investment wherein a loved one becomes important to us is called "cathexis." In his book Peck rightly emphasizes that most of us "confuse cathecting with loving." We all know how often individuals feeling connected to someone through the process of cathecting insist that they love the other person even if they are hurting or neglecting them. Since their feeling is that of cathexis, they insist that what they feel is love.

All About Love
New Visions
. Copyright © by bell hooks. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Excerpted from All about Love: New Visions by bell hooks
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.


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