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About Love: Reinventing Romance for Our Times [Paperback]

Robert C. Solomon
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 30, 2006 0872208575 978-0872208575 First Edition
A reprint of the 1994 Rowman & Littlefield edition. 'About Love' is a refreshingly reasonable and engagingly readable study of the phenomenon of romantic love. Offering insightful observations from a broad range of sources -- literary, historical, and personal -- Robert Solomon explores the crucial ingredients of time and sex in contemporary relationships and discusses whether love 'at first sight' is possible, and whether love that lasts a lifetime is probable.

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About Love: Reinventing Romance for Our Times + The Philosophy of (Erotic) Love + Other Selves: Philosophers on Friendship
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Romantic love may begin with sexual passion, but it is guided and nurtured by ideas the lovers have about their selves and the world, according to this University of Texas philosophy professor. Solomon defines romantic love as an emotional process that is reciprocal and appropriate only between equals. A lover may complement what is best in us, embody values we share or encourage ideals we strive after. In any event, love endures only when it forges a conceptual bond, each person viewing the other's existence as necessary to complete one's self. In this wise, witty, adventurous essay, Solomon sheds light on love at first sight, whether opposites attract, counterfeit emotion, the euphemism (and act) of "sleeping together," possessiveness, the need of lovers for privacy and the importance of fights in a healthy relationship. His re-visioning of love favors Plato's concept of the merger of two souls over Freud's view of love as sublimated erotic feeling. Literary Guild alternate.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 349 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Pub Co; First Edition edition (September 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872208575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872208575
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #654,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

G. Lee Bowie received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Stanford University and has taught at University of Michigan, University of Mass, Amherst College, and Hampshire College. Currently he is Professor of Philosophy at Mount Holyoke College. Meredith W. Michaels received a Ph.D. in philosophy (with Clancy Martin), ETHICS AND EXCELLENCE, THE JOY OF PHILOSOPHY, and TRUE TO OUR FEELINGS, and he was co-editor of TWENTY QUESTIONS, Fifth Edition (with Lee Bowie and Meredith Michaels), and SINCE SOCRATES (with Clancy Martin).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A genuine masterpiece. May 11, 1997
By A Customer
About Love is a welcome burst of genius on the topic
most in need and deserving of it. "Relationship"
books are a category where sloppy reasoning abounds
and where simple selfishness is often offered as a
legitimate approach to meaningful intimacy. This book
however, is a genuine masterpiece. More than any other
writer on this topic, and more than most writers
on any topic, Mr. Solomon enters the big issues and
emerges with, in my opinion, the Truth.
About Love is about, as it must be, people,
history, intimacy, respect, loyalty and fulfillment.
In short, it is about the things which matter most
and the things which form the raw materials of
romantic love and meaningful relationships.
This is not a book which can be properly
digested in one pass. Rather, it offers the more intense satisfaction of new and interesting insights from
repeated readings. It is best digested a little at
a time and held up as a lens through which to view
one's personal landscape. A degree of dedication is
required (just like love itself) as early portions
of the book review the history of romantic love in
a rather scholastic and philosophical light. Little
by little however, the insights build upon each
other and become more personal, leading to compelling insights and philosophies on all the big issues
of love including love at first sight, romantic
tension, loyalty, and making love last. Sprinkled
throughout is also a series of inspired quotations:
Lauren Bacall's observation on the importance of
fidelity is worth the price of admission in itself.
Read more ›
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on the subject January 20, 2005
This is the most insightful book on the topic of love that there is. After my divorce 10 years ago, I did what a lot of people do and read a lot of so-called "self-help" books. This is not a self-help book but it does provide a very down-to-earth discussion of what real love between two mature adults really is all about. Love is complex and one of the neat things about this book is that the author defines love in many different ways. The primary insight here is that ideally romantic love is not an obsession, not idealistic, and it involves re-defining oneself as a part of a couple. This is perhaps why so many people who are over 40 and are unattached find it hard to become part of a couple. But the book also holds out hope for love that is permanent and lasting and grows deeper with time.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing work February 12, 2003
By A Customer
I don't understand why this book never got "big". It is so comprehensive, with all its references to history and cultures and even mythology, and so balanced and insightful. I read this book over ten years ago and just recently pulled it out to reread the many parts I had highlighted. That's a rare thing. I wish more people knew about it. For anyone who is fascinated in analyzing and thinking about what love is, it's a very important piece of work that really makes you think and see things differently. Though the author is not offering his insights as facts, just the fact that they are offered opens up new doors from which to view love in your life and in general. One of my favorite works of non-fiction.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended October 15, 2010
By Garylee
I first read this book as part of a Philosophy of Love course in college and it truly shaped and reinforced many of my views on Romantic Love. I do believe that we as humans have an inherent need for loving companionship, but Solomon does a great job in deconstructing the Westen idea of Love and how it has shaped our culture and our relationships. I re-read it after my divorce and it helped me to see myself and my relationship with the ex more lucidly. As I move forward in my new relationship with a wonderful woman who has more compatible notions of Love to me, I recently decided to re-read it once again and share it with her so that we can grow together and really analyze the strengths and weaknesses in our love for one another and to be able to have concrete reasons for our love and an ability to express and describe that love. Solomon does not simply pessimistically deconstruct Love and leave it in pieces, but instead, looks at it from a historical, social, interpersonal and cultural perspective and does it in a way that suggests that we can re-create our concepts on Love, but does not lead one to any one "self-help" conclusion. Great read- needs a bump from someone to encourage more people to read it on a large scale. Oprah? Colbert? Any takers?
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