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All About Love: New Visions Paperback – January 9, 2001


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All About Love: New Visions + Communion: The Female Search for Love + The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love
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Product Details

  • Series: Bell Hooks Love Trilogy
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (January 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060959479
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060959470
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Readers of bell hooks's fiery and eloquent attacks on racism and sexism might be surprised to see her take on the elusive subject of love, but in her own unique way, hooks beautifully weaves her childhood search for that emotion with society's misuse (and dire need) of it. All About Love takes apart the sentimental and often fleeting aspects of romance, stuck in the muddled urges of sex, and details the problems that arise from the confusion between the two. What hooks does best is reveal that the true force of love lies in its spiritual, redemptive power, which can impact positively on humankind: "When angels speak of love they tell us it is only by loving that we enter an earthly paradise," she writes. "They tell us paradise is our home and love our true destiny." --Eugene Holley Jr. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Taking on yet another popular topic in her role as cultural critic, hooks blends the personal and the psychological with the philosophical in her latest book--a thoughtful but frequently familiar examination of love American style. A distinguished professor of English at City College in New York City, she explains her sense of urgency about confronting a subject that countless writers have analyzed: "I feel our nation's turning away from love as intensely as I felt love's abandonment in my girlhood. Turning away, we risk moving in a wilderness of spirit so intense we may never find our way home again." With an engaging narrative style, hooks presents a series of possible ways to reverse what she sees as the emotional and cultural fallout caused by flawed visions of love largely defined by men who have been socialized to distrust its value and power. She proposes a transformative love based on affection, respect, recognition, commitment, trust and care, rather than the customary forms stemming from gender stereotypes, domination, control, ego and aggression. However, many of her insights about self-love, forgiveness, compassion and openness have been explored in greater depth by the legion of writers hooks quotes liberally throughout the book, such as John Bradshaw, Lucia Hodgson, Thich Nhat Hanh, Thomas Merton and M. Scott Peck, among others. Still, every page offers useful nuggets of wisdom to aid the reader in overcoming the fears of total intimacy and of loss. Although the chapter on angels comes across as filler, hooks's view of amour is ultimately a pleasing, upbeat alternative to the slew of books that proclaim the demise of love in our cynical time.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Bell Hooks is a cultural critic, feminist theorist, and writer. Celebrated as one of our nation's leading public intellectual by The Atlantic Monthly, as well as one of Utne Reader's 100 Visionaries Who Could Change Your Life, she is a charismatic speaker who divides her time among teaching, writing, and lecturing around the world. Previously a professor in the English departments at Yale University and Oberlin College, hooks is now a Distinguished Professor of English at City College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the author of more than seventeen books, including All About Love: New Visions; Remembered Rapture: The Writer at Work; Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life; Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood; Killing Rage: Ending Racism; Art on My Mind: Visual Politics; and Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life. She lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

I have read and reread this book.
Grace A Bartlett
If you can change your definition of love, what it really means and how it is truly expressed, you can change your life.
Lauren Larson
We are are yearning to be loved and to give love.
Gwenda Motley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Aspen Leaf on March 14, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There aren't many public discussions of love in America outside of popular culture -- movies, music, books, magazines -- but there should be, because lack of an expansive understanding of and capacity for love is behind much that is wrong in our society. When bell hooks noticed that the world she was living in "was no longer open to love" and that "lovelessness had become the order of the day," she decided to write about it. "I began thinking and writing about love when I heard cynicism instead of hope in the voices of young and old," she says.
The result is a book that's a refreshing change from relationship advice books that completely overlook the cultural context of love -- the ways in which love is difficult for both men and women, but especially for women, in a patriarchal culture; the ways in which a more expansive understanding of love is sorely needed to set things right in a country run by fear. hooks begins by addressing the pervasive confusion about what love is, defining it as M. Scott Peck does: "The will to extend oneself for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth."
The chapters in which hooks names "the ways we are seduced away from love" read as a litany of soul-corroding cultural norms. There is, most fundamentally, injustice to children in dysfunctional families in a culture where family dysfunction is normalized. Then there's the increasing prevalence of lying in public and private transactions alike, most recently exemplified in the Enron scandal and the priest-pedophile scandal in the Catholic Church. There's the cultural obsession with power and domination instead of a love ethic.
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Linda C. Jennings on January 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My hope for the new millennium was that more people became aware of the writings of bell hooks. She helps us to lift off those rose colored glasses we seem to wear on our minds about current social issues that plague the american culture. Her current writing explores why our culture has leaned toward narrissism and excessive materialism...the lack of love in our lives. Her vision is simple and clean for this book, which makes it easier to understand her passion on the subject of love and the lack of it. She offers new ways to think about love for ourselves, our families and american humanity. Ms. hooks is a critical thinker who challenges us to rethink how to give and receive love in our lives.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By living101 on June 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
bell hooks has written an intelligent and heartfelt treatise on love. The ideas are Brilliant, Creative and New. The book is well written and truly a pleasure to read. Not a "self-help" book, it approaches the subject of love from a scholarly perspective, without losing the emotion needed to delve into the subject thoroughly. If you are in love, or want to be, or hate the very thought of loving anyone, then this book is for you.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Grace A Bartlett on March 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have read and reread this book. I have bought it for friends, given my copies to strangers on the trian who have asked about it, and suggested it to just about everyone i know, from my grandmother to my boyfriend. I truely believe that if everyone on earth read this book that the world would be a better place. Bell Hooks is "hardcore" about her stance on what is and what isn't love. She gives it definition and makes it actually possible to consider a future, or even a present, with love in our lives when we live in a time when love is looked at as impossible by most of us. She attacks our ideas about love. I personally came away from the book with an idea of how to actually go about being a more loving person. I have standards now that I didn't have before. Unlike a previous reviewer said, Bell Hooks bases her ideas of love on responsibility and respect.
I highly recommend this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Burnett on April 15, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All About Love is an important and moving work by a brilliant writer. I first heard about this book when I heard an interview with bell hooks - a few days later, I bought the book, and I read it rather quickly. hooks has so many important things to say - she addresses the importance of honesty, the need for a "love ethic," and, above all else, the necessity of beleiving in and searching for "true love."
Some people seem to object to the fact that hooks uses her personal life as a way to explore love, but I really don't understand why that's a problem. What would you rather she do - use statistics and sociological data? Maybe then her analysis would be more objective, but the fact is, love is, by its very nature, entirely subjective, so I much prefer hooks's personal approach.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By 2nd sunshine on April 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
If you're looking for a self-help book that offers all the answers to questions you have about love this isn't it. "All About Love" is a cultural examination of what love is and what it means in our society. I love bell hooks because she doesn't pretend to have all the answers, or any for that matter. That's what makes her a good philosopher. This book makes you reflect on how you have been taught to love and how you define it. One point hooks talks about is that people assume they know real love because they've always loved a certain way. Is it working for you? For some people-yes, for some people it isn't. This book is a starting point toward answering that question.(well, it was for me anyway.)Interestingly, several people I know (scholars none the less) have scoffed at the idea of this book of love. If your mindset going into reading this is is "who does bell hooks think she is telling me about love, I already know love" then save your time reading this because you aren't ready for the lesson.
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