- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Templeton Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1932031774
- ISBN-13: 978-1932031775
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,459,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Love That Works: The Art And Science Of Giving 1st Edition
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"A lively, well-crafted text that delves into the rich, multiple meanings of love. This is a book for everyone." -- Dr. Jean Bethke Elshtain, University of Chicago
"Bruce Brander has written an absolutely splendid book." -- Stephen G. Post, Case Western Reserve University
"You owe it to yourself-and your love life-to read this book." -- Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, Center for Relationship Development, Seattle Pacific University
About the Author
Bruce Brander is an international journalist and author of several books on travel and social philosophy. He has been a staff writer and photographer of newspapers in New Zealand and the United States, was a writer and editor for National Geographic, and for twelve years served as a traveling journalist and editor for World Vision, a global relief and development agency. Bruce Brander lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Top customer reviews
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That all changed when I found this book. Based on the amazing thinking skills of the ancient Greeks, who were able to record their insights using one of the world's most precise languages, the author has brought to life the teaching of my mentor who, most certainly, had access to this same wisdom.
He begins by supporting one of my own observations, that people today are being mentored by the media who, if we go by the tabloids at our grocery check out counters, are in deep trouble themselves. Many of my patients say that they know they are in love when there is "chemistry." There observation is valid, but not their conclusion. The author points out that there are three different uses of the term Love in Greek studies, but only one term is used in English, that being the word Love. We have other words which come kind of close to what the Greeks discovered, but we do not use them. The result is that we tend to rely on the "chemistry" to tell us whether we have "fallen in love" or not, but unfortunately the chemistry fades within 1 to 3 years. Then what? We spend the rest of our life trying to recapture that feeling of "chemistry," going to seminars, spending money on books, tapes, DVD lectures, etc., all to no avail. Solution? Break up and connect with someone new who generates the chemistry.
The author reveals two other concepts for love. Both of them go far beyond the "chemistry" feeling to provide a lifetime of rewarding purpose in a relationship, a mature relationship that is able to survive all the stages of aging through which adults must pass. Both of these concepts have proven themselves over thousands of years of human testing. His chosen title includes the concept of "giving," another term with which I find my patients to be confused. If couples followed his guidance, learned how to give and to love, and put these into practice, I and my fellow therapists would have to get honest jobs - we would be out of work.
His writing style impressed me. He builds on a well laid foundation of facts and observations, and does so in a way that did not seem labored to me. He kept it moving and just entertaining enough to keep the reader involved. I highly recommend this book and will be placing it on my website as an recommended read.
While tightly written, the first half of the book is disheartening. Part I is entitled "Love in the Dark", and the darkness of the author's view of modern love most certainly does prevail. The author guides the reader through the key factors that contribute to the decline of committed relationships. By extension the author delineates how this demise can be interpreted as one of the central causes in the deterioration of child welfare and is the core factor that creates what the author literally terms a "Sick Society".
Those astute scientific sticklers among us who crave well balanced arguments highlighting the weaknesses of research findings will certainly want more detail than is summarized in this text. However, this exploration of modern love but it still holds solid value as a well-written and researched primer on the many facets of modern life that influence the concept and delivery of love. As a book intended for non- scientific audiences, this work is refreshingly different from many other works on loving that one might pick up from a local big-box bookstore.
The second half of the book, Love for Life, is focused on what we are called upon to develop if we desire a brighter future than the gloomy future alluded to in the first half. I found myself less impressed with the second section of the book, as it reiterates the age-old concepts of eros, philos and agape. Agape, of course, as presented as the ideal that we should all strive for, and if we are all successful, will enable us to heal our sick society. While updated with modern observations that support the division of tripartite love with agape at the apex, there doesn't seem to be much presented that is new. I am genuinely sorry to say that if you are well familiar with the concept of agape, the second half of this book has little to offer.
The most prominent message of this book is how fragile, underrated and misunderstood healthy loving has become in our modern world. But despite its title, there is comparatively little information that is provided to the reader about how to actively construct a "Love that works". This may be one of its strengths, for this saves it from being yet another empty book of self-help promises, but it also leaves the reader wanting more. I found this book disappointing because like far too many books in the popular press, there is a strong explanation of the problem, but a comparatively weak address to the possible solutions. Once modern love has been dethroned, and the idealized concept of love has been presented, very few pages are devoted to helping the reader comprehend how one can effect the transformation from unhealthy to healthy ways of loving. While the cover indicates that Brander presents a plan to lead us to a better way of loving, the only plan I could find is a slightly more eloquently worded version of the infamous Nike slogan: "Just mature into it".
Despite my criticisms, I enjoyed this book for a variety of reasons. It is an unusually well written book on relationships, which is a refreshing change. The integrative approach of the entire book successfully conveys the author's great knowledge on this subject. Sometimes we do need to be reminded of the wisdom of the ancients- and this book certainly does this in an engaging manner. However, in the end I was left wanting for more synthesis and for more concrete suggestions on how to grow emotionally toward healthier loving.
For therapists: this is a book that would be an excellent recommendation for a client struggling to understand their views on loving relationships, romantic altruism, and the personal and interpersonal consequences of selfish love. It is most certain to trigger a flood of grist for the therapy mill. And while I believe that this book would help enable potentially powerful self exploration, I would also expect clients to come away feeling unsure of where to start working toward this "love that works".