Cover image for All about love : new visions
Title:
All about love : new visions
Author:
hooks, bell, 1952-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Harper, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
xxix, 239 pages ; 22 cm
Language:
English
Subject Term:

ISBN:
9780688168445

9780060959470
Format :
Book

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BF575.L8 H655 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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BF575.L8 H655 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

All About Love offers radical new ways to think about love by showing its interconnectedness in our private and public lives. In eleven concise chapters, hooks explains how our everyday notions of what it means to give and receive love often fail us, and how these ideals are established in early childhood. She offers a rethinking of self-love (without narcissism) that will bring peace and compassion to our personal and professional lives, and asserts the place of love to end struggles between individuals, in communities, and among societies. Moving from the cultural to the intimate, hooks notes the ties between love and loss and challenges the prevailing notion that romantic love is the most important love of all.

Visionary and original, hooks shows how love heals the wounds we bear as individuals and as a nation, for it is the cornerstone of compassion and forgiveness and holds the power to overcome shame.

For readers who have found ongoing delight and wisdom in bell hooks's life and work, and for those who are just now discovering her, All About Love is essential reading and a brilliant book that will change how we think about love, our culture-and one another.


Author Notes

Bell Hooks was born Gloria Watkins on September 25, 1952. She grew up in a small Southern community that gave her a sense of belonging as well as a sense of racial separation. She has degrees from Stanford University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of California at Santa Cruz. She has served as a noted activist and social critic and has taught at numerous colleges. Hooks uses her great-grandmother's name to write under as a tribute to her ancestors.

Hooks writes daring and controversial works that explore African-American female identities. In works such as Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism and Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black, she points out how feminism works for and against black women. Oppressed since slavery, black women must overcome the dual odds of race and gender discrimination to come to terms with equality and self-worth.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

It's obvious in all of hooks' forthright works, from her stunning memoirs to her seminal works on race, gender, art, and education, that for her writing is a moral act. Now, in this clarion treatise, she writes from a spiritual perspective to offer "new ways of thinking about love." Motivated both by her own struggles with heartache and by the despair she observes in society at large, hooks defines love as "an action rather than a feeling" in a gracefully flowing narrative that begins with family life, "the original school of love," and ultimately yields fresh insights into the nature of romance, the value of community, and the pitfalls of our consumer-oriented culture. Quoting spiritual leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., a "prophet of love," hooks explains that there can be no justice without love, and that our prevailing sense of spiritual emptiness can only be remedied by overcoming our fear and accepting love in its most spiritual aspects as our "true destiny." --Donna Seaman


Publisher's Weekly Review

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. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

English professor hooks (Remembered Rapture) has myriad views on the subject of love in this serious work; she touches on honesty in relationships, spirituality in our lives, greed as a destructive force, and the death of loved ones. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

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.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introduction: Grace: Touched by Lovep. xiii
1 Clarity: Give Love Wordsp. 1
2 Justice: Childhood Love Lessonsp. 15
3 Honesty: Be True to Lovep. 31
4 Commitment: Let Love Be Love in Mep. 51
5 Spirituality: Divine Lovep. 69
6 Values: Living by a Love Ethnicp. 85
7 Greed: Simply Lovep. 103
8 Community: Loving Communionp. 127
9 Mutuality: The Heart of Lovep. 145
10 Romance: Sweet Lovep. 167
11 Loss: Loving into Life and Deathp. 189
12 Healing: Redemptive Lovep. 207
13 Destiny: When Angels Speak of Lovep. 223