About The Author. Bell Hooks is a cultural critic, feminist theorist, and writer. Recommended By Deana R. We're taught to think of love as something that happens to us.
It's a magical but altogether passive experience. In her deeply personal and emphatic All about Love , renowned social activist and feminist bell hooks asserts that, in fact, love is a choice we must all make and it's not nearly as abstract or elusive as many of us have come to believe. The book not only explores the role of love in our lives and the ways our culture has distorted its meaning, but guides us — with clear definitions and examples — toward a better understanding of how to cultivate it.
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If you've ever wondered why some relationships stand the test of time while others crumble, you should read this book. Recommended By Renee P. Here, at her most provacative and intensely personel, the renowned scholar, cultural critic, and feminist skewers our view of love as romance. 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 acclaimed first volume in bell hooks' "Love Song to the Nation" "The word 'love' is most often defined as a noun, yet.
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Celebrated as one of our nation's leading public intellectual by The Atlantic Monthly , as well as one of Utne Reader's " Visionaries Who Could Change Your Life," she is a charismatic speaker who divides her time among teaching, writing, and lecturing around the world. She lives in New York City. Average customer rating 5 2 comments. Of course such socialization impedes peoples' ability to connect honestly with one another. Seen in this larger context, and despite the fact that my primary relationships are already very open, honest and loving, hooks has convinced me to take a long, hard look at my impulses toward dishonesty for the sake of ease or social comfort.
Not every chapter in All About Love was as mind-blowing for me as the first few. There were places I disagreed with her, and a few distracting generalizations that made me wonder about the research backing her up. She claims, for example, that "most" American adults did not have genuine love modeled for them in their families of origin, but instead received a dysfunctional combination of care and abuse or neglect which was apparently the case in her own family.
Having grown up one of the lucky ones, raised by parents who modeled constructive, truly loving practices for me and taught me self-love, boundary-setting, and the need to take responsibility for my actions, I wonder what the statistics are on how many people get what I had as a kid. I'm ready to believe hooks's claim that a majority go without, but since I would have guessed differently, I'd like to see some figures confirming it. Nevertheless, All About Love was thoughtful, well-written, and provocative. It gave me a solid framework in which to think about the act of loving, and even changed my behavior, which I can't say about many books, even fantastic ones.
I'm sure I'll be returning to hooks's thoughts on love frequently in the future. Jun 25, Kathy rated it it was amazing Recommended to Kathy by: Found it myself. Shelves: sociology-cultures , philosophy. On this, the fourth anniversary, and beginning of the fifth year of the Iraq war, while thousands marched on the Pentagon in protest, I finished reading "all about love: New Visions by bell hooks, a truly visionary and life-changing read, which should be required reading for this entire nation.
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I was initially skeptical of her thesis that society needs to adapt a universal definition of love, but as I continued reading, the idea struck a chord of recognition within me that I certainly hope will On this, the fourth anniversary, and beginning of the fifth year of the Iraq war, while thousands marched on the Pentagon in protest, I finished reading "all about love: New Visions by bell hooks, a truly visionary and life-changing read, which should be required reading for this entire nation.
I was initially skeptical of her thesis that society needs to adapt a universal definition of love, but as I continued reading, the idea struck a chord of recognition within me that I certainly hope will continue to resonate for the rest of my days on this spinning orb. She proposes first, that love is not a feeling at all. Love is an action that we choose to take.
All about Love : New Visions
Additionally, her theory is that love must contain a number of components including: care, affection, trust, respect, open honest communication, and commitment. Love, by definition, may never include abuse If it does not contain ALL of those components, then it ain't love. Many who read this will come to the painful realization as I did that they do not truly know how to love; and through this suffering will also recognize that, even so, they continue to maintain faith in love. Having had a father like mine provided all too convenient of an excuse for blaming men for my anger and disappointment.
She discusses how society has come to accept and embrace these ideas that murder compassion, promote poverty, and support warfare. This discourse speaks to the space within the heart that so many of us had come to think would never be filled. My conclusion, love It is all that really matters. Mar 02, Helen rated it it was amazing. One to read over and over again, to truly dive into the meanings and to truly understand it because it is one hard to understand, definitely will go back to it in the future.
May 11, El rated it it was ok Shelves: cultural-studies-and-other , hear-me-roar-and-gender , library-borrow. What did I just read? That's okay, because I am in support of people growing and changing and becoming, whatever, their most authentic selves. But I was surprised by this book. I would say the first half or more really did work for me. She touched on topics that made sense to me. What especially worked for me was a section on Commitment that talked about the workplace, and since I work in a place that doesn't not necessarily foster a loving environment all the time, which I recognize more now that I've removed myself from some of the larger negativeness, I found what she had to say about love in the workplace especially profound.
She recognizes that most people think a loving workplace is a thing of myths, but I do believe it can exist, but that so many people are wrapped up in gossip and not showing their true selves, so it's next to impossible for any love to grow out of that. I don't think she necessarily expects people to hold hands and sing Kumbayah all day long - she understands that with love comes work, hard work, it doesn't come easily.
And that's the true basis of this book. There's this idea that any true love is a magical thing that comes along, and then our lives are perfect and no work is required. Many people are dissatisfied in perfectly good relationships because they realize they still have to work, and so it must not be true love, right? Wrong, and that's what hooks is trying to help readers understand. But then at some point, there was a shift in tone, and suddenly we're reading about religion and angels. Yes, angels. And the Bible. I understand that there is feminism in Christianity, or so some claim, but I'm not sure I buy it because, well, that ain't my shtick.
But to each their own. This book was published in but the references to popular culture or politics are much more related to the s. While most of the book involved talk of spirituality, once it crossed over into talking about straightforward religion, I started to feel my eyes glazing over.
Spirituality is one thing, as far as I'm concerned, because it can be whatever it means to each individual. But religion is usually of an organized establishment, and my experience means something very specific to me, so love in that context is basically the same thing I've heard most of my life from everyone else - that to be religious means to LOVE and then those same people turned around and beat their children after church because of the smallest infraction.
That's what I witnessed, though thankfully not in my own household. In any case. There's this attitude that love and the ability to love others comes from that very specific source of spirituality, which I disagree with. I am not religious, I do not believe in the same things a lot of other people believe in, but I am capable of love, I am capable of compassion, I am capable of having morals, all without believe in God. I believe in being a good person, which transcends religion - or at least it should. Still, I can't deny that hooks had some decent things to say throughout most of the book, even if it was a bit self-help-y, even though hooks very specifically discussed how different her book was from other self-help books.
She allows there's an issue in most self-help books about gender stereotypes and how they perpetuate those issues in our society, that idea that men are from Mars and that women are from Venus, and all that jazz. Those ideas or problematic in numerous ways, and I feel this was hooks' way of addressing the previous literature. Bottom line: What worked for me here really worked for me; what didn't work for me really didn't work for me. I would not recommend this book to anyone reading bell hooks for the first time - this is probably not the place to start, unless all of what I wrote about above regarding Christianity is something you're interested in.
In any case, it's a short book, easy to read. It's not very complicated, but if you're looking for answers, there aren't that many here beyond stop thinking true love is all about rainbows and lollipops.
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You're going to fall in love and you're going to have to work at it. Get over the idea that relationships are easy-peasy. But she also said some good things about what it means to be in a loving relationship, and I think all of that is work reading. So maybe just read the first four or five chapters? Yeah, maybe do that.