All About Love: New Visions
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"The word "love" is most often defined as a noun, yet...we would all love better if we used it as a verb," writes bell hooks as she comes out fighting and on fire in All About Love. Here, at her most provocative and intensely personal, the renowned scholar, cultural critic, and feminist skewers our view of love as romance. In its place she offers a proactive new ethic for a people and a society bereft with lovelessness.
As bell hooks uses her incisive mind and razor-sharp pen to explore the question "What is love?" her answers strike at both the mind and heart. In thirteen concise chapters, hooks examines her own search for emotional connection and society's failure to provide a model for learning to love. 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 Utne Reader declared bell hooks one of the "100 Visionaries Who Can Change Your Life." All About Love is a powerful affirmation of just how profoundly she can.
silent" when asked questions, then you will not get "caught in a lie." The men I have loved have always lied to avoid confrontation or take responsibility for inappropriate behavior. In Dorothy Dinnerstein's groundbreaking book The Mermaid and the Minotaur: Sexual Arrangements and Human Malaise, she shares the insight that when a little boy learns that his powerful mother, who controls his life, really has no power within a patriarchy, it confuses him and causes rage . Lying becomes one of the
wipes out individual recognition of the needs and concerns of everyone, replacing this awareness with harmful selfcentered ness. Healthy narcissim (the self-acceptance, selfworth, that is the cornerstone of self-love) is replaced by a pathological narcissism (wherein only the self matters) that justifies any action that enables the satisfying of desires . The will to sacrifice on behalf of another, always present when there is love, is annihilated by greed. No doubt this explains our nation's
could struggle aga inst all manner of barriers and accumulate material riches yet be w it hout hope that she could overcome the barriers blocking her from knowing how to give and receive love . The culture of greed val idates and legitimizes her worship of money; it is not at all interested in her emotional growth. Who cares if she ever knows love? Sadly, like so many Americans, she believes that the pursuit and attainment of wealth w ill compensate for all emotional lack. I I 9 ALI. .\ 1\ U
in love's power, have to step blindly out on fa ith . In The Path to Love, Deepak Chopra urges us to remember that everything love is meant to do is possible: "The aching need created by lack of love can only be filled by learning anew to love and be loved. We all must discover for ourselves that love is a force as real as gravity, and that being uphe ld in love every day, every hour, every minute is not a fantasy 155 ALI :\I\OUT LOV[ I.• " it is intended as our natural state." Most males
work, and love, just beca use it is the extreme happiness, can be nothi ng else but work . . . " The essence of true love is mutual recognition- two individuals seeing each other as they really are. W e all know tha t the usual appro ach is to meet someone we like and put our best self I 8 3 .\ I I ,\ II () l ! T L () \' F forward , or even at times a false se lf, one we believe will be more appealing to the person we want to attract. When our real self appea rs in its entirety, when the