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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
In her compelling book, All About Love: New Visions, bell hooks offers radical new ways to think about love. Here, hooks, one of our most acute social critics, takes the themes that put her on the map — the relationship between love and sexuality, and the interconnectedness between the public and the private — and challenges the prevailing notion that romantic love is more important than all other bonds.
hooks was inspired to write this book by her own difficult childhood during which she felt love was not nurtured, and by the ending of a longtime relationship. hooks examines the state of love in our society, why love is elusive, and how to open our hearts to love once again. "I feel our nation's turning away from love as intensely as I felt love's abandonment in my girlhood," hooks writes in her preface. "Turning away we risk moving into a wilderness of spirit so intense we might never find our way home again. I write of love to bear witness both to the dangers in this movement, and to call for a return to love."
As she has so brilliantly done in her previous works, hooks poses fascinating questions that go to the core of our being and make us think in radical new ways. By challenging us to think of love as an action, not a feeling, hooks offers a rethinking of self-love (without narcissism) that will bring peace and compassion to our personal lives. How can love be an action, not just a feeling? We say we love our children, but are we kind to them? How does even the tiniest lie damage love? How can we move beyond the superficial andtrivializednotions of love to embrace the true love we yearn for? How does the narcissism of society keep us from true self-love? Why have so many of us "failed" at love and become cynical as a result?
By exploring these questions and so many others in clear, thought-provoking chapters, hooks presents a way to cultivate different kinds of love in our hectic lives. All About Love examines love in childhood, love in community, spiritual love, self-love, and love in a number of cultural contexts. hooks urges readers to look at the love we share with friends as a guide to how other kinds of love can grow. She explains that self-acceptance and positive thinking are critical if we are to embrace love in our own life and our community. She helps us realize that we must value all types of love equally.
Imaginative and original, hooks shows how love heals the wounds we bear as individuals and as a nation. All About Love, written in vivid, provocative, and sensual language, is as much about culture as it is about intimacy. It is bell hooks at her most inspiring. In exploring the ties between love and loss hooks takes on a journey that is sacred and transcendent. Her destination: our own hearts and communities.