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The Art of Loving

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  59,794 ratings  ·  2,791 reviews
The fiftieth Anniversary Edition of the groundbreaking international bestseller that has shown millions of readers how to achieve rich, productive lives by developing their hidden capacities for love

Most people are unable to love on the only level that truly matters: love that is compounded of maturity, self-knowledge, and courage. As with every art, love demands practice
Paperback, 192 pages
Published August 6th 2019 by Harper Perennial Modern Classics (first published 1956)
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Sandra actually it's very interesting even though I abandoned it for a while cause it touched a few cords! but I intend to catch up :))…moreactually it's very interesting even though I abandoned it for a while cause it touched a few cords! but I intend to catch up :))(less)
Elisa Fromm does not see capitalism and a loving society coexisting. They have opposite goals. In a successful capitalistic society, the individual must bec…moreFromm does not see capitalism and a loving society coexisting. They have opposite goals. In a successful capitalistic society, the individual must become a cog in the wheel and not look at his fellow human beings (and other members of society) as equal to him, except as it applies to the exchange of goods. All desires that are satisfied by capitalism are superficial desires, not deep character desires. Only the non conformist can be truly happy in a capitalistic society. Capitalism feeds materialism. If a person in capitalist society applies The Golden Rule to life, it is as a benefit of exchange of goods, for example "be fair in your exchange with others. It is not seen as actually loving your neighbor, but only respecting his/her rights.
In a loving society, each person sees the other person for what he/she is at his/her core instead of what the person can do for him.(less)

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Jun 09, 2011 rated it did not like it
My goodness, what is this dude smoking?

Someone close to me made me aware that this book existed, and so out of curiosity, I decided to borrow the book from the library and read it. It took me 2 days, and really, I hated every bit of this book, for several reasons that I will delineate below. But first, let me tell you what this book is about.

Obviously, this is non-fiction. This is written by Erich Fromm, a prominent German social psychologist who happens to belong to the Frankfurt School, also k
John Kulm
Jun 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I went through this book again partly because it has so much to say, and partly because I wanted to re-read Erich Fromm's instructions on how to meditate. I like the way he puts it, on pages 101 - 102:

“If I am attached to another person because I cannot stand on my own feet, he or she may be a lifesaver, but the relationship is not one of love. Paradoxically, the ability to be alone is the condition for the ability to love. Anyone who tries to be alone with himself will discover how difficult i
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Art of Loving, Erich Fromm

The Art of Loving, is a 1956 book, by psychoanalyst and social philosopher Erich Fromm, which was published as part of the World Perspectives Series, edited by Ruth Nanda Anshen. In this work, Fromm develops his perspective on human nature, from his earlier work, Escape from Freedom and Man for Himself – principles which he revisits in many of his other major works.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: دز یکی از روزها سال 1974میلادی

عنوان: هنر عشق ورزیدن؛ نویسنده: اریش فروم؛ مترجم: پو
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Gave up at 1/3 because it simply became unbearable.

If you are a very traditional conservative white middle-class cisgender person, who is familiar with the bible but still loves Freud: you have found your guide. If you are any other category of human, this book is probably not for you.

The labelling of love between gay people as a mistake and a failure, the endless sexism in describing the roles of men and women, I could go on and on...
I can see a little spark in the text every now and then, some
Aug 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
If my mate George hadn’t recommended this book there is no chance at all that I would have read it. I’ve a strange relationship with LOVE – in that I think it is grossly overrated by our society. You could get away with thinking that if you were not ‘in love’ in our society then there is something terribly wrong with you. Never mind that the notion of being constantly ‘in love’ – in a world where this is all too frequently confused with being infatuated – would be a nightmare not worth living.

Sep 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book confirms the idea that reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life, a better one indeed.

Reading the Art of love awoke inside me some long dormant craving to approach the subject matter of love in a Tangible and Lucid way as Fromm did.

In this book, Fromm asserts that love is essential to human flourishing and survival "love is the answer to the problem of human existence" he discusses frankly and candidly his theory of love in all its aspects: not only romantic love, so steeped
Jan 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
One of my favorite books. I've read it three times now, and i'll probably read it several more times in the future. I really appreciate what a "down to earth" way of dealing with his subject matter that Fromm has. He recognizes that no book can make you a more loving person, but he does recognize that by calling our attention to the myriad ways that we misunderstand, and deceive ourselves about love, we can begin to approach a better understanding of what it might take to become better lovers. H ...more
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
“Love is not only a relationship with a specific person; it is an attitude, a guiding of our character that determines the type of relationship of a person has with the world as a whole, not with an object or a person.”
Jul 26, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

"Love is an activity, not a passive affect; it is a 'standing in,' not a 'falling for.' In the most general way, the active character of love can be described by stating that love is primarily giving, not receiving."

Thank goodness this book exists. Often in contemporary society we misconstrue love as a cure-all for all of our problems: instead of learning the art of love, which requires great depth and practice, we resort to insta-love, to using others to complete ourselves, and to proj
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Have you ever held an idea so closely to the sides of your skull, you could never find the words or phrases to articulate it until someone stopped by and presented you with exactly what you had been searching for? Erich Fromm did this for me in the context of mature and fulfilling relationships. In the words of a good friend "more people should realized that 'serious' philosophers devote think about such things" - 'such things' being how interpersonal relationships are the bedrock of most human ...more
Mar 05, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I couldn't finish it. I just couldn't. Not only does it focus on the psyche through an exclusively heteronormative lens (which made me uncomfortable, yeah, but wasn't an outright deal breaker then), but it also drew too many conclusions based on the outdated archetype of a cartoonishly puffed-up man enslaved by the faculties of reasoning and logic and other things dickweeds of history have attached inalienably to machismo (but never the capacity for love!) and that of the woman who is (of course ...more
Jul 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: relationships
I underestimated the power of this rather unsophisticated looking book. I have no idea who Fromm is but I imagine since he’s a German Jew and lived through both world wars that he’s a pretty insightful scholar. He writes so eloquently about what love is and what is it not that I felt enlightened with every sentence. Actually, I was imagining myself as bell hooks reading it for the first time in preparation to write All About Love. So many of her premises are grounded in Fromm’s theories and I lo ...more
Jan 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
More than just an average self-help book on (spoiler: you must love yourself and develop the capacity to love before you can love others), Fromm takes a socio-political-historical-psychoanalytic approach to the topic of Love. There are times when it does get a bit theoretical (which is a PLUS for me because I am a nerd), but the book is very much accessible. A friend recently commented that if more people read this book, there would be a lot more happy, functional relationships. True dat.

This bo
The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm does not describe how to fall in love, but how we understand love and where to find love. He describes many different kinds of love and compares them with capitalism and religion. It's not a book that you still think about, because it simply explains facts. It's easy to read and some points he enumerates are well known. ...more
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
I buy the majority of my books from a used bookstore close to my house. They write the price of the book on the inside cover. If you look inside the cover of my copy of The Art of Loving, you will see “$7.99”. 8 Canadian Dollars. In my opinion, that is not nearly enough for the contents of this book.

Fromm believes that we are attempting to quell our anxieties of eternal isolation and existential angst by partaking in forms of love that are perverted and distorted. I thought this sounded very hyp
Jan 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Everyone should read this book. It's for people who are in or trying to be in a relationship, but it's really also for any person who wants to be a better world citizen, in terms of how we relate to everyone (significant other, family, friends, strangers, etc.). The premise is really that today's modern/Western/Capitalistic society does not allow for people to truly practice the "art of love"--that being the art of loving a significant other or of brotherly love or neighborly love. That is why s ...more
Also posted on my blog: i'mbookedindefinitely

There's a lot of grain of truth in this theorizing and objectification of love that Erich Fromm successfully wrote. Let me quote with liberality such instances more so for the inherent beauty and magnificence of such statements.

One page xix
"It (book) wants to convince the reader that all his attempts at love are bound to fail; unless he tries most actively develop his total personality so as to achieve a productive orientation."

On page 22
"Love is an
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: living-now
' love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problems of human existence'

This very little book dispels a lot of myths about 'love'.our culture is obsessed with love. We have innumerable romantic movies,songs, literature,dances centred on it. 'falling in love' is valued highly. Humans are on the look out for ' the one's ( generally judging on the basis of material prosperity, physical attractiveness)
Young people are expected to get married. brotherhood,concern for others is also emphasi
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First read: I would give it 6 stars if I could!

Second read: I paired this with C.S. Lewis' The Four Loves and found reading each, one after the other, gave some very valuable insights. Lewis approaches love from a deep, more spiritual standpoint that also focuses on emotion, however Fromm, being a psychoanalyst, approaches love from a more practical, scientific view. Both have very important and enlightening points to make. Fromm's book this time I would give 4.5 stars: he gives a very detailed
عماد العتيلي
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
“Love isn't something natural. Rather it requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith, and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn't a feeling, it is a practice.”

Is it a coincidence that I embark on the journey of reading Fromm’s Art of Loving right after I finished reading Eagleton’s Meaning of Life –which he concluded by considering ‘love’ as the ultimate answer for the question of existence?

To be honest, I don’t believe in coincidences. It must be destiny.


In this book, Fromm e
Dec 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sarah by: Jackie
Shelves: 2009
This book is absolutely unbelievable. It's no surprise it's considered one of the most important books of the 1960s. Erich Fromm's ideas about what "loving" means are mind-blowing, and bring to the forefront every problem I've witnessed in myself, and in others, in relationships.
It's not a stupid self-help guide on how to love people or something cheesy like that. It's an honest look at how people's perceptions of love and loving have changed. And it's sensational.
Farhan Khalid
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The process of learning an art can be divided into two parts:

One, the mastery of the theory

The other, the mastery of the practice

The mastery of the art must be a matter of ultimate concern

Man is gifted with reason

He is life being aware of itself

He has awareness of himself, of his fellow man, of his past, and of the possibilities of his future

There is no good and evil unless there is freedom to disobey

After man and woman have become aware of themselves and of each other, they are aware of their s
Hoda Marmar
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm was first published in 1956. It addresses love as an art to practice and master, rather than as a fleeting emotional mystery or a magical lightning strike. He argues that love is holistic and should not be seen as separate from man's nature. Love inherently connects all aspects of man, and all forms of love (brotherly, erotic, parent-child, God, motherly, fatherly, and self loves) are the manifestation of one's way of living (loving or non-loving), his tolerance, ...more
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
The first time I read this book I was doing my undergrad - about ten years ago, given to me by a girlfriend at that time. I should've read this closer.

Anyway, the central thesis is that love is something very different from what popular/current culture tells you it is. It's not infatuation with a person (even thought his definition encompasses this), it's an attitude, the way a person relates to the world. It's a far cry from the weird American cover which makes it look like a self-help book, it
Oct 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I would love to have been one Erich Fromm's close friends because we would have gotten along smashingly. Luckily for me he chose to be an author so I could at least get to know him through his immortal writings.

This was yet another fantastic and well written book. My favorite concept that really struck me was his explanation of how American Culture though materially wealthy leaves most of us with strong feeling of alienation from others. Fromm explains that this alienation is, in part, due to o
Dec 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ideas
My edition of this work (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1956) was part of the World Perspectives series, which "endeavors to show that the conception of wholeness, unity, organism is a higher and more concrete conception than that of matter and energy... For the principle of life consists in the tension which connects the spirit with the realm of matter" and that "Knowledge, as it is shown in these books, no longer consists in a manipulation of man and nature as opposite forces, nor in the reducti ...more
Erik Graff
Apr 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all adolescents
Recommended to Erik by: Betsy and Edward Erickson
Shelves: psychology
Although I'd avoided most of the "popular" books in high school (The History of Torture being the best seller in the Maine Township H.S. South bookstore), I made an exception for this one because I had heard that Fromm was some kind of socialist--and, heck, I was agonizing a lot about one kind of troublous love in those days. I'm glad to have made the exception because this was useful introduction to the complexity of language, in this case as regards the use of the English word "love". Furtherm ...more
mis fit
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this book a couple months back, but I’ve been letting it simmer and slowly collecting my thoughts. I didn’t want to just be done with it-- I wanted to grapple with Fromm’s arguments in the context of my everyday experience. His opinions often seem convincing at first glance, but to what extent do they really hold up? His work has it’s faults (like a bunch of weird homophobic statements in this one…), but I’ve been intrigued by Fromm’s social psychology since I first encountered The Sane S ...more
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I agree with that love is indeed an art. I thought I loved someone before but it turned out that I just couldn't stand on my own feet and desperately need someone to keep me company. I noticed that I was selfish, self-centered, immature and irresponsible before. However, Iove does take luck to meet someone right and learn about oneself better.

In this book there is one thing I do not agree with. The writer paid great attention on parental role on the mental development of the offspring, which I b
Aug 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must-read for anyone thinking of starting a relationship with any human being on the planet, be it a relationship between friends, brothers, or children. Erich Fromm talks to us about what it means to love, and what it takes to love in an age ruled by dollar signs and a dire need for conformity.
Perhaps this book is more relevant now than it was when it was first published.
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Erich Fromm, Ph.D. (Sociology, University of Heidelberg, 1922), was a psychoanalyst and social philosopher who explored the interaction between psychology and society, and held various professorships in psychology in the U.S. and Mexico in the mid-20th century.

Fromm's theory is a rather unique blend of Freud and Marx. Freud, of course, emphasized the unconscious, biological drives, repression, and

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