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All About Love: New Visions

(Love Trilogy)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  11,310 ratings  ·  1,230 reviews
"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 ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 30th 2018 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published December 22nd 1999)
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Susana Lopez Depetris I disagree with the idea that women are somewhat weak. I think everybody needs love, I just think men and women express that need differently, and…moreI disagree with the idea that women are somewhat weak. I think everybody needs love, I just think men and women express that need differently, and also perceive love differently.(less)

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3.99  · 
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 ·  11,310 ratings  ·  1,230 reviews

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Sep 28, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The best and worst thing about this book was hooks' commitment throughout the work to making powerful, decisive statements that wanted to leave little room open for argument.
When she was on, this authoritative voice felt like a revelation -- such as when she declares that abuse and love cannot coexist. It's a beautiful, affirming, heartbreaking statement, that seems to have a large weight of truth behind it, at once the most and least obvious thing. The definition of love that she borrows and e
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, so, OK. Here's the thing. This book changed/is changing my life. It came to me at just the right second (by which I mean, I took it from the house where I was house-sitting at just the right second), and I have taken it straight to heart. hooks is in the business of life-changing, really, whether she's teaching us how to love in the face of a planet of lovelessness, or teaching us to find, confront, and exorcise the racism and sexism by which we invariably live. What got to me in "All Abou ...more
I could write almost every page of this book a five-star review. bell hooks, African-American feminist author of the revelationary The Will to Change , creates another visionary work with All About Love. She argues for the importance of love in our private and public lives in powerful and innovative ways. At first the title of this book made me roll my eyes a little, in a "oh yay, a book that's all about love, how cliche" kinda way. But from the very first page, hooks offers piercing insights i ...more
Oct 10, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hippies, people at raindbow gatherings, people who believe in power crystals
i find it astonishing that so many people i otherwise respect & admire got so into this book. i would love to try an experiment where this book is re-released under some nobody's name, rather than bell hooks, & we can see how people respond to it when they aren't actually responding to the whole bell hooks association. i have LOVED a lot of hooks's books. this was a big pile of crap, & not just that, it ushered in a whole generation of terrible crappy books written by bell hooks. the ...more
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
While there were a couple of bits of this book I liked (hence the two stars), on the whole, this is a thumbs down for me.

Firstly, it was incredibly heterocentric. While the book at times acknowledged gay people existed, that didn't change the tone throughout. The only two gay people mentioned were a graffiti artist who did a work the author admired that was apparently commentary on the (then current) AIDS crisis, and a lesbian who on the author's advice maintained contact with her toxic, homopho
Ashley Ward
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
My book club chose this book in honor of Valentine's Day. It's the first (and probably now only) book I've ever read by Bell Hooks, and I was excited to read it. When I checked it out of the library along with a huge stack of other books, the librarian pulled it out and said, "Oh, this book is SO good." Which made me even more excited to read it.

If she had stopped after the first two chapters, I probably would have recommended it as a worthwhile essay to read. I liked that she really took the ti
Jul 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: theory
bell hooks is one of the greatest theorists and cultural critics of our time. Her writings on racism and sexism are sharp, incitful and practical, as in they include practical solutions for healing the violence that these systems of oppression create. And she writes books that could be classified as self-help. This is one of them. All About Love begins with a working definition of love, a willful act to facilitate the growth of oneself or another person, and continues to discuss what love is, wh ...more
Dec 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book, because I like bell hooks, her ideas and what she stands for.

But, my god! I found myself having to scan page after page in a half-read because I couldn't bare the self-help dialogue that she was engaging in. Furthermore, I found myself absolutely cringing over the books she referenced, not to mention how many times she quoted The Road Less Traveled.

Yes. I felt like some kind of academic snob while reading it, each time I would roll my eyes and skip ahead.

Yes. I
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In writing this review, I felt the need to pose the question: What makes a feminist book?

Does it need to deal specifically with feminism, gender inequality, women, etc.? Does it simply need to avoid problematic stereotyping and other issues that contribute to the cultural perpetuation of systemic sexism? Does it need to be written by a self-avowed feminist or inspiring woman?

This book does a lot of those things, but most importantly, it is daring in its exposure of an issue that causes deep cult
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Yes. Please do read this. Make yourself better make the world better. You can trust bell hooks.

eta :: just couldn't not add this. Those giving the one=and two stars, those folks need love too. Be kind.
Mar 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: our-shared-shelf
Though I gave this book three stars, it was a very important read for me. I learned a lot from bell hooks about choosing love, about re-vitalizing our dedication to honesty, accountability, and hope. Growing up in a dysfunctional family and as a recovering codependent, I related very well to nearly 70% of the text's offerings and many of the author's own experiences, and I believe that I grew and developed as a person while completing this read. I would recommend this text to everyone.

I am unabl
Mar 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: emma-watson
I have to say I had mixed feelings about this book. I found it eye-opening at times, but other times I simply couldn't connect with it at all, and couldn't quite move past some gender generalisations that the author so passionately claims herself to stand against.

It did make me think about the meaning of love and the context of love more widely, yet I still can't agree with some of the principles on which this book is based and the idea that unless love follows certain rules (e.g. "there is no
May 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
Casually leafing through bell hooks's All About Love: New Visions a few years ago in a bookstore, I was drawn by her idea that love should be regarded as a verb, not a noun. Traditionally, our culture thinks of love as a thing, a passive feeling of tenderness or affection that comes over us, into which we fall involuntarily, something instinctual over which we have little control. hooks argues, on the contrary, that love is a chosen action, something we must constantly affirm and on which we mus ...more
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathy by: Found it myself
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 ...more
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
What did I just read?

hooks is an incredible person and an incredible writer, but I think the hooks I used to know, and the hooks I want to know now are two very different people. 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. hooks writes here about LOVE, the power of LOVE, the way LOVE is viewed in our western culture, the problems
Let's be honest, without Emma Watson and her 'Our Shared Shelf' book club I never would have read this book. It's just not what I like or enjoy reading. I had to force myself to keep reading, and tbh I don't even know /what/ I was reading.

I feel bad for giving only 1 star though since I'm sure there are people who like books like this one, but I just couldn't enjoy it :(
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really thoroughly enjoyed the book. One of few aspects that I didn't like about the book was that it had a strong anti-atheistic vibe to it. I have no problem if she wishes to discuss spirituality and love, there's no problem at all, but when a religious, theistic faith is presented as something essential to be loving, caring, and so on, the insinuation that an atheist could not be as loving as a theist is certainly a very antagonizing sentiment that I can't even fathom.
She of course, continu
Ksenia Anske
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book will help you learn how to love. Because we hardly know, hardly any of us, how to really love. Love in our culture is viewed as a romantic infatuation connected to sex. And that's not love at all. The truth is, we don't know anymore what it is. We've lost it. If we ever had it. This book is an attempt to find it again.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘All About Love’ is a warm but challenging take on the politics of love and how people are socialized to see it and allow it to guide their lives, for better or worse. bell hooks is striking and wonderful, as always.
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a GEM!!!
If I were to highlight pages or write notes, I’d be highlighting and rewriting the entire book.
There were so many a-ha moments for me. I picked this book up at a time where I needed it most.

I look forward to rereading and reflecting.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism, non-fiction
This book was not for me.

I admit to not being a big fan of self-help books. I'm sure that they can be a great help to people, but I've given them a few tries and ended up annoyed each time. Sadly, 'All About Love' is no exception. The preface and first two chapters were promising. I especially liked the bits about abuse and love being unable to co-exist, as well as hooks' thoughts on how toxic masculinity influences relationships. The repeated claim that love is an action, not just a feeling, re
I feel bad giving this book two stars because I can still appreciate and respect the insight in this book, but I ultimately found there was more that I disagreed with than agreed with. Conclusions are made about the importance of love that are often true, but the arguments are biased by the author's experiences. I agree there is a real need to continue discussing love openly and I hope that this novel imspires others to reflect. Perhaps in the future a book on the nature of love will exist that ...more
This is the first book I've read by bell hooks, and I was so excited to read it. Unfortunately, it fell a bit short of my expectations. There were definitely some parts where I was able to follow her, mainly in the beginning. But closer to the middle and end it sounded like too much of a self-help book (even though she criticized that entire genre for adhering to traditional gender norms) and became a bit too "fluffy". I think she made a LOT of general observations--especially regarding how men ...more
Megan O'Hara
Some thoughts
1. Very mixed bag but has some gems.
2. Crazy how this is required reading for all men on Earth.
3. It is truly wild how much she talks about Monica Lewinsky in this without saying her name.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maayan K
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a methodical, radical, and unflinching treatment of love - a topic we mostly regard as mysterious and ineffable. Hooks breaks things down rather deliberately. Her insistence on finding a good definition of love in the beginning of the book is the clarifying stroke of genius that makes all the aspects she later explores make sense. She rightly points out that many writers' refusal to come up with a definition for love makes so much of the discourse around it contradictory and confusing.

Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I loved most of it, with the exception of her claim that one can't truly love others if one doesn't love themselves. Other than that, it made me work on being more honest.
Mehwish Mughal
The book started with a promise but left me unsatisfied towards the end. I am not a fan of self-help books and this book can be classified somewhere between social criticism and self-help. Nevertheless, despite its over-positive tone I found these great tips on the art of loving and living.

• “Do not confuse cathecting with loving”
• Love and abuse cannot coexist
• Genuine love (a combination of care, commitment, trust, knowledge, responsibility and respect)
• Care is a dimension of love, but simpl
Megan Bell
I was really looking forward to reading bell hooks, but this particular book was very disappointing. I honestly didn't see much in its pages that could count as "new." Ultimately, it felt very lazy, disorganized, and fairly conventional. It takes plenty of time to lament "nowadays," apparently the first time period ever characterized by greed and self-interest, and thus she seems to hold up prior American eras as golden. Hooks also gives great weight to the Christian tradition and lots of space ...more
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Our Shared Shelf: [FR] Meet up in Paris (April) 32 1049 Apr 10, 2016 09:41PM  
Our Shared Shelf: Finished the Book 4 143 Apr 07, 2016 08:14AM  
Our Shared Shelf ...: April 3, 2016 10 29 Apr 04, 2016 06:51PM  
Our Shared Shelf: A Love To-Do List 5 288 Mar 30, 2016 02:52PM  
Our Shared Shelf: [IT] Tutto sull'amore - Nuove Visioni 5 119 Mar 13, 2016 11:53AM  

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bell hooks (born Gloria Jean Watkins) is an African-American author, feminist, and social activist. Her writing has focused on the interconnectivity of race, class, and gender and their ability to produce and perpetuate systems of oppression and domination. She has published over thirty books and numerous scholarly and mainstream articles, appeared in several documentary films and participated in ...more

Other books in the series

Love Trilogy (3 books)
  • Salvation: Black People and Love
  • Communion: The Female Search for Love
“When we face pain in relationships our first response is often to sever bonds rather than to maintain commitment.
“All too often women believe it is a sign of commitment, an expression of love, to endure unkindness or cruelty, to forgive and forget. In actuality, when we love rightly we know that the healthy, loving response to cruelty and abuse is putting ourselves out of harm's way.” 326 likes
More quotes…