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The Art of Loving

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Book Overview

"Every line is packed with common sense, compassion, and realism." -- Fortune The renowned psychoanalyst and social philosopher Erich Fromm has helped millions of men and women achieve rich,... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Waste of time

No real advice. I would not read this book again. It was a waste of my time.

Essential Reading

Fromm does a great job of reviewing the various "types" of Love and providing the characteristics of each. His review clarifies what purpose each kind of love serves in our lives. The book is an exceptional treatise on this most elusive topic. It's a very rational breakdown of what it is to love, what it means to each of us to love, and how it serves us (and the world) to love. This isn't a Leo Buscalia book, but rather a very good compliment to one. This book is more an analysis of fundamental principles involved in love and loving. It's an in depth discussion, not a collection of stories. But it is very unique in a field of less thought provoking (but good feelings) books. If you are a thinker, and still want to be a feeling person, the book can help you. For the mind, this is clarity. The book will help you get your mind out of the way so you can begin feeling - because it will teach your mind what your heart is trying to say.

Read it, then give a copy to the people you care about

I have reread this book more than any other that I own, partly because it's short, but mostly because Fromm is such a lucid and perceptive writer. I simply cannot recommend this book highly enough. I don't agree with all of it -- his take on homosexuality, for instance, which may or may not be attributable to the day in which it was written -- and many readers may not care for the way he frames behavioral patterns in psychoanalytic terms. That said, you can read right past those stylistic elements, because his prose is positively oozing with compassion. I don't think it's overly dramatic to say that it would take me longer to convey how excellent this little book is than it would take you to read it.

The art of real love.

This book belongs on the life changers shelf in the bookstore. Because modern man is alienated from himself, from his fellow men, and from nature, we seek refuge from our aloneness in the concepts of love and marriage (pp. 79-81). However, psychologist and social philosopher, Erich Fromm (1900-1980), observes that real love "is not a sentiment which can be easily indulged in by anyone." It is only through developing one's total personality to the capacity of loving one's neighbor with "true humility, courage, faith and discipline" that one attains the capacity to experience real love. This should be considered a rare achievement (p. vii). The active character of true love, Fromm observes, involves the basic elements of care, responsibility, respect, and knowledge (p. 24).Readers will be disappointed if they approach this book as a how-to book. Rather, Fromm's 1956 classic is more of an exploration into the theories of brotherly love, motherly love, erotic love, self-love, and the love of God (pp. 7-76), and an insightful examination into love's disintegration in contemporary Western culture (pp. 77-98). We are starved for love, yet all our attempts to attain love in Western society are bound to fail. However, like art, Fromm observes that real love is possibile with discipline, concentration, patience, and a supreme concern for mastering love (pp. 99-123). For anyone interested in what it means to love, Fromm's book is a must read.G. Merritt

This book will change your attitudes.

In a world of fuzzy love epitomised by trashy love songs whichbrainwash young people into thinking such things as 'I can't livewithout you' and 'I love you more than life itself', this book offers an invaluable perspective on just what it is you might be feeling when you 'fall in love' with someone. Indeed, Fromm questions the whole concept of 'falling in love'. One will conclude that there is more 'falling' than there is 'love' in the whole process. He argues that we are better served by 'standing' in love. And how true. While practice makes perfect, and no book can compensate for that, Fromm's enlightenment is sure to raise an eyebrow of awareness among anyone who has ever loved or been loved. While we older, and perhaps wiser, folk may say 'yes, indeed' to Fromm's lucid and thought-provoking work, surely it's the teenage generation which needs this map of the one emotion which is perhaps most prominent in their minds. If you have ever experienced the pain of love, this book will change your attitudes towards the whole emotion, for ultimately you will conclude that where there is love,ie. the real honest variety, there is no pain and there can be no pain. Excellently written, like all Fromm's work, you will want to read it in one sitting.

influential and inspirational

This book expressed may feelings about true spirituality.Being 31,it was an eye opener to realize that in 1956,the year the book was published,our cuntry had essentialy the same socio-spiritual problems as 1999.Fromm writes about love being an action instead of a theory that requires discipline,concentration,and patience,traits that are challenging to pursue in our capitalistic culture.Furthermore,the book explains that our society is trapped by a need for instant gratification which creates long term suffering.Fromm believe's that love is the only valid remedy for our socitie's inner suffering and he expains how love is an art requiring effort and care.I very much agreed with Fromm,with his belief in mysticism transcending religions and putting love into actual practice.After reading this book,it confirmed my belief that whether we are Christian,jewish,MUslim or any "ism",there is one Creator and as the bible states"faith without works is dead".This book gave me hope that if we at least try to follow through on the principles of love,the world will be a better place because as the book expressed,we are all one human race in the Creator's eyes.I recomend this book to anyone wishing to gain knowledge into being a better person and understing our journey on Earth more.
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