Publisher Synopsis: “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 13 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 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.
Full disclosure, I didn’t love this book upon reading it the first time. It was a recent book for our book club and my main takeaways from it were that it’s amazingly wordy, in a use-1,000-words-when-100-will-do type of way. But when we discussed it in the book club meeting, and after listening to how everybody else received it, it opened up the way I viewed the book.
For starters, I thought the information was very useful. To reframe the way we view love—as a verb as opposed to a noun—would inform and revolutionize many of our interactions. The fact that hooks discusses love not just romantically, but amongst friends, family, children, etc. goes a long way to delve into what love really means and how we both receive and give love. That book club meeting brought up so many different approaches, both positive and negative, spurred from passages in the book that I told myself right then and there that I needed to go back and re-read, and I did.
Today, in America, is Valentine’s Day, a day we dedicate to love and the expressions of such. Well, this book (and the others in the trilogy) are geared towards helping the world get to a place where expressions of love aren’t couched in anything other than humanity and being the best us we can be for both our own edification and the betterment of the world.