All About Love
New Visions (Love Song to the Nation #1)
A New York Times bestseller and enduring classic, All About Love is the acclaimed first volume in feminist icon bell hooks' "Love Song to the Nation" trilogy. All About Love reveals what causes a polarized society, and how to heal the divisions that cause suffering. Here is the truth about love, and inspiration to help us instill caring, compassion, and strength in our homes, schools, and workplaces.
“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, renowned scholar, cultural critic and feminist bell hooks offers a proactive new ethic for a society bereft with lovelessness--not the lack of romance, but the lack of care, compassion, and unity. People are divided, she declares, by society’s failure to provide a model for learning to love.
As bell hooks uses her incisive mind to explore the question “What is love?” her answers strike at both the mind and heart. 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, timely affirmation of just how profoundly her revelations can change hearts and minds for the better.
William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780060959470, 272pp.
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
About the Author
bell hooks was an influential cultural critic, feminist theorist, and writer. Celebrated as one of America’s leading public intellectuals, she was a charismatic speaker and writer who taught and lectured around the world. Previously a professor in the English departments at Yale University and Oberlin College, hooks was the author of more than 17 books, including the New York Times bestseller All About Love: New Visions; Salvation: Black People and Love; Communion: the Female Search for Love, as well as the landmark memoir Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood.
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
1. In the preface, hooks writes, “love returns us to the promise of everlasting life. When we love wecan let our hearts speak” (p. xi). What does this mean?
2. hooks describes the inspiration and solace she finds in graffiti art declaring, “The search for love continues even in the face of great odds” (p. xv). Where have you found similar signs that have restored your faith in love?
3. Historically, how have the demands of love for women been different from those for men? How have they differed for adults and children? What does hooks suggest about these distinctions?
4. Discuss the way in which hooks uses her personal experience throughout this book. How does her personal experience enhance her assertions? Which vignette do you find particularly meaningful?
5. hooks describes the allure of lying in relation to the allure of power. What are the lies you tell to feel powerful? How do our concepts of power — born from the patriarchal culture we inhabit — keep us from love? What role does greed play and where does it come from?
6. hooks probes the gap between the values many people “claim to hold and their willingness to do the work of connecting thought and action, theory and practice” (p. 90). How does our culture reward those who nurture this gap? What changes would we haveto make in society to nurture and inspire the closing of this gap?
7. If we must sacrifice “our old selves in order to be changed by love” (p. 188), what is it that we’re giving up?
8. Although she warns against attempting to return to the past rather than forging ahead, hooks advocates repairing and restoring family bonds. Why is this an important goal? How do these bonds enable us to live with love in all areas of our lives?
9. What are the political ramifications of hooks’s visions of love? Is love a political issue?
10. Look over the chapter titles in All About Love. If you were to add a chapter, what would it be?
11. Why do we fear love? Are we more afraid of surrendering ourselves to love or of living without love? What sacrifices does love require? What relief and salve can love offer? Is it possible to be too damaged, too wounded to love?
12. How has All About Love enhanced, contradicted, challenged, altered your vision of love?