Book Review: all about love by bell hooks
“The word ‘love’ is most often defined as a noun, yet … we would all love better if we used it as a verb,” writes cultural critic and feminist bell hooks in her important 2000 treatise, All About Love, a book that examines society’s understanding of the definition and actions of love in 13 provocative chapters.
As an American scholar, hooks (born Gloria Jean Watkins) draws on a wealth of material to describe and decode modern depictions of love in art, history, and mass media. Her direct and personal words ignite the mind and spirit, seeking to offer a new redemptive path even while facing hard truths about greed and alienation in popular culture.
“There is no better place to learn the art of loving than in community,” hooks writes. “Within a loving community we sustain ties by being compassionate and forgiving.”
In her search for connection, hooks decries society’s critical failure to provide a functional model of love, and plants an ambitious seed of hope with her vision for healing ourselves and our communities. Her ideas as a social activist are more important than ever, calling on readers to mend divisions and prompting a deeper analysis of how we express mutuality, grace, and justice.
This acclaimed first volume in hooks' Love Trilogy was followed by Salvation: Black People and Love (2001) and Communion: The Female Search for Love (2002), each carrying messages that crackle and resonate deeply almost two decades later.
Primarily addressing topics in race, class, and gender through a postmodern female perspective, bell hooks has published more than 30 refreshing books. Enlightening and brutally honest, All About Love is one of her most visionary, charting a path to how we can instill more well-being in our homes, institutions, and everyday lives. Enter with an open mind.
by Mitzi Gordon, 2020