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Art of Loving: An Enquiry into the Nature of Love (World Perspectives Series) [Hardcover]

Erich Fromm
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct 1956 World Perspectives Series
Many people are unable to love--and thus live--fully. Renowned psychoanalyst Erich Fromm has helped generations of men and women achieve rich and productive lives by developing their capacity to love. This Centennial Edition of his most enduring work, The Art of Loving, salutes the valuable lessons that are Fromm's legacy.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Harpercollins (Oct 1956)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060113758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060113759
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13.5 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,511,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"Erich Fromm is both a psychologist of penetration and a writer of ability. His book is one of dignity and candor, of practicality and precision."--"Chicago Tribune"Every line is packed with common sense, compassion, and realism."--"Fortune --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Erich Fromm is one of the major figures in the field of psychoanalysis. He devoted himself to consultant psychology and theoretical investigation for many years.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will change your attitudes. 22 Aug 1999
By A Customer
In a world of fuzzy love epitomised by trashy love songs whichbrainwash young people into thinking such things as 'I can't live without 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.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I had read this 30 years ago! 17 Nov 2003
By A Customer
Although a short book ... 104 pages .... it has taken me a fortnight to read .... there is not a superfluous sentence in this seminal work on the nature of the "glue" which binds humans to each other ... Fromm raises questions without providing the answers ... knowing that in order to understand .. we have to find the answers within ourselves. Whilst being deeply disturbing it nevertheless enabled me to understand clearly, for the first time in my life, where I have gone wrong in the past, and, at 57 years old, has given me hope that I might just "get it right" before I am too old to enjoy life as it ought to be!
Along with another seminal work ... Conditions of Love by John Armstrong ... it ought to be compulsory reading for every young adult.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A recommended read 18 Nov 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I nicely written book with engaging style and a good pace in its narration.

Fromm uses object relations theory and social psychology to investigate the nature of love and loving, with insights into varieties of love and loving, such as parental love, love of god, love of fellows, romantic love, self love or self regard.

I found it very interesting how he portrayed the varieties of love, society does tend to elevate some sorts above others and it can foster expectations of love that are unrealistic or downright unhealthy.

With luck, if clarity of this kind where more popular then there would be less murder-suicides by jilted lovers, obsessive behaviour and stalking or even parents failing to treat their children as paramount.

There have been criticisms of Fromm that he is too rationalist or pours cold water upon the idea of soul seering or earth shattering love affairs, classing such ideas as neurotic, I really think that that is a very superficial and unworthy reading of this book.

A great companion to Conditions of Love: The Philosophy of Intimacy, a more philosophical musing on love or Falling in Love another good psychological investigation of the topic.

Edit December 2008:
NB buy the PS edition, the PS section is almost as good as Erich Fromm: His Life and Work - A Pictorial Biography, it incorporates so much about the author, his ideas and how they developed, that for a fan (and the power of this book is such that it could make you an instant fan of Fromm) it could rival the main presentation. Its also a great place to decide what to read next.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You need no other book on loving 29 Oct 1998
By A Customer
In an age of quick fix self-help formulas on how to love, _The Art of Loving_ stands out as a masterpiece of understanding and insight on the most important topic in human existence. Seeing love as a choice and not a feeling is an essential, but almost universally missed, step in the maturation of an individual and Fromm's analysis on this topic and other aspects of loving is both succinct and profound. This short book is one of the few works that can change your life permanently for the better - the catch being, do you really want to *work* for it?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE as an ART, not a given: 23 April 1997
By A Customer
Fromm begins by making the vital distinction between love as an art, requiring KNOWLEDGE and EFFORT, and love as a passive, pleasant sensation. Finding his way, philosophically, through the theory and practice of the art of loving, Fromm works at the root level, providing non-prescriptive insight into how an individual can, with time, mature into a masterpiece of human being.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking 21 Sep 2011
I picked this book up quite by chance. Am I glad I did! Erich Fromm analyses love in all its forms. His observations on how people's capacity to love can become dysfunctional are so interesting. His analysis of Capitalism and how it actually goes against the principles of love as man becomes so wrapped up in ego and the trap of materialism is illuminating and obvious as it becomes pointed out. He goes into religious love from the aspects of the love of mother to the love of father. Mother's love is unconditional, father's love is conditional. Again, any deviation from this norm can result in all kinds of psychoses to varying degrees. These may range from how a man relates and views women to the very essence of being able to love. It all comes down in many ways to the Eastern philosophy on life being a far better one. To live each moment fully and with focus, to let go of ego, to begin to notice and question, to appreciate nature, and ultimately to be able to give unconditionally. Only then are we really ready to receive. A wonderful book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Describes the various concepts of love.
This book I must say gets you thinking. Describes the various concepts of love.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Art of Loving
I read this book before I married my husband 50 years ago. We are stilli married and will celebrate our Gold Wedding in August. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Reidun Stenvik
5.0 out of 5 stars Of all the arts, the most essential one...
It simply warms the heart to not only see this book still in print, and selling fairly well, but to also see the number of reviews at Amazon. Read more
Published 8 months ago by John P. Jones III
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a good eye-opener, still up to date and gives a ...
This book is a good eye-opener, still up to date and gives a different perspective to understand relationships (everykind of). Do not be fooled by the size it is very meaningful.
Published 9 months ago by timisussex
5.0 out of 5 stars A marvel
This book should be given to children at pre-adolescent age. It will remove all preconceptions of love that we have inn the west and allow for harmonious relationships to be... Read more
Published 11 months ago by I. MAKULOLUWE
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential read for the modern day
Although this book is nearly 60 years old the wisdom it contains is a timeless reminder of what really matters in life and how it can be attained. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Maurellius
2.0 out of 5 stars couldn't get into it - sorry!
Loved the premise but....... still on the kindle for another rainy day. Though would probably have to be on holiday and fairly bored to flick back to it.
Published 13 months ago by Ms. Margaret Merry
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
Perhaps one of the most insightful studies of love ever written. Although it was written many years ago, it is still as fresh and pertinent as ever.
Published 14 months ago by Peter j
4.0 out of 5 stars food for thought
This is not the a book for those looking for a night read to pass the time or for a FIT your of manual. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Gra & Co
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking. Not dated
The summary as written on line prepared one for this book. No great surprises. Enjoyable to read if this is your taste in literature
Published 23 months ago by pat neale
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