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The Art of Loving (Perennial Classics) Paperback – Sep 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (Sep 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060958286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060958282
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.5 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,053,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"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 an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Erich Fromm was a renowned psycologist and social philosopher who emigrated in 1934 to the United States, where he held a private practice and taught at Columbia, Yale, and New York University.His other books include Escape from Freedom, Man for Himself, The Heart of Man, and The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness.


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 70 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Aug 1999
Format: Paperback
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 By A Customer on 17 Nov 2003
Format: Paperback
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 By Lark TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 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 By A Customer on 29 Oct 1998
Format: Paperback
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 By A Customer on 23 April 1997
Format: Paperback
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 By Pen pal VINE VOICE on 21 Sep 2011
Format: Paperback
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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