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69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will change your attitudes.
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...
Published on 22 Aug 1999

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yes, but.
This book was written a long time ago and it shows. Whilst I thought the overall message was very good - that is, in order to love you need to develop your entire personality - the book only takes male sexuality into account. The pronoun is always he, except in one or two brief sections where Fromm talks about mothers. He is entirely dismissive of gay people, writing "the...
Published on 8 April 2011 by Brrnrrd


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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yes, but., 8 April 2011
This review is from: The Art of Loving (Classics of Personal Development) (Paperback)
This book was written a long time ago and it shows. Whilst I thought the overall message was very good - that is, in order to love you need to develop your entire personality - the book only takes male sexuality into account. The pronoun is always he, except in one or two brief sections where Fromm talks about mothers. He is entirely dismissive of gay people, writing "the homosexual deviation is a failure to attain this polarised union [male/female unity] and thus the homosexual suffers from the pain of never-resolved separateness, a failure, however, which he shares with the heterosexual who cannot love." As a queer person I thought this was an extremely limited view, and if Fromm was so willing to call the love between two consenting adults a 'deviation', then it makes his entire thesis on love suspect; this is especially so if we take into account the fact that the longest chapter in the book, by far, is the section on loving God.

There is a lot to be taken from this text, but it is too brief, too theoretical and too sterile. Fromm states that anyone who came to this book looking for easy guidance about learning to love will be disappointed, but I wonder why he didn't elaborate on the two quite difficult steps the book recommends: first, to meditate and second to learn self-discipline. If you have a philosophical / religious interest in the theme of love, then I recommend this as an antiquated example of what writers on love were thinking in the mid twentieth century. If you actually have a problem, I still recommend it despite its failure to take into account different sexualities, but maybe only after you've read some other texts which *do* offer a few practical tips on getting over your insecurities.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, 7 May 2010
This review is from: The Art of Loving (Classics of Personal Development) (Paperback)
I'll really go as far as saying that this book is a must read!
Like many people (or is it just us girls? :) ) I grew up thinking that once I met that perfect soulmate, everything else would just fall into place, naturally and even efortlessly. It's just recently that I gradually started accepting other ideas about love- that love is an ACTION that requires certain skill and not merely a "happy state" that you just "fall into". And that's when this book got to me, right on time.
Besides erotic love, this book also provides some thoughts on other forms of love: self-love, love of God, so it is useful in more ways than one. It's written in a logical and somewhat scientific, but not difficult-to-understand way, even considering that English is my 2nd language. I am always suspecious of books that just give you ideas in a poetic way, where an author just sort of excitingly says "I promise you, this works, just try it!" This book is not like that. I promise you :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "human condition" explained in an understandable way, 17 Dec 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Art of Loving (Paperback)
I first read this book in the late 60's or early 70's having no idea how much it would influence me over the years. I recommend it highly to those who wish to understand themselves and those with whom they love and live. This book has the power to truly change your life!
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Partly theoretical, but full of insight, 6 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Art of Loving (Classics of Personal Development) (Paperback)
"The Art of Loving" is an essay on all sides of love. The style is that of an analysis, studying love from a theoretical angle most of the time. This makes the text a bit dry and somewhat demanding, but it is full of insight. Among the kinds of love treated are motherly, brotherly, erotically and religious love as well as negative and positive self-love (narcissism vs. "loving your neighbour AS YOURSELF"). Love is seen as the basis for human life, individually and culturally. One could say that the book enlarges on why "love makes the world go around"!
One stylistic point continued to annoy me: The author seems unable to use the word "she". It is purely stylistic - the book is equally about male and female sides of love, and the author is no chauvenist. Probably this style has to do with the fact that the book dates back to 1956. But it is annoying and in some places confusing.
The bottom line: If you want a "how-to" book this is not it. If you want new insight in love and its implications this book should be on your list.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting look at love in all its forms, 30 July 2012
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Pete (Ipswich United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Art of Loving (Classics of Personal Development) (Paperback)
I was a little worried the content of this book would be beyond me (having no background or formal education in any of the core subjects such as philosophy, religion and psychoanalysis) but it turned out to be a riveting read. At times a little heavy and requiring a re-read of some paragraphs it nonetheless avoids any jargon and seems to do a good job of justifying all of the points made.

It is at heart more a book about what love can considered to be rather than a manual on how to love better. The latter being given only a short section at the back and concentrating on techniques not unlike meditation (mostly along the theme of living the life that is now, being open in spirit and being honest with yourself, who you should learn to love first).

The descriptions of various types of love and what can and does go wrong in childhood are fascinating. I am sure most of us see some of our own lives described. It also touches on sexual deviance as a result of lack of love or avoiding love, plus the impact of both modern society and religion on our capacity to love. I'd particularly credit the author on the chapter on religious love which covers so much ground in such a short space without becoming overly technical.

This definitely isn't a quick fix self help book on how to love better - but as a deep, meaningful and comprehensive journey into what love actually is, a superb read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Useful Insight to What Love is...., 7 July 2012
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Kenneth (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Art of Loving (Classics of Personal Development) (Paperback)
A truly inspiring and thought-provoking book I thoroughly enjoyed. Over the years, many have wondered what the thing called love is. This books presents the reader with a 'back to basics' approach. It captures the theory of love, and the reasons why we want to love/be loved in a profound way. The understanding of the building blocks of the subject of love should equip the reader to fully understand the correct way to love.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful and inspiring, 17 Sep 2011
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F. Garcia Elvira "Nando" (London. UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Art of Loving (Classics of Personal Development) (Paperback)
Although difficult to put in practice in the world we live in, I am up for the challenge, in order to change the world we should start by changing ourselves and this book is all about it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep, comforting and inspiring, 5 Sep 2010
This review is from: The Art of Loving (Classics of Personal Development) (Paperback)
This book has such a positive and active idea about the "verb" to love that I could not help but be inspired to believe in it's premises of loving as an exercisable art that one must master throughout life. The arguments are crafted carefully and thoughtfully; the structure is very rational, yet with some poetic sensitivity and literacy that makes this book hard not to smile at and even harder to put down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE quintesential book towards self-understanding., 4 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Art of Loving (Paperback)
So far (as of 8-4-99), EVERY customer review of this book has been 5 stars. That says everything about the quality of this item as it goes indepth to define love as a social and personal experience and responsibility, and not just a chemical reaction. There hasn't been a person I've given this book to yet who hasn't thanked me afterwards for the insights that it has provided. If you own one book on personal psychology, this is it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is NOT the Kama Sutra!, 19 Dec 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Art of Loving (Paperback)
I have read and re-read this book several times over the years since it was first published. In reading the reviews posted here and in consideration of the recent popularity of books such as "The Complete Kama Sutra", I felt it important to make obvious the difference between the two lines of thought. While both have valuable places in our society, "The Art Of Loving" is a book of our emotional and intellectual needs for and abilities to Love, rather than physical techniques. At this point in human evolution, "The Art of Loving" could easily be considered a basic text book for 'humanities 101'! I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in better understanding themselves or those around them!!
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The Art of Loving (Classics of Personal Development)
The Art of Loving (Classics of Personal Development) by Erich Fromm (Paperback - 9 April 2010)
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