The Art of Loving Book Summary - The Art of Loving Book explained in key points
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The Art of Loving summary

Erich Fromm

The classic guide to love

3.8 (200 ratings)
12 mins

Brief summary

"The Art of Loving" by Erich Fromm explores the meaning and practice of love, arguing that it is not a feeling but an art that requires knowledge and effort to truly thrive. Fromm discusses the dynamic between individuals, society, and love, inviting readers to consider what it means to truly love and be loved.

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    The Art of Loving
    Summary of 5 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 5

    Love is an art – but few people see it this way.

    What is love? An overwhelming sensation that we hope to experience? A chance encounter? All we need in life? While it can be all of these things, there’s more to love than passion and fate. Much like any other form of art, love must be learned.

    And yet, most of us think there’s little to be learned about love. Why? Well, we assume that love gets complicated when it comes to receiving it. When relationships fail, we often blame ourselves: we simply weren’t lovable enough.

    On top of this, we live in a culture of consumption, a culture that’s made love into just another commodity to be traded on the market. So we approach it with a market mindset. When two people fall in love, they feel that they’ve found the best object available on the market in light of their own exchange value.

    Finally, we’re continually confusing the different states of love. Are we falling in love, or are we being in love? That sudden and stunning period of intimacy we feel after falling in love is often the result of sexual attraction. Yet, when it disappears, we often feel that love itself has disappeared, too!

    These false conceptions of love must be overcome.

    We can start doing this by changing our perspective on love – to learn it as we would learn to paint or play the piano. And just like painting or piano playing, it all starts with theory.

    So, in the following blinks, let’s explore what the theory of love entails and how we can put that theory into action.

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    What is The Art of Loving about?

    The Art of Loving (1956) argues that love, like any other creative art, is something humans must practice in order to master. German-born psychologist and philosopher Erich Fromm describes various forms of love and highlights threats posed to them by capitalist society.

    The Art of Loving Review

    The Art of Loving (1956) by Erich Fromm is a thought-provoking exploration of love and its complexities. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its profound insights into the nature of love, relationships, and human connection, it offers a new perspective on this universal topic.
    • Fromm's emphasis on the importance of self-love and the role it plays in forming healthy, fulfilling relationships is both enlightening and empowering.
    • By tackling societal issues such as the commodification of love, Fromm challenges conventional notions and invites readers to reflect on their own experiences and beliefs.

    Best quote from The Art of Loving

    Is love an art? Then it requires knowledge and effort.

    —Erich Fromm
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    Who should read The Art of Loving?

    • Lovers
    • People who want to know what giving and receiving love entails
    • Anyone who likes classic books

    About the Author

    Erich Fromm (1900-1980) was a world-renowned psychologist, sociologist and philosopher. Fromm represented the idea of a humanistic, democratic socialism. Born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, he was the child of orthodox Jewish parents. In 1934, after the Nazis took over power in Germany, he moved to New York, later becoming a US citizen and professor at several universities including  Columbia and Yale.

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    The Art of Loving FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Art of Loving?

    The main message of The Art of Loving is that love is a skill that can be learned and developed through self-awareness, understanding, and practice.

    How long does it take to read The Art of Loving?

    The reading time for The Art of Loving varies depending on the reader's pace. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Art of Loving a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Art of Loving is a thought-provoking book that offers valuable insights into the nature of love and relationships. It is definitely worth reading.

    Who is the author of The Art of Loving?

    The author of The Art of Loving is Erich Fromm.

    What to read after The Art of Loving?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Art of Loving, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • To Have Or To Be? by Erich Fromm
    • Why We Love by Helen Fisher
    • A General Theory of Love by Thomas Lewis
    • All About Love by bell hooks
    • Getting The Love You Want by Harville Hendrix
    • The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch
    • Keep Showing Up by Karen Ehman
    • The Little Book of Stoicism by Jonas Salzgeber
    • Escape from Freedom by Erich Fromm
    • The Stranger by Albert Camus