A Natural History Of Love

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( 1,396 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780679761839: A Natural History Of Love

The bestselling author of A Natural History of the Senses now explores the allure of adultery, the appeal of aphrodisiacs, and the cult of the kiss. Enchantingly written and stunningly informed, this "audaciously brilliant romp through the world of romantic love" (Washington Post Book World) is the next best thing to love itself.

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From AudioFile:

Ackerman provides a very listenable program. Her voice is expressive and her relaxed style is good for the material. The abridgment is well-constructed and offers the listener a good view that could either satisfy or compel a listener to delve into the complete version. R.F.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

From Kirkus Reviews:

Beginning with a somewhat interesting history of ancient mythological love, Ackerman's (The Moon by Whalelight, 1991) book quickly degenerates into a regurgitation of stereotypes about differences between men and women. Love is, admittedly, a difficult concept to define, and Ackerman makes a reasonable effort by characterizing it as ``the white light of emotion.'' Beginning with an enlightening exploration of ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman mythologies, she moves on to a discussion of modern love, arguing that it evolved with books and literacy. In discussing Greek romances between youths and older men, Ackerman indicates that homosexual love has a natural place in the history of love. But she later contradicts herself by speaking of the ``biological ballet'' of romantic love as evolution's way of ensuring that sexual partners meet and mate and procreate. Similarly, while she notes in her introduction that her discussion is restricted to love in the West, what follows appears to be an attempt at a generic description of love. Her not original ``perpetuation of the genes'' theory has little explanatory power for any differences in the ways men and women love today. At one point, she actually claims that male biology protests against demands for ``new-age sensitive guys'' because women are ``trying to adapt them to a society for which they weren't designed.'' And it gets worse. Discussing the art of kissing, Ackerman cites anonymous anthropologists who tell us that ``the lips remind us of the labia because they flush red and swell when aroused, which is the conscious or subconscious reason women have always made them look even redder with lipstick.'' Such functionalist arguments cannot be sustained without reputable citations. She should have called this a history of images of love within a few societies, rather than a ``natural'' history. Ackerman's essentialist notions of love will insult individuals who critically question traditional (and ``natural'') ways of anything, especially loving. -- Copyright 1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Vintage Books ed. 198 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Following the triumphant success of her book A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman has turned her formidable gifts to that greatest gift of all -- the elusive, eternal, and endlessly interesting matter of love. The result is pure Ackerman: a splendid, serious, scientific, poetic, playful, and lyrical tour d horizon of love s many forms and faces. Ackerman draws on a variety of sources, both classical and from her immediate experience. She gives a fresh new reading to Freud ( mapping the war zones of the heart ), Stendhal (love as fantasy), and Proust ( the erotics of waiting ), and draws lessons from lovers across time. Her attention then moves to the physical -- the chemistry, biology, and neurophysiology associated with love in the brain, mind, and body. She discusses the evolution of the face, the cuddle, both as caress and as chemical, and the customs of marriage. There are astonishments everywhere. Her distinctive touch, aided by her personal adventures and explorations, enriches our understanding of women and horses, men and mermaids, sex and flying, and other equally enticing subjects. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780679761839

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Vintage Books ed. 198 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Following the triumphant success of her book A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman has turned her formidable gifts to that greatest gift of all -- the elusive, eternal, and endlessly interesting matter of love. The result is pure Ackerman: a splendid, serious, scientific, poetic, playful, and lyrical tour d horizon of love s many forms and faces. Ackerman draws on a variety of sources, both classical and from her immediate experience. She gives a fresh new reading to Freud ( mapping the war zones of the heart ), Stendhal (love as fantasy), and Proust ( the erotics of waiting ), and draws lessons from lovers across time. Her attention then moves to the physical -- the chemistry, biology, and neurophysiology associated with love in the brain, mind, and body. She discusses the evolution of the face, the cuddle, both as caress and as chemical, and the customs of marriage. There are astonishments everywhere. Her distinctive touch, aided by her personal adventures and explorations, enriches our understanding of women and horses, men and mermaids, sex and flying, and other equally enticing subjects. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780679761839

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Vintage Books ed. 198 x 130 mm. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Following the triumphant success of her book A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman has turned her formidable gifts to that greatest gift of all -- the elusive, eternal, and endlessly interesting matter of love. The result is pure Ackerman: a splendid, serious, scientific, poetic, playful, and lyrical tour d horizon of love s many forms and faces. Ackerman draws on a variety of sources, both classical and from her immediate experience. She gives a fresh new reading to Freud ( mapping the war zones of the heart ), Stendhal (love as fantasy), and Proust ( the erotics of waiting ), and draws lessons from lovers across time. Her attention then moves to the physical -- the chemistry, biology, and neurophysiology associated with love in the brain, mind, and body. She discusses the evolution of the face, the cuddle, both as caress and as chemical, and the customs of marriage. There are astonishments everywhere. Her distinctive touch, aided by her personal adventures and explorations, enriches our understanding of women and horses, men and mermaids, sex and flying, and other equally enticing subjects. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780679761839

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