Salvation
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Bell Hooks is a cultural critic, feminist theorist, and writer. Celebrated as one of our nation's leading public intellectual by The Atlantic Monthly, as well as one of Utne Reader's "100 Visionaries Who Could Change Your Life," she is a charismatic speaker who divides her time among teaching, writing, and lecturing around the world. Previously a professor in the English departments at Yale University and Oberlin College, hooks is the author of more than 17 books, including All About Love: New Visions; RememberedRapture: The Writer at Work; Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life; Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood; Killing Rage: Ending Racism; Art on My Mind: Visual Politics; and Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life. She lives in New York City.

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"The transformative power of love is the foundation of all meaningful social change," contends hooks in this impassioned plea to embattled African-American communities to embrace love as a force for change. Returning to the subject of last year's All About Love, this leading feminist scholar focuses this time on a love ethic that, she maintains, has the potential to undo the long-term effects of neglect, poverty and despair. As in other recent books on black relationships (such as George Edmond Smith and Gwendolyn Goldsby Grant's More Than Sex), hooks refutes the myth stemming from the time of slavery that black people haven't attempted to normalize their lives, citing documentation of familial love and strong community ties. Much of the conflict in relationships between black men and women can be linked, she suggests, to the sense of loss and abandonment arising from increasingly fractured black families; as a result, many members of the hip-hop generation mistrust love. Although hooks covers overworked turf in her chapters on self-love, her flair for crisp writing surfaces again in her celebration of black women's propensity for cultivating love in their communities and in her stinging arguments against the scapegoating of black single mothers. In the later chapters, hooks reaches beyond the theoretical to address various walks of black life. Her fans will delight in her array of cultural references, from Zora Neale Hurston, Cornel West and Erich Fromm to Eldridge Cleaver, Olga Silverstein and Lil' Kim. Despite recent criticism that hooks may have lost some of her bite, this book provides ample evidence to the contrary. (Feb. 1 Forecast: Though it won't defend hooks from the charge that she is rewriting the same book, this effort is more focused and potent that her last. Supported by an 11-city tour that will include events that play to her following among college students, this title should keep hooks's fans satisfied. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Feminist scholar hooks (All About Love), who believes that there is a crisis of "lovelessness" in the black community, continues her exploration of love with a different slant: she addresses its meaning in black experience today and offers a plan of action for "black survivial and self-determination." At the heart of the matter are poor neighborhoods that were once lively but are now deserted, a lack of spirituality, an emphasis on gaining material things, and the resulting collapse of community. Hooks also covers the issues of self-love, single mothers, black masculinity, heterosexual love, and homosexual love. She appeals to Martin Luther King, Cornel West, writer June Jordan, and others for words of wisdom in this well-written and informative work. Ultimately, she urges African Americans to return to love, the clear path to healing our wounded environment. A welcome addition to most academic and some public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/00.]DAnn Burns, "Library Journal" Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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