Item description for Love That Works: The Art And Science Of Giving by Bruce Brander...
Overview "Love That Works" draws on history, psychology, and the theology and science of love to offer a proposal on how to be successful in love and romance.
This original, highly readable book poses a clear distinction between our customary form of love, which almost guarantees failure, and higher, more generous ways of loving that can succeed and enrich both individuals and society as a whole. "Love That Works" draws on history, psychology, and the theology and science of love to offer a proposal on how to be successful in love and romance. It starts by showing why love fails to meet expectations, often ending sadly or even tragically.
Citations And Professional Reviews Love That Works: The Art And Science Of Giving by Bruce Brander has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christianity Today - 11/01/2004 page 87
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Studio: Templeton Foundation Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.66" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.53" Weight: 0.53 lbs.
Release Date Oct 30, 2004
Publisher Templeton Foundation Press
ISBN 1932031774 ISBN13 9781932031775
Availability 0 units.
More About Bruce Brander
Bruce Brander is an international journalist and author of several books on travel and social philosophy. He has been a staff writer and photographer of newspapers in New Zealand and the United States, was a writer and editor for "National Geographic," and for twelve years served as a traveling journalist and editor for World Vision, a global relief and development agency. Bruce Brander lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Reviews - What do customers think about Love That Works: The Art And Science Of Giving?
Its about time - a long overdue treatise Sep 9, 2008
In my private practice as a board certified, Licensed Professional Counselor, I have become acutely aware of how confused most of my patients are about this thing called love. They will sit in my office and emphatically state how much they love their mate, the same mate they want to dump. Years ago, I had some education on how to identify love from my mentor but, after his death, I found myself wanting a second resource I could trust and share with those patients who asked for it. So much of what I found in the market place was shallow to the point of being misleading, thus adding more confusion to the issue.
That all changed when I found this book. Based on the amazing thinking skills of the ancient Greeks, who were able to record their insights using one of the world's most precise languages, the author has brought to life the teaching of my mentor who, most certainly, had access to this same wisdom.
He begins by supporting one of my own observations, that people today are being mentored by the media who, if we go by the tabloids at our grocery check out counters, are in deep trouble themselves. Many of my patients say that they know they are in love when there is "chemistry." There observation is valid, but not their conclusion. The author points out that there are three different uses of the term Love in Greek studies, but only one term is used in English, that being the word Love. We have other words which come kind of close to what the Greeks discovered, but we do not use them. The result is that we tend to rely on the "chemistry" to tell us whether we have "fallen in love" or not, but unfortunately the chemistry fades within 1 to 3 years. Then what? We spend the rest of our life trying to recapture that feeling of "chemistry," going to seminars, spending money on books, tapes, DVD lectures, etc., all to no avail. Solution? Break up and connect with someone new who generates the chemistry.
The author reveals two other concepts for love. Both of them go far beyond the "chemistry" feeling to provide a lifetime of rewarding purpose in a relationship, a mature relationship that is able to survive all the stages of aging through which adults must pass. Both of these concepts have proven themselves over thousands of years of human testing. His chosen title includes the concept of "giving," another term with which I find my patients to be confused. If couples followed his guidance, learned how to give and to love, and put these into practice, I and my fellow therapists would have to get honest jobs - we would be out of work.
His writing style impressed me. He builds on a well laid foundation of facts and observations, and does so in a way that did not seem labored to me. He kept it moving and just entertaining enough to keep the reader involved. I highly recommend this book and will be placing it on my website as an recommended read.
Solving the Riddles of Love Oct 18, 2007
This book offers the kind of information I wish I'd known when I was 20 years old. It answers all the perennial questions about love to anyone's satisfaction: Exactly what is love? How do I know if I'm in love? Is this love or infatuation? And most of all, how can I love in a way that will benefit myself and everyone around me? Without being preachy or self-helpish, Love That Works approaches its complex topic from a background of broad knowledge and profound ethics. We find the history of love (yes, love has a past), the impotence of modern science to analyze love, and a clear picture of the dreadful trouble love is in today because it has lost its decency. So what to do? After we fall in love (and FALL we probably shall), we then can rise to higher, more generous forms of love. Other forms of love? And what are these? I always thought romance was the only game in town. But it's not. It's really the lowest, least mature form of love, selfish and ill-fated from the start. Romance is only beginner's love. It's positively infantile, crooning, "I want, I need, and therefore I love," It's so much Baby Love. Why do you imagine modern romancers call each other, "Baby?" The higher loves are largely forgotten in our time of "gimme-gimme what I cry for." They have been well known in other times and places, and they need to be relearned by anyone who wants love that works. The level above hungering romance is a sweet and devoted camaraderie, where people look out for each other's interests, happiness and welfare as much as for their own. People whose marriages succeed rise to this level of mutual concern. Of course, the highest level of love is no-strings-attached giving, the lofty unconditional love we see exemplified in Jesus and Gandhi and good mothers and can rise to ourselves if we try. As we aim for these higher forms of love, we find ourselves growing and maturing in our emotional-spiritual well-being. We become healthy, happy, warm and giving people and are successful not only in love but in life itself. What a message! What a revelation! I thank the author for his 30 years of research and treasure this well-written, informative and valuable book. Love, Doris Blanchard
Excellent historical exploration, but little advice on enacting change Oct 16, 2006
This short book is an engaging exploration of both historical and modern factors that have shaped the way we view the concept of love. What is most enjoyable about this work is the skillful interweaving of history, sociology, philosophy and psychology. This integration creates a book that, despite its brevity, captures what seem to be the key issues about the negative consequences of our modern treatment of the nebulous concept of love.
While tightly written, the first half of the book is disheartening. Part I is entitled "Love in the Dark", and the darkness of the author's view of modern love most certainly does prevail. The author guides the reader through the key factors that contribute to the decline of committed relationships. By extension the author delineates how this demise can be interpreted as one of the central causes in the deterioration of child welfare and is the core factor that creates what the author literally terms a "Sick Society".
Those astute scientific sticklers among us who crave well balanced arguments highlighting the weaknesses of research findings will certainly want more detail than is summarized in this text. However, this exploration of modern love but it still holds solid value as a well-written and researched primer on the many facets of modern life that influence the concept and delivery of love. As a book intended for non- scientific audiences, this work is refreshingly different from many other works on loving that one might pick up from a local big-box bookstore.
The second half of the book, Love for Life, is focused on what we are called upon to develop if we desire a brighter future than the gloomy future alluded to in the first half. I found myself less impressed with the second section of the book, as it reiterates the age-old concepts of eros, philos and agape. Agape, of course, as presented as the ideal that we should all strive for, and if we are all successful, will enable us to heal our sick society. While updated with modern observations that support the division of tripartite love with agape at the apex, there doesn't seem to be much presented that is new. I am genuinely sorry to say that if you are well familiar with the concept of agape, the second half of this book has little to offer.
The most prominent message of this book is how fragile, underrated and misunderstood healthy loving has become in our modern world. But despite its title, there is comparatively little information that is provided to the reader about how to actively construct a "Love that works". This may be one of its strengths, for this saves it from being yet another empty book of self-help promises, but it also leaves the reader wanting more. I found this book disappointing because like far too many books in the popular press, there is a strong explanation of the problem, but a comparatively weak address to the possible solutions. Once modern love has been dethroned, and the idealized concept of love has been presented, very few pages are devoted to helping the reader comprehend how one can effect the transformation from unhealthy to healthy ways of loving. While the cover indicates that Brander presents a plan to lead us to a better way of loving, the only plan I could find is a slightly more eloquently worded version of the infamous Nike slogan: "Just mature into it".
Despite my criticisms, I enjoyed this book for a variety of reasons. It is an unusually well written book on relationships, which is a refreshing change. The integrative approach of the entire book successfully conveys the author's great knowledge on this subject. Sometimes we do need to be reminded of the wisdom of the ancients- and this book certainly does this in an engaging manner. However, in the end I was left wanting for more synthesis and for more concrete suggestions on how to grow emotionally toward healthier loving.
For therapists: this is a book that would be an excellent recommendation for a client struggling to understand their views on loving relationships, romantic altruism, and the personal and interpersonal consequences of selfish love. It is most certain to trigger a flood of grist for the therapy mill. And while I believe that this book would help enable potentially powerful self exploration, I would also expect clients to come away feeling unsure of where to start working toward this "love that works".