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A Vindication of Love

Reclaiming Romance for the Twenty-first Century

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


A thinking-person's guide to romantic love, a bold and challenging book that makes the case for love in an age both cynical about and fearful of strong passion

At the dawn of the twenty-first century, political correctness, cynicism, pragmatism, and the commodification of sex have reduced romantic love to a discredited myth or a recreational sport—"a cause for embarrassment," argues Cristina Nehring. In her brilliantly researched first book, Nehring wrests romantic love from the clutches of retrograde feminists and cutting-edge capitalists, thrill-seeking convenience shoppers and safe-sex moralists. With help from celebrated lovers ranging from Hélöise and Abelard to Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and from literature as diverse as Ovid's Art of Love and the poems of Emily Dickinson, Nehring celebrates the wild, irreverent, and uncompromising models of love we have inherited. As she rediscovers romantic love's fearless and heroic provenance, she challenges readers to demand partnerships that fully engage body, heart, and mind.

In an age when "settling" is encouraged and marriage is often described in business terms, Nehring's passionate defense of romantic love is timely and thoroughly refreshing. By reclaiming the right to love, to yearn, and—yes—to risk, A Vindication of Love aims to establish a new romantic paradigm for a new century.

Publishers Weekly Review

May 04, 2009 – Nehring's opening assertion that she “argues by provocation” and aims “to anger” reveals the rhetorical nature of her argument that our tepid age needs a return to true Eros. Just what she advocates is unclear, since her examples range from the chaste passion of Emily Dickinson through the frenzied sexuality of Edna St. Vincent Millay to the open relationship of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. Nehring does regret the collateral damage of this last pairing (“a couple of cases of insanity” and one suicide among their other lovers) and acknowledges that most of her case studies demonstrate excesses not to be emulated. That reduces her call for boldness in love to familiar clichés: absence makes the heart grow fonder; play hard to get; and defy social conventions in love (what is more of a postmodern cliché than advocating “transgression”?). Nehring, who has written for Harper's and the Atlantic among others, is a keen, empathic reader of literary texts, drawing attention to undervalued love writings like the letters of Horace Walpole and Madame du Deffand, and offering an astute reading of Dickinson's much-debated “Master letters.” But overall, she is more preachy and patronizing than provocative.
A Vindication of Love
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  • $10.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Family & Relationships
  • Published: Jun 16, 2009
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 352 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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