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Publisher's Summary

This original and lucid account of the complexities of love and its essential role in human well-being draws on the latest scientific research. Three eminent psychiatrists tackle the difficult task of reconciling what artists and thinkers have known for thousands of years about the human heart with what has only recently been learned about the primitive functions of the human brain.

A General Theory of Love demonstrates that our nervous systems are not self-contained: from earliest childhood, our brains actually link with those of the people close to us, in a silent rhythm that alters the very structure of our brains, establishes life-long emotional patterns, and makes us, in large part, who we are. Explaining how relationships function, how parents shape their child's developing self, how psychotherapy really works, and how our society dangerously flouts essential emotional laws, this is a work of rare passion and eloquence that will forever change the way you think about human intimacy.

©2000 T. Lewis, F. Amini, and R. Lannon (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Three psychiatry professors cover an impressive vista of research and clinical insights from Freud to contemporary neuroscience...the book is well written and provides a credible introduction to the neuroscience of emotions." ( Library Journal)

What listeners say about A General Theory of Love

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great subject matter-hard to listen to

This is a book that probably needs to be read vs listened to. The vocab is pretty advanced of you’re casually listening in the car or doing other things. It required a lot of focus and going back several times to catch things.
In addition, the narrator’s vocal style and pattern I found incredibly grating, so I didn’t *want* to listen on a certain level, which is unfortunate because the subject matter is fascinating. I just think this is the kind of book that’s better to read.

3 people found this helpful

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Way too wordy

I was told this is a must read. It’s a must read for a college going psychology student or scientist working on human emotions and physiology.

1 person found this helpful

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one of only a few books i would prefer in print.

narrator's accent: boo. Many new words i would've preferred to read to learn spellings of.

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Narration is so very terrible

I cannot tell you whether this book is bad or good because I cannot listen to it. I’ve tried several times, but the narration is just really, terribly difficult to listen to. It’s the cadence. I wish I could return this audiobook.

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A Horribly Written Book

This book had amazing content and does a profoundly thorough job of explaining that which we all seek to know ... what is love, and more importantly, why it is critical to survive and thrive as a human. That is why I rated it five stars. Unfortunately, it is turgidly written in plundering prose, a potential barrier to those that most need it ... those who have suffered from the trauma of poor parental and other relationships while growing up, and the associated suboptimal limbic brain development. Per the book's hypothesis, these people may well have challenges in life, including learning, such that the word salad that envelops the main messaging could be a high barrier to many from gleaning its benefits. Recommend the next edition be written in the language of the people, vice that of arrogant academics.

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A must read

One of the most important books I’ve ever read. Not the biggest fan of narrator but moved past it as the book is brilliant: sharp concise and meaningful insight that doesn’t stop until the last page.

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A scientific foundation for Love

This is a must-read if you are at all interested in how love forms within our brain.

The authors use science to dissect the brain to get as close as you can to the meaning of love and attachement as well as other topics.

I wandered into this book while reading about attachement theory relating to couples. From the book, it appears all mammals have an attachement center in the brain (the limbic brain) that can be activated with predicted and explained results. Humans are just one branch of mammal, so these effects apply to them as well. This approach gave great insight into how we operate.

The authors bust the myth of individualism. We are pack, clan, and tribe creatures and require this for our development and existence.

On and on. Revelation after revelation. All in all, a great read.

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Might be better to read

I couldn’t get passed the 2nd chapter because I can’t stand the reader’s voice and tone. I’m sure it will be a great book to read on my own!!

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mediocre

held back by preachy tone and the inability to decide if it wants to be analytical or new age pseudo science advocate, with a performance that sounds like they dumped the entire script into Microsoft Sam. still fairly entertaining though.

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Great book, useful information

I love this book, the authors tied together so much information on current neuroscience and common sense that I was constantly getting little “aha!” moments. It not only explained how love works, but also built a useful way to think about how love and connection can be created, maintained and even restored. It’s a great antidote to the barrage of self-help books with quickie solutions... sorry, the authors say, this is the limbic brain we are talking about, not the neo-cortex ... and that memory/processing system while fast acting and powerful, is a slow learner.