"We are born for meaning, not pleasure — unless it is pleasure that is steeped in meaning," writes Jacob Needleman, who teaches philosophy at San Francisco State and is the author of many books including The American Soul: Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders. A lot of time and creative energy is lavished on falling in love and its dizzying delights, but not as much effort is devoted to the hard work of keeping love alive over the long term. Needleman is interested in the latter.

This paperback is divided into two sections: the first is on the work of love. This section includes material on communication, quarrels, trust, time, money, work, and other challenges. The second part deals with the wisdom of love. This section includes material on intentional love, ethics as love, the practice of love, and the poets Rumi and Rilke. He concludes with his interpretation of St. Paul's hymn to love in I Corinthians 13.

Needleman states that to sustain a love relationship, couples need to nourish each other's inner life and search for truth. He taps into the teachings of wisdom that underlie the world's religions and spiritual philosophies for more insight into this nonegotistical expression of love. Those who help each other in the search for meaning can handle challenges of our constantly changing world because they are selflessly seeking each other's well-being.

This erudite paperback is a treasure of great worth. It will be of inestimable value to those starting out on the long voyage of love.