Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War

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Diane Publishing Company, Jan 1, 1997 - History - 292 pages
21 Reviews
What draws our species to war & even makes us see it as a kind of sacred undertaking? Takes us on a journey from prehistoric Africa to the trenches of Verdun, from the human sacrifices of pre-colonial Central Amer. to the carnage & holocaust of 20th-cent. total war. Discovers the wellspring in the blood rites early humans performed to reenact their terrifying experience of predation by stronger carnivores. There is the first form of socially sanctioned violence -- & the spiritual antecedent of war. Traces war's evolution from the sacred undertaking of a privileged warrior caste to the rite of nationalism & shows the persistence of ancient fears in the modern rituals of war. "Original & illuminating." Exceptionally wide-ranging.

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Review: Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War

User Review  - Saul Hudacin - Goodreads

this book has amazing implications and it's eerie that it was written just a few years before the us invasion of Iraq- in "peace time" Read full review

Review: Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War

User Review  - Ryan - Goodreads

A little bit scattershot and vague - doesn't quite live up to its promise, though there is some good stuff in the first half or so. Read full review

About the author (1997)

Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of "Blood Rites"; "The Worst Years of Our Lives"; "Fear of Falling", which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, & eight other books. A frequent contributor to Time, Harper's, Esquire, The New Republic, Mirabella, The Nation, The New York Magazine, she lives near Key West, Florida.

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