Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War

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Macmillan, May 15, 1998 - History - 292 pages
3 Reviews

An ALA Notable Book
A New York Times Notable Book

In Blood Rites, Barbara Ehrenreich confronts the mystery of the human attraction to violence: What draws our species to war and even makes us see it as a kind of sacred undertaking? Blood Rites takes us on an original journey from the elaborate human sacrifices of the ancient world to the carnage and holocaust of twentieth-century "total war." Sifting through the fragile records of prehistory, Ehrenreich discovers the wellspring of war in an unexpected place--not in a "killer instinct" unique to the males of our species but in the blood rites early humans performed to reenact their terrifying experience of predation by stronger carnivores. Brilliant in conception, rich in scope, Blood Rites is a monumental work that will transform our understanding of the greatest single threat to human life.

 

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BLOOD RITES: Origins and History of the Passions of War

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An iconoclastic study in which social commentator and Time essayist Ehrenreich challenges accepted notions of why human beings wage war. In her tenth book Ehrenreich (The Worst Years of Our Lives ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - markajudd - LibraryThing

Original feminine study of war. Comes over as social anthropology, almost Keith Thomas but multi-cultural and inter-disciplinary in the best sense. worthwhile view of war as mass hysteria. Prey and predator, Democratisation of war. Sacrifice. War and nationalism as a form of religion. Read full review

Contents

II
1
III
7
IV
23
V
36
VII
58
VIII
77
IX
97
X
115
XIII
144
XIV
159
XV
175
XVI
194
XVII
204
XVIII
225
XIX
243
XX
267

XI
117
XII
132

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About the author (1998)

Barbara Ehrenreich is the bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed, Bait and Switch, Bright-sided, This Land Is Their Land, and Dancing in the Streets, among others. A frequent contributor to Harper's and The Nation, she has also been a columnist at The New York Times and Time magazine. She is the winner of the L.A. Times Book Prize for Current Interest and ALA Notable Books for Nonfiction.

Ehrenreich was born in Butte, Montana, when it was still a bustling mining town. She studied physics at Reed College, and earned a Ph.D. in cell biology from Rockefeller University. Rather than going into laboratory work, she got involved in activism, and soon devoted herself to writing her innovative journalism. She lives and works in Florida.

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