Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War

TitleBlood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsEhrenreich, Barbara
Number of Pages292
PublisherMetropolitan Books
CityNew York

This monograph 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? It 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, the author, Barbara 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.

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