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. Book review: Blood Rites by Barbara Ehrenreich. Jenny Bunker finds a re-issued book on the passions of war more pertinent than ever. Origins and History of the Passions of War by Barbara Ehrenreich. Reviews • Buy the Book. In Blood Rites, Barbara Ehrenreich confronts the.

Author: Vimuro Arakinos
Country: Seychelles
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Business
Published (Last): 27 July 2013
Pages: 225
PDF File Size: 10.94 Mb
ePub File Size: 3.19 Mb
ISBN: 656-9-85074-147-4
Downloads: 19817
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Akinorisar

Instead she changes the focus to the overwhelming human experience of being vulnerable prey. To quote the author “This is a theory about the feelings people invest in war and often express as their motivations for fighting – where these feelings might have originated and how they have played out in history”.

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. Thanks for telling us about the blood.

Interesting, Ehrenreich makes the point that nationalism, as such, the passionate favoring of one’s own country, would have a ehrenrsich time to exist if not being defined through conflict, one’s own nation fighting major battles against others, not seldom represented in modern times as a battle between predators, countries imagining themselves as lions, eagles, bears or other dangerous animals.

In one era we may justify wars to ourselves as necessary to secure boood, in another as required by a deity or to convert unbelievers — the blood-letting continues. The first part of the book considers our prehistory.

One of those books you’ll keep thinking about long after it is read. For example, Is war something which really does have “a life of its own”? Especially appreciated the chapter “Guns and the Democratization of Glory” proposing nationalism as the new world religion with later case studies on Nazism, State Shintoism, and American Patriotism. After all, we are human beings, we knew ourselves, sometimes.

You will s Blood Rites: For anyone interested in warfare, religion, individual and group human psychology, or the history of the shifting roles and status of gender and social class, this is a must-read.

Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War

Ehrenreich herself, though, ultimately sees Blood Rites as a call bafbara arms: Then, walking the reader through the democratization of glory, in battle, as a result of the American colonists rediscovering, from the Indians, the stone age way of fighting and the Napoleonic armies building on that, the author claims that the rise of the bureaucratic nation state dovetailed with the rise of ehrenreicu foot soldier and soldiers’ passions for the fatherland, or nation.


Ehrenreich cites example after example, idea ehenreich idea, and comes out with observations that link insightfully with each other throughout, whether within an individual chapter or across the Predation and War sections of the book.

I read this in amidst a whirlwind of other challenging historical books, and I’d like to read it again. I love this book because it researches human prehistory to understand the roots of war.


In fact, both logic and evidence make it easier to believe that there was a long era when hominids and early humans were scavengers at the kills of big predators, and fairly often their prey.

Are we talking about battling research assistants? I read this mainly because the first half is related to a self-indulgent interest of mine, but the whole thing turned out to be smart and broadly relevant in ways I didn’t expect.

Rather than man being a predator since his primordial origins, man started out as prey.

She also points out that the difference in bloodd between men and women would have been entirely meaningless when faced with the attack of a predator of far greater strength than either.

Ehrenreich’s answer delves back into prehistory: Richard Norman navigates the widely differing views at a recent humanist conference.

That new something turned out to be war. A book about the history of anti-war movements and its influences would be a very interesting follow-up to this one, because Ehrenreich only touches on it in the last few pages.

Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War – Barbara Ehrenreich – Google Books

An extremely adaptive beast, war thrives just as bloid among modern nation states as it did among ancient tribes. Jul 13, Dave-O rated it liked it. It is a major feat to make war boring. Though Ehrenreich feels less convincing as to why this originally was the perception, it is easy to accept that there must have been rited certain awe for woman’s ability to periodically bleed, without consequences, while having ritex menstrual cycle tied to the ever changing moon, while women in groups, apparently as by magic, typically synchronize their cycles.

These practices ended after we drove most of the large herdable herbivores into extinction. Drawing parallels between ancient religions with their blood-soaked rituals, and the fact that for thousands of years a small band of humans had to ehrenreixh off predators in the shape of tigers, lions and wolves, all without the arsenal of weapons that we have today, Ms.


This is a very interesting take on the desire for humans to witness, and partake in, bloodshed, whether for military or for ritual purposes.

Our religious rituals began as a reenactment and celebration of our triumphant transformation from prey to predators. But in at least one way, we have gotten tougher and better prepare to face the enemy that is war. A magnificent book full of research and enlightenment. I do not know if Ms. Predation may be the k This is a mind-expanding, audacious book, especially for someone like me without much knowledge of the history of war.

She is the winner of the L. If you want to get a sense of how the book is constructed, The Ecstasy of War Chapter One can be found at http: Ehrenreich defends that instead of our ancient role as ehrenreicn forming the root We are supported by our members. But although Ehrenfeich does ehrenreidh fear to guess deep, she never pretends to a higher degree of certainty than is possible.

When massive beasts went extinct, solitary or small hunting Suggests an origin for the fervor humanity has for war and how its manifestation has morphed throughout our history.

Our religious rituals began as a reenactme This is a fascinating and tremendously ambitious exploration of the origins of war. Nevertheless, Ehrenreich shows that in ehrenreicj cases, the bloodletting initiation rights, for men, have proven links with women’s menstrual bleeding, also for the first time happening at the onset of maturity, when children, helpless before, make their own transition from prey to predator.

What is war that it exerts such cruel demands on us?

The idea that humanity is so caught up in an obsolete threat of predatory beasts explains why we embrace insane nationalism, bloood to beat crime and terror, no matter how small a threat, but can’t seem to wrap our heads around climate change.