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: Mezishura Digrel
Country: France
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Personal Growth
Published (Last): 4 November 2008
Pages: 165
PDF File Size: 20.48 Mb
ePub File Size: 15.94 Mb
ISBN: 365-8-93772-329-1
Downloads: 79264
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Yozshuzilkree

Dryly funny and hugely informative as always, Ehrenreich brings her considerable powers of observation and critical analysis to bear on war and predators. It’s hard to conclude with any existing scholarly theories, but a feeling. She studied physics at Reed College, and earned a Ph. It is meticulously researched.

It’s especially engaging and thoughtful as an explanation of the pre-historical origins of violence and war. I love this book because it researches human prehistory to understand the roots of war.

The only ehrenreicg weapon that ancient men and women had to fight with was fire.

Apr 27, Bruce rated it it was amazing Shelves: Once war was discovered or invented no one could ignore it. As to the question of gender, war, she proposes, arose as a solution to the problem of finding a role for men after the decline of hunting. Blood Rites takes us on an original journey from the elaborate human sacrifices Ehrenreich proposes several innovative theories about the origins of- and passions behind war.

Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War

Riges to the extent where the Pope’s job is directly descended from Caesar’s religious tasks as the supreme bridge builder, pontiff. In one era we may justify wars to ourselves as necessary to secure resources, in another as required by a deity or to convert unbelievers — the blood-letting continues.


Overturning the truism that war is an extension of our predatory instincts, Ehrenreich argues that it is our eites and much longer existence as prey that shaped ehrnereich institution.

Account Options Sign in. The switch from prey-predator to stalker happened around the same time that man started to look towards agriculture as a, at least in part, means of survival, and around the same time that war became a more prominent facet of life.

By necessity, a lot is speculation, and I think taking the case too much at face value could lead us to discount other important variables to state that not all wars can be explained by scarce resources does not mean no wars can be explained at least partially by them. I do not know if Ms. It brings together recent texts such as ‘A History of Toture’ and ‘Male Fantasies’ with a concise passion for the subject matter.

Later, after we became predators, the fear and admiration was shifted to the small-band male barbarw. While it is easy to give this book three stars, parts of me the anti-war parts wish I could give it four or five. This is a mind-expanding, audacious book, especially for someone like me without much knowledge of the history of war.

Book review: Blood Rites by Barbara Ehrenreich

Part of the problem here may be that she has only one basic premise, and has attempted to flesh out this single idea to book blood.

This is a great treatment of several seemingly disparate theorys about religion and war ehrenreih resonate with amazing appropriateness today. It may offend our pride to acknowledge that our fore-runners served barbraa meat for other creatures, but that victim status has haunted our rituals ever since, from blood sacrifices to initiation rites and, ultimately, to war.

What Ehrenreich gives us is an evolutionary account of war, eschewing the rationales offered for individual conflicts in favour of a naturalised genealogy of the phenomenon itself. Her starting points are firm and clear: Warriors almost exclusively male ascended to total power on the back of war. Ehrenreich then points out that the vast majority of religions are centered around some form of sacrifice, animal or human, and implies that this basis for religions and war is not unlikely grounded in the hunting our forefathers did.


Book review: Blood Rites by Barbara Ehrenreich | New Humanist

Her research led her to link killing and war to ritual and sacrifice and how religion and the sacrificial nature of war blodo to act as a le Barbara Ehrenreich’s overview of the seemingly impulsive nature of humans to violence is a real eye-opener in that it brings points to the discussion table that academia seems to have easily dismissed. Open Preview See a Problem? Ehrenreich makes a strong argument for turning some of our conventional wisdom about the development of human societies upside down, most especially our somewhat grandiose belief that from the time our distant hominid ancestors climbed down from the trees Wow!

Blood Rites has all three. She’s presenting a pretty new idea about a pretty untouched subject and so when ehrenrech has the material to use she is over supporting her argument, using a lot more examples than are neccessary to illustrate her point.

It is a major feat to make war boring. Ries is a very interesting take on the desire for humans to witness, and partake in, bloodshed, whether for military or for ritual purposes. Ehrenreich details, too, how we have made war sacred, a secular religion propped up by quasi-religious rituals and traditions such as those underlying July 4th or Memorial Day. What draws our species to war and even makes us see it as a kind of ehrenrich undertaking?

Lists with This Book.