FB pixel
Book cover for Blood Rites
May 2024

Blood Rites

By Barbara Ehrenreich
Foreword by Milan Rai
Become a member to buy

Already a member? Login.

'Full of ideas — a great pleasure to read' —Melvyn Bragg
'Contains one of the few original ideas about its subject' —Eric Hobsbawm
'An extraordinary book, original and witty ... A shocking and gripping narrative'
Irish Times
'One of those rare books that make you question everything you thought you knew'
—Susan Faludi
'A radical new theory of why humans are so keen to wage war ... Original, eye-opening and highly persuasive'Independent on Sunday

What draws our species to war and makes us see it as a kind of sacred undertaking? In Blood Rites, renowned social critic Barbara Ehrenreich plumbs the mystery of the human attraction to violence.

With a new foreword from peace campaigner Milan Rai, this modern classic takes us on an original journey from the grasslands of prehistoric Africa to the trenches of Verdun, from the spectacular human sacrifices of pre-colonial Central America to the carnage and holocaust of twentieth-century ‘total war’.

Ehrenreich traces the evolution of war from prehistoric forms of socially-sanctioned violence to the mass religion we know today as nationalism, and shows the persistence of ancient fears in the most modern rituals and passions of war.

Brillant in conception, rich in detail, epic in scope, Blood Rites is a monumental work that transforms our understanding of the archaic practice that has become the biggest single threat to human life.

Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of fifteen books. She has written for TimeHarper's, the New York Times Magazine, The Times and the Guardian. She lives in Virginia, USA.


Originally published by Granta

More books from LBC


Get LBC merchandise


Your cart

No