Blood Sacrifice and the Nation Totem Rituals and the American Flag

ISBN-10: 0521626099
ISBN-13: 9780521626095
Edition: 1998
List price: $54.99 Buy it from $37.33
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Description: This compelling book argues that American patriotism is a civil religion of blood sacrifice, which periodically kills its children to keep the group together. The flag is the sacred object of this religion; its sacrificial imperative is a secret  More...

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Book details

List price: $54.99
Copyright year: 1998
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 3/11/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 416
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.496
Language: English

This compelling book argues that American patriotism is a civil religion of blood sacrifice, which periodically kills its children to keep the group together. The flag is the sacred object of this religion; its sacrificial imperative is a secret which the group keeps from itself to survive. Expanding Durkheims theory of the totem taboo as the organizing principle of enduring groups, Carolyn Marvin uncovers the system of sacrifice and regeneration which constitutes American nationalism, shows why historical instances of these rituals succeed or fail in unifying the group, and explains how mass media are essential to the process. American culture is depicted as ritually structured by a fertile center and sacrificial borders of death. Violence plays a key part in its identity. In essence, nationalism is neither quaint historical residue nor atavistic extremism, but a living tradition which defines American life.

Introduction
That old flag magic
Theorizing the flagbody
The totem myth
Death touchers and border crossers
Totem memory and succession
Refreshing the borders
Dismemberment and reconstruction
Fresh blood, Public meat
One size fits all
Epilogue
Appendix 1
Appendix 2

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