Blood Sacrifice and the Nation: Totem Rituals and the American Flag. Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Blood Sacrifice; Marvin
Type: 
Book
Author(s): 
Carolyn Marvin and David W. Ingle

The authors argue that American patriotism is a civil religion organized around a sacred flag, whose followers engage in periodic blood sacrifice of their own children to unify the group. Using an anthropological theory, this groundbreaking book presents and explains the ritual sacrifices and regeneration that constitute American nationalism, the factors making particular elections or wars successful or unsuccessful rituals, the role of the mass media in the process, and the sense of malaise that has pervaded American society during the post-World War II period.