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216 × 138 mm
320 pages
10 Feb 2020
  • £15.00

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Blood Rush The Dark History of a Vital Fluid Jan Verplaetse

As a young man Jan Verplaetse saw a hare suspended from a meat hook, skinned and gutted. What struck him so forcefully at the time was not the animal but the blood gently dripping from its mouth. His visceral reaction prompted the start of a quest he undertakes in this book – to investigate our fascination with blood, the most vital of fluids.

Blood Rush shows how, throughout history, blood has the capacity to intoxicate us, to the point that we lose ourselves, whether in violence, through hunting, fighting or killing, or in the vicarious thrill of watching sporting events, horror films or video games. Are these feelings physical or in our imagination? Where does the magic of blood come from?

In his deeply researched and provocative narrative, Verplaetse moves from antiquity to the present, from magic to experimental psychology, from philosophy to religion and scientific discoveries, to demonstrate why blood both attracts and repels us at the same time.

Jan Verplaetse is Associate Professor in Moral Philosophy at Ghent University, Belgium. He is the author of The Moral Brain (2009) and Localizing the Moral Sense (2009). In 2009 he won the NWO Eureka Book Prize for the best popular science book.


Part 1 Blood magic
1 Blood mist
2 Sacrificial blood
3 Evil blood
4 Red urine

Part 2 Blood thirst
5 Haemothymia
6 Wild origins
7 Chemosignals

Part 3 Blood Aesthetics
8 Blood horror
9 Sublime blood
10 Bloodless