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Killing for Life: The Apocalyptic Narrative of Pro-Life Politics Hardcover – October 24, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0801439209 ISBN-10: 0801439205 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (October 24, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801439205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801439209
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,922,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Carol Mason has given us something new and important—an account which makes killing for life comprehensible, a logical outgrowth of millennialist ideology. She manages to do this in a way that treats millennialist thought and pro-life violence seriously and respectfully without romanticizing or justifying the perpetrators, and without falling into a simplistic clash of absolutes analysis."—Marlene Gerber Fried, Hampshire College

"Not only does Carol Mason provide an intricate history of the pro-life movement, but, in a book that should be required reading for anyone concerned with national politics, she also shows how central that movement's intense grassroots organizing and worldview was to the contemporary consolidation of right-wing conservatism at a national level, where many of its members are now in powerful positions, both in and out of government. The book is a model of accessibility, in that it is a fascinating read, but the author also develops a technique of reflexivity, in which she traces theoretical concepts such as textuality, narrative, cultural logics, and the political unconscious, and then, by way of interviews and archival material, anchors them in meticulously rigorous and concrete historical descriptions and contexts."—Linda Kintz, University of Oregon

"Killing for Life is a groundbreaking analysis of the narrative and rhetorical strategies used by the 'prolife' movement in the U.S. Far from simply pointing to the absurdity or revulsive nature of various highly publicized prolife strategies (from murder of abortion-providers to throwing blood and alleged fetus parts on bystanders), Mason shows how this branch of the new right has radically reshaped the entire framework of political debate about the body and its use and women's right to control the destiny of their own bodies. Unlike other writers, who view the new right as a fringe conspiracy, Mason shows the continuity between abortion foes and neo-liberal critics of the welfare state. This book is essential reading for those concerned with democratic processes and with the rights of women and minorities."—Cindy Patton, author of Globalizing AIDS

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lindsey N.B. on December 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
Carol Mason's book, provides example after example to explain her thesis on the apocalyptic nature of pro life politics. The was throughly researched and is consistently surprising in the amount of details present in the book.

On a personal note, Dr. Mason has been my women's studies professor for a year and a half; never once has she ever pushed her agenda/political beliefs/personal opinions on her students. In fact, she never even mentions them, she always gives BOTH sides of what we are learning and we figure out what we believe through our own papers. Just thought I should mention that because of what the the other reviewer said.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ganddw42 on April 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Killing for Life: The Apocalyptic Narrative of Pro Life Politics" by Carol Mason. The main reason for buying this book was to try and understand the mindset and rational of the average pro lifer. The book was mentioned in another book I read about Eric Rudolph "Lone Wolf' by Maryanne Voller. It always seemed to me there was more going on in the pro life movement than just religious zealotry. There is, there is a large amount of racism involved in the movement (which I knew from my husband who read it somewhere years ago), as well as biblical apocalyptic beliefs, political extremism, extreme anti Semitic prejudice (Jewish), anti-government extremism, religious extremism running completely amok and a desire to control women in society. To make them subservient to men again in the biblical tradition, so they are no longer able to have control of their own and government will control them and their reproductive health care. That can be clearly read between the lines without any large amount of words actually being written.
I read as much of this book as I could possibly stomach, but I read a large portion of the book before it was over, in short spurts at a time. As much as I could take at one time. At least enough, I got the whole meaning minus some of the more offensive parts. But, I found out most of what I originally wanted to know. Just enough to be convinced forever that the pro life movement is as sick and twisted as I originally thought they were. I have no doubts the author is telling it like it is. So I am sure she knows what she is talking about and the book was well researched. There are things I have read and heard elsewhere. She is an authority on the subject and the writing is excellent. That is the reason I gave it such a high rating.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Barbara W. Rochelle on January 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
On page 27 of this otherwise good book, there is a serious factual error. Referring to the 1996 bombings in Atlanta, Mason writes "The bombs killed no one but injured many."

Actually, Ms. Alice Hawthorne of Augusta, Georgia, was murdered at Centennial Park when she was hit by shrapnel. She died in the presence of her teen-aged daughter. There was one other death, a Turkish photo journalist, Melih Uzonyol, who died of a heart attack in the same bombing.
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8 of 29 people found the following review helpful By conspunk on July 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
In thirty years there have been 7 shootings/bombings at abortion clinics/abortion doctors in the US AND Canada that resulted in homicides. A tiny number of vandalisms(maybe another 7). The fringe that does this (Army of God and ACLA) could fit in a booth at Dennys. And Carol Mason writes a book that claims that pro-life literature creates homicidal maniacs? Is Carol mason just desperate to make money or is she really this morally confused?

Take a good look folks. This is who is teaching our kids in college. It is her ilk and people like Ward Churchill and those 9/11 truth scholars that have ruined our colleges and universities. Truly the closing of American Minds.
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