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Why do we love war? asks Jungian psychoanalyst Hillman, author of the bestselling The Soul's Code. One might ask in reply, Do we, in fact, love war? Hillman answers unequivocally in the affirmative, skewering modern pretension to prefer the Prince of Peace to the god of war. Mars is the central character in Hillman's exploration of war as an archetypal impulse. "The whole bloody business," he writes, "reveals a god, therewith placing war among the authentic phenomena of religion. And that is why it is so terrible, so loved, and so hard to understand." His portrayal of war as an implacable force, a primary element of the human condition, is unsettling, as is his description of war as a "beautiful horror"â"but he cites enough memoirs and letters written by those in the heat of battle to convince that it can have a kind of beauty for combatants. Hillman also effectively evokes the transcendent, Mars-like fury that overtakes soldiers in battle ("I felt like a god... I was untouchable," writes one). Throughout, Hillman offers other disturbing insights: readers may feel a shock of recognition when he compares our addiction to viewing war (whether real or cinematic) to the viewing of pornography, noting that we are all voyeurs. But Hillman's mesmerizing prose loses its impact when he launches a sneering attack on Christianity (and the U.S., where "we are all Christians") for being a warrior religion. And perhaps only Jungians will understand his baffling assertion that aesthetic passion (or, in archetypal terms, devotion to Venus) can slow our ceaseless rush to war.
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"Important reading for our time, as we try to make sense of our terrors." —San Francisco Chronicle
"[Hillman’s] portrayal of war as an implacable force, a primary element of the human condition, is unsettling." —Publishers WeeklySee all Editorial Reviews
I have loved James Hillman since I heard of him and met him in 98 in Mendocino. I am lucky to have his picture, his smile. He is a wonderful elder and dances with style and grace. Read morePublished 20 months ago by anonomous
A page turner of great depth (yes, that is possible). It speaks of war as a mythic rather than a socio-political experience. One of the best twenty books I have ever read. Boom.Published 21 months ago by A. Sykora
First, I've learned a good deal from reading James Hillman and admire his work. I've read A Terrible Love of War closely, taught it twice, often find myself convinced by Hillman's... Read morePublished on August 28, 2012 by Mark Holland
Can Hillman correctly be called a 'Heathen author'? Partially, perhaps. On the one hand he documents how religions, in particular Abrahamic ones, especially Christianity, provide... Read morePublished on May 28, 2012 by xul
I found this in the bargain bin at a local supermarket chain several years ago. Out of curiosity, and the belief that any book, priced at $2, could hardly be a waste of money, I... Read morePublished on May 22, 2012 by C. Hardin
I have no complaints about my last purchases.
The negociation was great and the product arrived before time and brand new.
This book is excellent and instructive. I have not read it all to date but what I have read I found helpful. Read morePublished on April 28, 2009 by Margaret Edwards-brown
While in many ways this is an excellent book and a good read, it is also deeply flawed. The greatest flaw in the book is the last chapter, where Hillman goes on a rant against... Read morePublished on October 5, 2008 by M. Cerri
Original, and even fascinating, ideas are presented thruout. However, the first three chapters are a trial to get thru. Read morePublished on February 26, 2008 by Grant