Dec 05, 2020
Blood: The Stuff of Life
Posted by Lawrence Hill

In Blood, bestselling author Lawrence Hill offers a provocative examination of the scientific and social history of blood, and on the ways that it unites and divides us today.Blood runs red through every person s arteries, and fulfills the same functions in every human being However, as much as the study and use of blood has helped advance our understanding of human bioloIn Blood, bestselling author Lawrence Hill offers a provocative examination of the scientific and social history of blood, and on the ways that it unites and divides us today.Blood runs red through every person s arteries, and fulfills the same functions in every human being However, as much as the study and use of blood has helped advance our understanding of human biology, its cultural and social representations have divided us perennially Blood pulses through religions, literature, and the visual arts, and every time it pools or spills, we learn a little about what brings human beings together and what divides them.This book is a fascinating historical and contemporary interpretation of blood, as a bold and enduring determinant of identity, race, culture, citizenship, belonging, privilege, deprivation, athletic superiority, and nationhood.

  • Title: Blood: The Stuff of Life
  • Author: Lawrence Hill
  • ISBN: 9781770893238
  • Page: 496
  • Format: Paperback
  • Blood The Stuff of Life In Blood bestselling author Lawrence Hill offers a provocative examination of the scientific and social history of blood and on the ways that it unites and divides us today Blood runs red through ev

    Ben Babcock

    The human body is weird I mean, it s a wonder we function at all We re fragile bags of mostly water that support a strange and wonderful organ that seems to give us consciousness All this happens through a complex set of interconnected systems that work to keep us alive I m really not down with the ickiness of my biology bring on the robot bodies Until that happens, though, I m forced to agree with Lawrence Hill Blood really is The Stuff of Life Further, how we treat blood and how, historically, [...]


    Toto

    Here s a book that should have a lof of insight, a new perspective, a story with a twist, some thing to say about blood It doesn t Instead, it is a list of sorts, medical and cultural There s some very slight discussion of what blood is chemically and biologically, some discussion of its place in sports and health, a lot of open ended discussion of the meaning some people in some cultures give to blood, and lots of Hill s own family stories The book is a compendium without weight, full of distin [...]


    Morgan Dhu

    Lawrence Hill s latest book, Blood The Stuff of Life, is a meditation on the cultural and personal meanings of blood An essential part of our anatomy, it is perhaps the only internal aspect of our physical beings that almost all of us, at some time or another, will see outside of its natural place And it has come to mean so many things in addition to simply the red fluid that is so much a part of what keeps us alive It s hard to imagine a single person in a school, restaurant, theatre, hockey ar [...]


    Steele Dimmock

    10% blood science, 40% culture around blood and 50% the authors own indulgent musings.From a non fiction book I wanted tangibles Give me the forensic history of blood science Give me case studies on blood science Give me hard facts Alas, this ended up appearing as a novelists attempt at writing non fiction, and he couldn t help but insert himself into the narrative I just couldn t get emotionally invested in the author s stories I was completely indifferent about his diabetes, kids, family, and [...]


    Chelsey

    An extremely smart, heart felt and genuine autobiography of blood I thought this was brilliant


    Anne-Marie

    Wow this was an amazing read I wanted to savour every word, fact, and anecdote Hill presented but couldn t help myself and gorged on his writing I sped through this short collection of Massey Lectures presented by CBC etc every year on different topics in several short sittings Lawrence Hill of The Book of Negroes fame is a Canadian author who in this series of lectures examines the role blood plays in our collective and individual memories, ideologies, histories, cultures, politics, and lives H [...]


    LisaShamchuk

    I really wanted a book that could describe how blood was viewed or important to cultures and history Instead I got this, the published version of Hill s CBC Massey Lectures on CBC Radio The first two parts were interesting enough Hill covered the nature functions of blood, historic practices, menstruation, blood typing, human sacrifice, honour killings, stem cells, tainted blood, blood donation, and cheating in sports So far so good, so far pretty interesting Then the book went downhill for me T [...]


    Caitlin

    Well, this book definitely didn t go as I expected when I picked it off the library shelf This book isn t really a science book, despite giving the outward impression of it About half the time is spent with the author waxing on about racism or sexism in some way It is about blood, but in a how it is seen in a societal way, and over time, rather than it s make up and function though this is touched upon.It was interesting to read, if a bit random, just not what I was expecting There is one thing [...]


    Heather

    Interesting, but a bit too meandering and predictable


    Lauren

    I was lucky enough to read the manuscript This is a wonderful book Engaging, accessible and there is something in there that will be meaningful to everyone.


    Surly

    Blood meanders between memoir and pop science without quite establishing depth of field The title is a bit of misnomer in that Hill sweeps together both the medical concept of blood and metaphorical expressions of blood through race and ancestry.Hill considers on his own experience growing up in a multiracial household in Canada That narrative lends warmth to the work, but it s not quite enough to supply Blood with a unifying theme Ideas keep flickering past without much depth or analysis, so wh [...]


    Conni Dawson

    I said I finished this book that s not true I am about two thirds of the way through but I cannot read another page.I appreciate the effort that went into this book Mr Hill has clearly done some research and occasionally we get a glimpse of that in between all the excessively florid sentences that bulk out the book but add little to no value It is infuriating to read several pages of prose in which there might be two anecdotes about Hill s life, several pages worth of filler and then, hidden in [...]


    Luminalsl

    Tr s int ressant mais je m attendais une tude un peu plus pouss e de nos repr sentations ou usages du sang Au final, si l criture est agr able, j ai appris peu de choses que je ne connaissais d j Tout est rest un peu trop g n ral mon go t, l auteur ayant voulu toucher trop de domaines la fois et donc n a pas pris le temps d approfondir quoi que ce soit.


    Rai

    An entertaining mix of social history, science and autobiography but unfortunately I found Hill s writing to be too disjointed to truly absorb my attention.3 5


    Kiwiflora

    This book arose out of a lecture series given by the author at the University of Toronto Divided into five chapters, which I guess represent five lectures he gave, this book is difficult to give a label to A mix of science, biology, medicine, history, social commentary and personal memoir it covers all sorts of stuff about blood the good stuff in our bodies that carries around oxygen that keeps us alive the bad stuff that carries diseases such as HIV, malaria, plague who invented blood transfusi [...]


    Sharon

    Lawrence Hill, the celebrated Canadian author of The Book of Negroes Someone Knows My Name, in the US , here indulges his admitted lifelong obsession with blood He goes to huge lengths to find every possible connection with blood there is, to tell long stories many quite interesting, several about famous people, and several about himself to illustrate his points Much of it is quite interesting but I frequently felt that he was overstating his case and he often repeated himself Some of his connec [...]


    David

    This is a great read It was so good that I couldn t put the book down and read it over the weekend The subject matter is simple blood But what blood entails is life itself From the colour of our skin to the spilling of blood in sports and crime to HIV and Aids, Hill covers a full range of ideas on blood.Lawrence Hill The Book of Negroes approaches this lecture with many personal reflections including with his own diabetes and his days getting malaria in Niger to living in a family with a famous [...]


    Steve Goodyear

    This is a fascinating and thought provoking read I enjoyed all the different perspectives Hill presented as he explored the topic of blood the scientific aspects of blood, our ties to blood, and the rhetoric we associate with one s blood that fuels racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, and other discrimination I was intrigued with his discussions on ludicrousness of the weight people put on blood quantum, and his arguments about how percentages of blood or races do not measure someone s identity [...]


    Carley

    I m not one to pick up a non fiction essay type novel, especially with a title like Blood In fact, this book sat on my shelf for a good 7 months before I decided to give it a try I brought it along on our family summer road trip and was surprised at how engaged I became in the stories, anecdotes and historical information It was also easy to put down and pick up, something that I don t always look for in a book, which matched perfectly with the pace of our family vacation I ve been a huge fan of [...]


    Sloane Ranger

    This book, one of the CBC Massey Lectures publications 2013 , looks at blood and how societies view it as a marker of identity, race, class, citizenship, and belonging Ideas about blood purity and the doors it opens, or closes, are particularly engaging The author, a man with a black father and white mother, questions the idea of mixed blood or being half black or an octoroon, or quadroon, or 1 128th of a race The section on First Nations peoples in Canada, and how blood quantum has been used by [...]


    Sarah Daigen

    This is a really interesting and unique book by Lawrence Hill, who is a fantastic writer and, from what I can tell, an equally awesome human being Blood The Stuff of Life looks at blood in a wide variety of contexts from eugenics like concepts of blood and race, through both our squeamishness and attraction to bloodshed, blood as in genetics DNA, and a determinant in who is family or not and inheritance etc , the importance of blood to health diseases such as HIV AIDS etc and athletic endeavours [...]


    Kyla

    As I spend everyday at work analyzing and looking at blood under the microscope I was intrigued to read this book The clinical parts were nothing new for me but very interesting all the same I loved reading the changing attitudes throughout history and reading some of the historical experiments and discoveries of mankind I have to admit I skipped over about 20 pages devoted to blood politics me politics bores the pants off me I know they are important and crucial to life today, but there is just [...]


    Donna

    Fascinating That is my word to describe this book I have read a couple of Mr HIll s books of fiction and loved them so that spurred me on to give Blood a try I found Blood very understandable Lawrence Hill addresses the issues surrounding blood the history of transfusions, diseases, composition, etc But I think importantly, he talks about what blood means to us as citizens of the world and impact that so called pure blood has had on civilization through the ages genocides, holocaust, rights of [...]


    George Walker

    Hill s analysis of blood from both a medical and social history considers blood s scientific, cultural, psychological and political roles from ancient times to today He explores how our understanding of blood has developed over the centuries Hill also investigates how ideas about blood purity have inspired law makers to determine who gets to belong to a family, who enjoys the rights of citizenship and how much of of certain types of blood are measured to determine race and privilege This is a go [...]


    Rick Brick

    An interesting treatise on how blood identifies us in many ways family, race, national membership, etc It also addresses issues such as blood s use in crime, genealogy as well as how it functions as a symbol in numerous ways The last few chapters unfortunately wander into the author s political views detracting from the overall effectiveness of the book While the reader may agree with Mr Hill s views on citizenship policy for example, it is unlikely to be a reason they purchased Blood.


    Sarah

    My favourite aspect of this book is its strong critique of the rules surrounding blood donation in Canada A quote When it was announced in May 2013 that Canadian Blood Services and H ma Qu bec would begin to accept donations from gay men who had been celibate for five years, nobody pretended that it would increase the quantity of blood donated, and nobody offered a rigorous scientific argument explaining the magic number of five years It is time to stop creating rules that give credence to antiq [...]


    Andria CM

    I had the privilege to attend the book launch This is a brilliant book There is so much that people can take away from this book it will bring human beings together and show us what pulls us apart It s not what I had expected when I initially read the description The personal touches are heart felt I would recommend this to anyone and everyone You can also check out the lectures on the CBC Massey Lectures website and also watch some webcasts.ening to Lawrence Hill speak about the book and his pe [...]


    Teri

    Loved this book I don t often read non fiction, but because of the subject matter and the author, I thought I would give it a shot, and I m so happy I did I found it thought provoking and informative, as well as entertaining The idea that our personal, gender, familial, cultural, and racial identities are solely determined by the make up of the blood flowing through our veins is appallingly out dated, and Hill definitely states that point The advances in medicine, genetics, and forensics have to [...]


    Mark

    I borrowed this from my local library, filed under Biology 573.15 , but having read it, it s clear how narrow a classification that is Lawrence Hill touches on history, medicine, ethics, studies of race and racial discrimination at the level of how people were classified by blood as by race, and yet the whole still has a certain flow to it The chapters contain repetition, and I expect they may have originally stood alone as essays or talks The author s has put a great deal of his personal histor [...]


    Jenny

    Temporarily abandoned I ll pick it up again, I swear, I like the writing, I think I m interested in the topic, I really like the CBC Massey Lecture series I don t understand why I m putting this book down and have started another book that I m finding very energizing when I ve only read about a quarter of it I will give it another chance in the near future Maybe I m finding the topic really heavy and draining Not sure why.



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