"HP Newquist's thrilling volume explores the dark and often gruesome tales about blood. Though common among living beings, this substance is anything but ordinary. People have always feared and respected blood. It spills out at both birth and death--its bright red color like a warning sign--indicating events of the utmost significance. Ancient civilizations couldn't perform religious rituals without the revered liquid. Doctors up through the nineteenth century attempted to cure mysterious illnesses by draining their patients' blood. Scientists only recently began to understand this fascinating fluid: how its microscopic components nourish the entire body, why simple transfusions don't always work, and that bloodletting likely killed people who otherwise would have lived. But back before people understood what blood really was, they had to weave their own explanations. Whether vampire legends, medieval medical practices, and Mayan sacrificial rites fascinate or terrify, this comprehensive (and sometimes horrific) investigation into blood's past and present will surely enthrall. And if this account is a little blood-curdling, well, that's half the fun!"-- Provided by publisher. "A thrilling and lively tour of the world of blood, from ancient history to modern science, to dark and often gruesome legends of vampires and plague, this book informs readers about the most important tissue in the body"-- Provided by publisher.