Vampire Nation

Don’t you hate when you pick up a book because the flap copy sounds so fantastic and intriguing but the book just doesn’t measure up? Here is a paragraph from the back of Arlene Russo’s book, Vampire Nation. 
Plunge deep into the heart of vampirism as renowned vampire expert Arlene Russo dispels centuries-old myths and unearths shocking revelations, from the startling discovery that Prince Charles is a direct descendant of Vlad the Impaler to the fascinating evidence that Robin Hood was a vampire.
Wow! I have to read that. The “fascinating evidence that Robin Hood was a vampire” consists of a) he bled to death; and b) he was buried in unconsecrated ground. Sigh. At the beginning of the book, Ms. Russo claims that she is only going to talk about “real” vampires, not vampire lifestylers (“dress up” vampires). Yet she not only devotes an entire chapter to vampire lifestylers (who may or may not have some overlap with “real” vampires), but still another to bondage fetishists (who may or may not have some overlap with vampire lifestylers). She also claims that “real” vampires do not believe they are immortal, yet every time Ms. Russo quotes one of them, s/he refers to non-vampires as “mortals.” Perhaps that is just vampirespeak for people who do not think they are vampires, kind of like “muggles” in the Harry Potter books. I never had any doubt that there are people who earnestly believe they are vampires. If people want to dress up in nineteenth century clothing and drink each other’s blood (and they are all consenting adults), well, lots of people have unusual hobbies. If they are not hurting anybody, what’s the harm? The evidence presented that “real” vampires are a human subspecies or mutant strain is purely anecdotal. The arguments for many of her assertions are, at best, sophistic (Cats eat fish. The Pope eats fish. Therefore the Pope is a cat). She also blatantly gets some of her “facts” wrong. For example, she states that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Colombine High School killers, were part of the tormented Goth subculture at the school. While that was an initial speculation, it was quickly discarded as untrue. They were neither bullied nor Goths. Just really sick and twisted individuals.
If you think you might be a vampire (or just want to dress like one), this book provides a lot of resources for that. Is vampirism genetic or a lifestyle choice? I remain agnostic as to whether these self identified vampires’ need for blood (or psychic energy) is physiological or psychological.
John Michael Greer gives a much more thought provoking treatment of vampires (at least the revenant kind) in his book Monsters: An Investigator’s Guide to Magical Beings.