Achilles in Vietnam Traumatic Stress and the Undoing of Character

ISBN-10: 0689121822
ISBN-13: 9780689121821
Edition: 1994
List price: $20.00
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Description: "The number of books on the Vietnam War is, by now, vast and varied. Until recently, however, there has been very little for the public to read about the psychological effect of that conflict on the men who fought in it. Gradually, it has come to be  More...

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Book details

List price: $20.00
Copyright year: 1994
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 5/26/1994
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

"The number of books on the Vietnam War is, by now, vast and varied. Until recently, however, there has been very little for the public to read about the psychological effect of that conflict on the men who fought in it. Gradually, it has come to be known that the combat veterans of Vietnam suffer, in appalling numbers, from what is known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Indeed, of the three quarters of a million surviving combat veterans, one quarter of a million suffer from this disorder and the personal costs it imposes. (For a full discussion of PTSD and its symptoms, see the Introduction and Chapter 10.) In Achilles in Vietnam, Dr. Jonathan Shay casts new, challenging, and irrefutable light on the lives of these men and the ravages of combat trauma on their minds and spirits." "For many years, Dr. Shay has been the psychiatrist for a group of Vietnam veterans. In that time, he has come to see an overwhelming and undeniable similarity between their experiences and those of the soldiers in the Iliad; after all, this centuries-old epic is about soldiers in war and its disastrous consequences for their character. More specifically, the elements of Achilles story - the betrayal by his commander, the shrinking of his moral and social world to a small group of friends, the death of one or more of these comrades, the accompanying feelings of grief, guilt, and numbness followed by a "berserk" rage - are heard over and over in the stories of these men who were once soldiers and are still caught up in that old struggle." "Drawing at length on these men's vivid and heart-rending words, as well as on Dr. Shay's own close, ingenious, and persuasive reading of Homer's classic story, Achilles in Vietnam has already been acclaimed by soldiers, writers, classicists, and psychiatrists. It should transform any and all future discussions of the Vietnam War."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Betrayal of "What's Right"
Shrinkage of the Social and Moral Horizon
Grief at the Death of a Special Comrade
Guilt and Wrongful Substitution
Berserk
Dishonoring the Enemy
What Homer Left Out
Soldiers' Luck and God's Will
Reclaiming the Iliad's Gods as a Metaphor of Social Power
The Breaking Points of Moral Existence - What Breaks?
Healing and Tragedy
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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