Achilles in Vietnam by Jonathan Shay
Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character

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Synopsis

An original and groundbreaking book that examines the psychological devastation of war by comparing the soldiers of Homer’s Iliad with Vietnam veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder

In this strikingly original and groundbreaking book, Dr. Shay examines the psychological devastation of war by comparing the soldiers of Homer’s Iliad with Vietnam veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Although the Iliad was written twenty-seven centuries ago it has much to teach about combat trauma, as do the more recent, compelling voices and experiences of Vietnam vets.
 

About Jonathan Shay

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Jonathan Shay, M.D., Ph.D., is a staff psychiatrist in the Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Boston. His patients are Vietnam combat veterans with severe, chronic posttraumatic stress disorder. Visiting scholar-at-large at the U.S. Naval War College in 2001, Dr. Shay speaks frequently at the invitation of U.S. military services, universities, and colleges. He lives in the Boston area.
 
Published May 8, 2010 by Scribner. 273 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, War, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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among these are the preservation of unit cohesion throughout the combat experience (rather than, as in Vietnam, rotating individuals into and out of units while engaged in combat) and reform of motivational techniques used by officers in combat.

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Publishers Weekly

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He convincingly recommends policies of unit rotation and unit ``griefwork''--official recognition of combat losses--as keys to sustaining what he calls a moral existence during war's human encounters.

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