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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Wound on the Battle Front, Alibi on the Home Front: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Medical and Legal Guise. Chapter 2: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: The Coming Home Story for a New Generation of Veterans. Chapter 3: What Did You do in the War? Combat in the American Imagination Chapter 4: The Legacy of Salpetriere: Art in the Science of War Trauma Chapter 5: Flashbacks: War Trauma Refashioned for PTSD Chapter 6: Traumatic Brain Injury: Making a "Signature Wound" Chapter 7: Mr. Rushmore: Ready for War's New Face? Chapter 8: Embrace the Horror

About the Author

Jerry Lembcke is associate professor emeritus of sociology at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts. His authored books include: The Splitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam, and Hanoi Jane: War, Sex and Fantasies of Betrayal.


Arguing that 'the reality of PTSD is far greater than that given it by medical sciences,' Lembcke sets about separating the diagnostic wheat from the cultural, economic, and political chaff. He illustrates the influence of film, theater, television, and news coverage on the tangled story of war trauma. Headlining the compelling victim-veteran role that US society expects of returning combat veterans, Lembcke covers a variety of interesting sociological topics-for example, 'wannabe vets' and how PTSD is used as an alibi for homicide, failed marriages, and other personal problems. The author challenges the status quo by chronicling the social construction of PTSD and traumatic brain injury-that is, circumstances in which empirical reality or critical thinking is often not the umpire. What sets this book apart is the author's take on how media representations have hijacked the diagnosis of war trauma. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, faculty, clinicians, and patients. * CHOICE *
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has become a virtual catch-all basket into which all sorts of mental and physical ailments experienced by returning veterans are being tossed. By carefully teasing out the medical issues from the cultural representations, Jerry Lembcke acknowledges the gendered trauma that is always attendant upon warfare, but separates the diagnostic wheat from the cultural chaff, and thus returns to those wounded warriors the specificity of their experience. -- Michael Kimmel, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies, Stony Brook University
Jerry Lembcke adds considerably to our understanding of the emergence and acceptance of PTSD in the United States. His analysis of the cultural and visual depictions of the disorder is particularly innovative and revealing. -- Peter Conrad, Brandeis University

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