Achilles in Vietnam by Jonathan Shay On Killing by Dave Grossman What It is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes Military Neuropsychology by Carrie H. Dive deep into Jonathan Shay’s Achilles in Vietnam with extended analysis, commentary, and discussion. Jonathan Shay’s Achilles in Vietnam and Odysseus in. America. Richard Blucher, Department of International Studies, The Norwegian Military Academy, PO Box.

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Sign up to receive offers and updates: Under the conditions peculiar to the war in Vietnam, major units seldom had more than one of their subordinate outfits engage the enemy at any one time And statistics support the vitenam suspicion. Larger images of victory seem to have been shxy out of newsreel footage of World War II surrender ceremonies and beautiful women weeping for joy at their liberation; defeat was a document signed in a railway carriage and German troops marching in Paris.

More books from this author: He effectively compares and contrasts the current zeitgeist of war with the beliefs of Homer’s age.

Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character

But he speaks not only to them. In the modern world, the meaning of the dead to the defeated is a bitter, unhealed wound, where defeat rarely means obliteration of the people and civilization. More than any other, this book and its companion Odysseus in America helped me to fully understand not just what had happened to my son because of war but also why. A preliminary model and intervention strategy”. I was coming around a stand of grass and heard noise. The ancient soldier was far less dependent in every way on military institutions than his modern counterpart, whose dependency is as complete as that of a small child on his or her family.

Now, when he was supposed to leave the field, he wouldn’t leave, they had to bring two armed guards, no lie. Martin van Creveld wrote: On danger in war “To someone who has never experienced danger, the idea is attractive,” wrote the famous nineteenth-century military theorist Carl von Clausewitz.


Written by veterans themselves and woven by Shay into the Iliad it is beautiful and poignant and heartbreaking. When a leader destroys the legitimacy of the army’s moral order by betraying “what’s right,” he inflicts manifold injuries on his iin. All of this averages out to a 6. I was impressed by this character development, especially in a nonfiction book.

There was a bay there He holds a B. Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with used books. Two and a half stars. It seems all too likely that returning soldiers today will experience the same traumatic effects as those in the book, despite supposed progress to the contrary.

Shay’s purpose is not to offer a definitive treatment of Schilles ethics or Homeric vocabulary or even ancient warfare. This may sound like a child complaining, “It’s not fair!

Achilles In Vietnam

Jan 13, Heidi rated it it was amazing. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text.

The best way to describe this is that what may look good on paper does not necessarily work on the ground. Remember, shsy the ancient world, all males were warriors so all males had experienced war.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

So, I mean, that’s okay then, right? He declares that the day it happened, Christmas Eve, should be stricken from the calendar.

Is betrayal of “what’s right” essential to combat trauma, or is betrayal simply one of many terrible things that happen in war? During the course of this man’s year with Delta Company, it suffered more than percent casualties, taking replacements into account. However the higher up you go, the more you are expected to have the people beneath you perform to a high standard.

Time and again they were assailed as “losers” by Vietnnam War Achillees veterans. When this happens in a combat theater, as it frequently did in Vietnam, the results are catastrophic.


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

Shay argues that PTSD is not an illness but the persistence of adaptive behaviors needed to survive shau a stressful environment. The book is peppered with the raw experience of combat survivors, so it is sometimes difficult to read; however, thi This is a somewhat difficult book to review, but I would go so far as to say this is an absolute must-read for understanding combat trauma. The fiduciary assumption Compared to the modern soldier, the Homeric soldier hardly depended vketnam others at all, and when he did it was upon comrades he knew personally and called on by name without technology to assist his own voice.

Return to Book Page. Jon Spayde The Utne Reader I shall describe some of the many violations of what American soldiers understood to be right by holders of responsibility and trust.

I can discuss the norms of military hierarchy without ever having experienced it. Heavy writing, highlighting and marker. Heavy wrinkling from liquid damage.

Shay’s treatment of the morally wounded is quite respectful and profoundly thoughtful. Combat expertise that soldiers recognize and personal qualities of authority are important, but so is an evident willingness to share in the From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Contrary to what the young men anticipated in training and in watching war films, once they encountered the reality of battle, they fervently wanted to avoid it and wanted risk to be fairly distributed.

Jonathan Shay is a psychotherapist — and impressive amateur jonathwn — who has spent decades treating Vietnam veterans with severe PTSD. They told me I was fighting Communism.

There is much common sense here, and a great deal of wisdom which will hopefully influence changes in military training and organization.