Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A War of Nerves: Soldiers and Psychiatrists in the Twentieth Century” as Want to Read:
A War of Nerves: Soldiers and Psychiatrists in the Twentieth Century
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A War of Nerves: Soldiers and Psychiatrists in the Twentieth Century

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  47 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Ben Shephard provides a history of military psychiatry in the 20th century. It reaches back to the Western Front when modern war and medicine first met, and traces their relationship through the eras of shell-shock, combat fatigue and Gulf War syndrome.
Paperback, 487 pages
Published March 30th 2003 by Harvard University Press (first published 2000)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A War of Nerves, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A War of Nerves

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria RemarqueThe Trigger by Tim ButcherThe Guns of August by Barbara W. TuchmanBirdsong by Sebastian FaulksA Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
The Great War
106th out of 335 books — 414 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 144)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Caroline
Joseph Heller seems to have truly hit the nail on the head as regards military psychiatry in his famous Catch-22 - 'anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn't really crazy', and yet what could be more sane than wanting to escape a battlefield? Faced with the impossible logic of such a scenario, it is no wonder that so many soldiers throughout the years have developed a veritable cornucopia of psychological, psychosomatic and hysterical symptoms under the hell of warfare. When the unconscio ...more
Margaret Sankey
Vivid history of military psychiatry from the realization of the need in 1915 to the book's publication in 2001. Shephard uses the Imperial War Museum's stash of diaries and letters to illustrate the struggle medical personnel have had, torn between the interests of their patients, and the desire of their governmental employers to put soldiers back in the field and pay minimal pensions (while not touching off revolt among the voters). Shephard is careful to follow the changing conceptions of mas ...more
Meg Sondey
Have you heard the terms "battle fatigue" or "shell shock"? How about "PTSD"? If you are interested in the development of treatments for psychological issues caused by war-time experiences, you will find Shephard's book illuminating. It is dense, but it is readable, and will take you through the variety of explanations and treatments for psychological trauma during the twentieth century. A significant amount of the book discusses non-US experiences, theories, and physicians, so if you are intere ...more
Karan
Considering that the infantry along with the air and the naval forces have been and continue to be despatched with unending regularity across the globe, an evolving century-wide enquiry into what kind of psychological wounds the soldiers at the frontline have endured over the years should make for an interesting enough read. And not surprisingly, it does.

Ben Shephard's painstakingly researched synthesis is so compelling that it should be made an essential companion book to all the tomes detailin
...more
Bob Fowler
I bought and read this book some time ago as it relates to my excessive interest in the emotional cost of combat on soldiers. I think it is the most complete and readable history of combat stress in the 20th century, providing good insight into how military psychiatry has evolved from "shell shock" (little understood then) in WW 1 to combat exhaustion and PTSD to-day. Its understanding is still evolving in Afghanistan and Iraq, but this book is a good start.
Chanpheng
Dec 30, 2014 Chanpheng marked it as 2015-reading
Reading this related to my work. This book is about the treatement of mental health crises in soldiers through the ages of modern warfare.
Thomas Weitz
Not always well written but worth a read for anyone interested in the history and development of psychology.
Steelwhisper
THE work to read for anyone interested in the topic!
Emmalittle100
Heavy going but got there...
Pam
Pam marked it as to-read
Aug 14, 2015
cameron
cameron marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2015
Candice
Candice is currently reading it
Jul 24, 2015
Varduhi
Varduhi marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2015
William Mooney
William Mooney marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2015
Scylla
Scylla marked it as to-read
Jul 07, 2015
Megan
Megan marked it as to-read
Jun 03, 2015
Brandon Courtney
Brandon Courtney marked it as to-read
May 22, 2015
Lucy
Lucy marked it as to-read
May 05, 2015
Seng
Seng added it
May 05, 2015
Kayla MacInnis
Kayla MacInnis marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2015
Paddy Burges
Paddy Burges marked it as to-read
Mar 13, 2015
Haley
Haley added it
Feb 21, 2015
Jonathan
Jonathan is currently reading it
Jan 27, 2015
Sharalis Canales
Sharalis Canales marked it as to-read
Dec 21, 2014
Rose
Rose marked it as to-read
Nov 17, 2014
Claire Fitzgerald
Claire Fitzgerald marked it as to-read
Oct 25, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Ben Shephard (1948 - ) is an English historian, author and television producer.
He was educated at Diocesan College, Cape Town and Westminster School. He graduated in history from Oxford University and has made many historical documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4, including producer of The World at War and The Nuclear Age.
More about Ben Shephard...
The Long Road Home: The Aftermath of the Second World War After Daybreak: The Liberation of Belsen, 1945 Headhunters: The Search for a Science of the Mind Voyagers: How Four Men Explored the Brain Kitty and the Prince

Share This Book