The Anatomy of Courage
by Lord Moran
Fear, and man's attempt to master it, is of eternal interest and just as significant today as when Moran, as a young medical officer, went to the trenches in 1914 to research the subject scientifically. He asked why a man can appear to be as brave as a lion one day and break the next and, crucially, "what can be done to delay or prevent the using up of courage?" First publ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by Avery
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Moran was a doctor in the trenches during WWI and, later, personal physician to Winston Churchill. At a time when shell shock was just starting to emerge as a recognisable condition and not simply a sign of cowardice, Moran understood how vicious combat could be. He understood the wounds men carried out of that war were mental as well as physical. He understood the true nature of courage, which is more than facing a hail of bullets in some Hollywood-esque fashion. Although, at points, this book...more
An interesting take on why some things happen in war; it's observations are based on Lord Moran's diary entries from World War I. Judging by the entries used as examples, I wish the diaries were the book published. Some of his mid-century English lingo is pretty arresting. He keeps referring to the yokel soldiers. As I understand it, yokel does not have quite the connotation in England it has in America. At least I hope not.
An excellent blend of psychological, medical, and personal perspectives about courage and behavior in combat. The four-star rating is due to the peculiar chronology: most of the material is based on the author's WW I experience but the book wasn't published until nearly the end of WW II. Nonetheless, a fascinating read.