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The Untold War: Inside the Hearts, Minds, and Souls of Our Soldiers
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The Untold War: Inside the Hearts, Minds, and Souls of Our Soldiers

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  51 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
A unique analysis of the moral weight of warfare today through the lenses of philosophy and psychology.

Philosopher, ethicist, and psychoanalyst Nancy Sherman explores the psychological and moral burdens borne by soldiers. By illuminating the extent to which wars are fought internally as well as externally, this book expands the national discussion about war and the men and
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published February 16th 2010)
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Alex Flynn
Nov 12, 2011 Alex Flynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: research, army-life
I read this on veterans day which was a great way to celebrate the day. In some ways I think this book should be required reading in the US, or at least some reading on the moral and ethical implications of being a soldier and relying on a volunteer army to fight out wars. Oddly, the more I read about the huge burden borne by the armed forces, the more I support a mandatory draft. It just bothers me deeply that so many war profiteers pushed us into a war on false pretenses that would be fought b ...more
Apr 16, 2010 Elizabeth marked it as to-read

Booklist Reviews

Philosopher and psychoanalyst Sherman brings both perspectives when listening to soldiers sort out their feelings about war, the killing, reintegration into society, and survivor guilt. Sherman focuses on interviews with 40 soldiers—from the Vietnam era through the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—at various points in their military careers and expands her examination to the impact of war on the families of soldiers. Referring to philosophers from Aristotle to Seneca t
Mar 14, 2016 Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book looks at the psychological trauma of war from a philosophical or moral point of view, rather than a medical one. This was not what I thought it would be about, but it was a different approach to the issue and quite refreshing. On reflection, I suppose the reference to souls in the subtitle should have tipped me off. Sherman discusses the difference between civilian and military attitudes and how the transition between the two (both ways) can have negative emotional impact, as well as d ...more
Saw Nancy Sherman interviewed tonight - very impressed. This book needs to be read. There are some video's of her talks about War - titles below, you can watch the full interview or just segments..
Full Interview 41:45
The Moral Burden of Dog Tags 3:40
How War Changes, and How It Doesn’t 3:42
Soldiers Speak About the Unspeakable 6:28
The Hidden Emotional Cost of War 3:09
How We Can Really Support Our Troops 6:00
What’s Fair in War 8:49
Preventing Another Abu Ghraib 5:18
We Can Still Learn From Ar
Melissa Stacy
Dec 27, 2013 Melissa Stacy rated it it was amazing
This is a great book of easy-to-read philosophy, most of it centered on the ideals of Stoicism that fuel much of the U.S. military's mentality of training soldiers for war. It also examines the shortcomings of Stoicism, especially in dealing with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). This book points out that PTSD should not be called a "disorder" but a "wound"-- because what these soldiers with PTSD deal with is a permanent psychological condition that is like having (what I think of as) menta ...more
Apr 09, 2012 Brianna rated it it was ok
Although the personal accounts of soldiers trying to recover emotionally from war are heart-wrenching, those stories almost seem to be relegated to anecdotes. For me, this book was too much about Sherman's psychoanalytic theories (and her recommendation of Stoicism) to be as impactful as I expected.
JoAnn Jordan
Jun 23, 2010 JoAnn Jordan rated it really liked it
This is a very good book about the cost of war on those in the military services. It explores the psychological trauma often faced by soldiers and the physical costs as well. I found it very informative and well written. It is not light reading, but a serious tome.
Aug 20, 2011 Xandretta rated it liked it
Very interesting. I listened to this one and I think I would like to read it again more analytically.
May 23, 2013 Annette rated it it was amazing
A must read.
Jordan McBride
Aug 15, 2013 Jordan McBride rated it it was amazing
A really good book about what it's like inside the mind of a veteran. I really think more people should read this book before jumping to conclusions about veterans returning from war.
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Nov 11, 2011
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My introduction to the psyche of the soldier, in a sense, goes back to my father and my childhood. My dad was a WW II vet who never talked about “his” war, though he carried his dogtags on his keychain for 65 years. The war never left him; he took it to the grave; and he always felt that his burden was private. I suspect I always felt that the burden ought to be shared, or at least, that I ought t ...more
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