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More Information: Reading List

More Information: Reading List

Reading materials for every stage of the process.
Below are a number of recommended books on PTSD and the military experience.
On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society
by Dave Grossman

The good news is that most soldiers are loath to kill. But armies have developed sophisticated ways of overcoming this instinctive aversion. And contemporary civilian society, particularly the media, replicates the army's conditioning techniques, and, according to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman's thesis, is responsible for our rising rate of murder among the young.

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

In this strikingly original and groundbreaking book, Dr. Shay examines the psychological devastation of war by comparing the soldiers of Homer's Iliad with Vietnam veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Although the Iliad was written twenty-seven centuries ago, it has much to teach about combat trauma, as do the more recent, compelling voices and experiences of Vietnam vets.

Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming 
by Jonathan Shay, Senator John McCain and Senator Max Cleland

In this ambitious follow-up to Achilles in Vietnam, Dr. Jonathan Shay uses the Odyssey, the story of a soldier's homecoming, to illuminate the pitfalls that trap many veterans on the road back to civilian life. Seamlessly combining important psychological work and brilliant literary interpretation with an impassioned plea to renovate American military institutions, Shay deepens our understanding of both the combat veteran's experience and one of the world's greatest classics.

Recovering from the War: A Guide for All Veterans, Family Members, Friends and Therapists
by Patience H. C. Mason and Robert Mason

Recovering from the War is a systematic investigation of the costs of war for veterans and their families, including information on how to recover from combat trauma. The examples are from Vietnam, but the experience is universal, so the book is helpful to active duty service members. There is a list of sources, suggested further reading and guidelines for a 12-step group for families of veterans.