psychological impacts of war on the individual and society
November 17, 2007 12:28 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to find resources for first hand accounts of war veterans returning from war and their integration into society. I would really like to find deep stories and reflections by or about people returning from war. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder case studies, battle of Dieppe, WW1/2, remembrance day, and other socio/psychological influences of war would be a plus. Any information about any of these subjects or related would help me a lot.
posted by Knigel to Education (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Quickly off the top of my head - Robert Graves' "Goodbye to all That" and Paul Fussell's "Wartime"
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 12:59 PM on November 17, 2007

There's a lot of research on this -- many dissertations/articles written. One bibliography, here's a guy who's an expert, this book looks important (Military Veterans PTSD Reference Manual), here's a blog (Healing Combat Trauma).
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 1:09 PM on November 17, 2007

Government site, journal on trauma, another blog, this book looks really good (and readable).
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 1:25 PM on November 17, 2007

Also try reading 'Birdy', 'Johnny Got His Gun', 'All Quiet on the Western Front', and maybe even the poems of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon
posted by Marzipan at 1:30 PM on November 17, 2007

Stud Terkel's book and recordings titled The Good War. Oral history a its best.
posted by ijsbrand at 1:37 PM on November 17, 2007

The constant companion: The integration of Vietnam War combat experiences into later adulthood might be of interest. Freely available online
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 1:43 PM on November 17, 2007

The Ground Truth

I hate to mention it 'cuz I'm sure you've already looked into it.. A very moving movie. I met Jimmy Massey a couple of months ago at a peace activity. Very strong stories told here.
posted by HuronBob at 2:45 PM on November 17, 2007

William Manchester's Goodbey Darkness is excellent.
posted by RussHy at 3:23 PM on November 17, 2007

There was an interesting story on This American Life recently, about an Iraq war veteran trying to adjust back to life out of a war zone.
posted by Margalo Epps at 3:35 PM on November 17, 2007

The Library of Congress has several sites that should be useful. (You can access most documents via the web but I'm sure there's even more in DC.)

* The Veteran's History Project contains lots of first-person narratives, photos, and primary documents. Also check out their "Other Oral History Sites" link.

* The American Life Histories site lets you search Federal Writers' Project interviews (1936-1940) by keyword.

* More of a long-shot: American Women has a category for women's involvement in military and diplomatic affairs from the Revolutionary War through Vietnam. Probably too tangential to your topic but worth a peek, anyway.
posted by dogrose at 3:50 PM on November 17, 2007

Blog post that completely did me in, about PTSD and how much trouble a returned soldier is having getting appropriate treatment for it.
posted by occhiblu at 4:12 PM on November 17, 2007

Try the Suggested Reading page on the IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America) site.
posted by dogrose at 4:31 PM on November 17, 2007

Read up on Audie Murphy -- not only the most decorated soldier of WWII, he also suffered from PTSD and then led the way in getting the US government to acknowledge it and offer treatment for it to returning soldiers from WWII to Korea to Vietnam. Murphy did a lot of for giving the syndrome a name and making it easier for soldiers to not feel ashamed or isolated for what they go through.
posted by deern the headlice at 5:19 PM on November 17, 2007

Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried. Finalist for 1990 Pulitzer and National Book Award.
posted by media_itoku at 7:38 PM on November 17, 2007

Try the World at War documentaries, made in the 70s but still definitive. Many interviews with eye witnesses.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 12:45 AM on November 19, 2007

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