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Here are the experiences of five British veterans who survived World War I physically but came home damaged goods. It is the psychic impact of the horrific war that Barrett (English, Univ. of London; Imagination in Theory) examines through the experiences of Willis Brown, Douglas Darling, Ronald Skirth, William Tyrrell, and Lawrence Gameson. Each was the victim of shell shock or what is now known as posttraumatic stress disorder. Yet Barrett reveals that these succinct mental classifications do not do justice to what these men experienced. It was the cumulative effect of death as a constant companion that changed these veterans forever. They all returned home to apparently normal lives but beneath the surface there was illness, alcoholism, bitterness, and depression. Through interviews with the soldiers' descendants and a careful reading of archival material buried in the Imperial War Museum, Barrett evokes the bloody crucible these five men passed through. She may be criticized for not offering more in-depth documentation of the archival resources used, but no one will question the authenticity of her compelling characterizations of these five veterans of the Great War. Sadly, this is a timely work. A worthy addition to the extensive literature on the mental health of combat veterans; recommended for all libraries.