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British Journal of PsychotherapyYoung has produced a fascinating book. It is also very timely given current debates, both within and beyond psychotherapy, about trauma, abuse and its recovery.
— Janet Sayers
"Young offers a brilliant acount of how post-traumatic stress disorder came into being. His detailed analysis of sessions with Vietnam Vetrens at Vetrens Administration hospitals is one of the finest pieces of up-to-date medical anthropology in existence."—Ian Hacking, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto
"Allan Young. . . would disagree with the notion that [PTSD] has always been with us, arguing that the traumatic memory is a man-made object. . . . His book is a lucid case-study of the way medicine and society have managed to build up this man-made disorder over the past century and a half."—Gerald Weissmann, The London Review of Books
"Allan Young has written a splendid and much needed book. . . . Young's book is an invaluable contribution to an emerging and exciting area of scholarship. Intellectually bold, analytically rigorous, and rhetorically compelling, The Harmony of Illusions will both delight and provoke—perhaps even infuriate—friends and foes of the PTSD diagnosis."—Eric Caplan, American Journal of Sociology
"The well-researched description of the development of the construct of PTSD within American psychiatric circles makes for fascinating reading as the personalities of the players are presented along with their ideas."—William Yule, The Times Higher Education Supplement
"An ambitious and richly informative account of the growth and progress of modern psychiatry itself and particularly of the intimate relationship between that discipline and its broader social and political context. As a model study of the construction of mental illness, this book represents a significant contribution to the history of science and medicine."—Philip Jenkins, American Historical Review
"A stringent critique of the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which came into vogue after the Vietnam war. . . . Young's work is scientific in the best sense, i.e., clear, precise, and free of jargon and polemics."—Kirkus Reviews
"Young has produced a fascinating book. It is also very timely given current debates, both within and beyond psychotherapy, about trauma, abuse and its recovery."—Janet Sayers, British Journal of Psychotherapy
|Pt. I||The Origins of Traumatic Memory|
|1||Making Traumatic Memory||13|
|2||World War I||43|
|Pt. II||The Transformation of Traumatic Memory|
|3||The DSM-III Revolution||89|
|4||The Architecture of Traumatic Time||118|
|Pt. III||Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Practice|
|5||The Technology of Diagnosis||145|
|6||Everyday Life in a Psychiatric Unit||176|
|7||Talking about PTSD||224|
|8||The Biology of Traumatic Memory||264|
Posted December 10, 2013
There were times when I only thought of myself as a mere cynic regarding PTSD. Then I read Young's book. It is truly a brilliant revelation of the truth of a "disorder" possessed of all the qualities of fad, cultism. and pathological ideology. The title "The Harmony of Illusions: The Invention of PTSD" says it all.
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Posted October 1, 2003
Dr. Young has created a new paradigm in the exploration and analysis of PTSD. He offers a cogent argument that this 'disorder' is the result of cultural influences, never before considered in defining this mental disorder, and as such, has reached beyond anything preceding his work. His language is eloquent and his posture is brilliantly exposited.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.