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

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

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by Nancy Sherman
     
 

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"Brilliant . . . a must read for veterans and those who seek to understand them."—Huffington Post

The Untold War draws on revealing interviews with servicemen and -women to offer keen psychological and philosophical insights into the experience of being a soldier. Bringing to light the ethical quandaries that soldiers face—torture,

Overview

"Brilliant . . . a must read for veterans and those who seek to understand them."—Huffington Post

The Untold War draws on revealing interviews with servicemen and -women to offer keen psychological and philosophical insights into the experience of being a soldier. Bringing to light the ethical quandaries that soldiers face—torture, the thin line between fighters and civilians, and the anguish of killing even in a just war—Nancy Sherman opens our eyes to the fact that wars are fought internally as well as externally, enabling us to understand the emotional tolls that are so often overlooked.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Cogent, scholarly essays on moral conflicts soldiers have faced throughout history but especially today. Philosopher, psychoanalyst and ethicist Sherman (Philosophy and Ethics/Georgetown Univ.; Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy Behind the Military Mind, 2005, etc.) marshals all three specialties to explore a subject often passed over by traditional philosophers, who focused narrowly on the justice of going to war, and contemporary experts, who emphasize its psychiatric trauma. The author emphasizes that soldiering is less a career than an identity, different from but never detached from civilian life. Military leaders throughout history have worked hard to inspire a warrior attitude in their troops, who rarely hesitate to display intense comradeship and eagerness to fight. Sherman adds that, until the Vietnam War, experts ignored the painful moral burden soldiers feel when exposed to battle, a feeling they often bring back to civilian life and never escape. Seeing comrades die through no fault of their own can trigger a persistent "survivor's guilt" as soldiers struggle to recognize that luck, not skill or teamwork, has preserved them intact. Despite the universal acceptance of post-traumatic stress disorder, which has always existed, the Pentagon refuses to grant victims a Purple Heart, so many still consider PTSD a shameful affliction. According to the author, one culprit is stoicism, an ancient philosophy that, in the oversimplified version popular among officers, teaches that a truly wise man is indifferent to suffering. Sherman fills her academic study with interviews, anecdotes and historical examples in an often successful effort to make it accessible to general readers. Adense but ultimately illuminating inquiry into the psyche of our fighting men and women. Agent: Jim Levine/Levine Greenberg Literary Agency
New York Times
Nancy Sherman, a professor of philosophy at Georgetown University who has written a book about the moral implications of war on troops, The Untold War, said dehumanizing the enemy can be a psychological defense mechanism for the troops whose job is to kill that enemy. 'Desecrating bodies is not routine, nor is it expected or condoned,' Ms. Sherman said. 'But you can understand it, in complicated ways. Because war requires a very complicated moral psyche.— James Dao
America
“No ordinary reflection on war . . . a powerful and moving reminder of war's long-term consequences and the cost to soldiers and society.”
Boston Globe
“For anyone seeking to understand 'the inner war' soldiers fight on the battlefield and at home, Nancy Sherman's book brilliantly maps soldiers' dark inner landscapes.”
The New York Times
“Humaniz[es] soldiers by enabling us to see them as individuals with distinct, particular responses to psychological and physical wounds.”
James Dao - New York Times
“Nancy Sherman, a professor of philosophy at Georgetown University who has written a book about the moral implications of war on troops, The Untold War, said dehumanizing the enemy can be a psychological defense mechanism for the troops whose job is to kill that enemy. 'Desecrating bodies is not routine, nor is it expected or condoned,' Ms. Sherman said. 'But you can understand it, in complicated ways. Because war requires a very complicated moral psyche.”
Library Journal
Georgetown professor Sherman, who held the first chair in ethics at the U.S. Naval Academy, focuses the skills—and specialized language—of both philosopher and psychoanalyst on exploring the moral burdens carried by soldiers, the moral qualms in being trained to kill, and the effects of killing even in a just war. Recommended for advanced study.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393078077
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
09/26/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
847,418
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Nancy Sherman, University Professor at Georgetown University, served as the Inaugural Distinguished Chair in Ethics at the Naval Academy. Trained as both a philosopher and a psychoanalyst, she lectures on resilience, trauma, and military ethics. She lives in Kensington, Maryland.

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The Untold War: Inside the Hearts, Minds, and Souls of Our Soldiers 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
csm170 More than 1 year ago
Super. The War that comes home with us. Why?