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Achilles in Vietnam by Jonathan Shay On Killing by Dave Grossman What It is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes Military Neuropsychology by Carrie H. Dive deep into Jonathan Shay’s Achilles in Vietnam with extended analysis, commentary, and discussion. Jonathan Shay’s Achilles in Vietnam and Odysseus in. America. Richard Blucher, Department of International Studies, The Norwegian Military Academy, PO Box.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Achilles in Vietnam 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 experience In this strikingly original and groundbreaking book, Dr. 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.

Paperbackpages. Published October 1st by Scribner first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Achilles in Vietnamplease sign up. Lists with This Book.

May 12, Thomas rated it it was amazing Shelves: Homer is ever present in modern culture, but his power is often reduced to a kind of cartoon. The Iliad becomes a sword-and-sandals Hollywood cliche and the Odyssey becomes the original road movie.

Shay brings the Iliad back to reality by shining a new light on the ferocious pain of Achilles, pain that today might be called PTSD, but which Shay calls “moral injury.

The common denominator — and the thing that differentiates many Vietnam veterans from WWII vets — is an element of betrayal and disrespect that became the core of the Vietnam experience.

Shay calls this “moral injury. When this happens in a combat theater, as it frequently did in Vietnam, the results are catastrophic. The parallels that Shay draws between Achilles and the experiences of many Vietnam veterans are minutely detailed, including the gut-wrenching voices of the veterans themselves, and his argument is very persuasive. His conclusion is both instructive and practical. He doesn’t bewail the existence of war and prescribe an idealistic pacifistic solution.

Instead, in a deliberate and concrete way, he shows how vitally important leadership qualities are in the military. In some ways this book seems to be written especially for military commanders, as a reminder that the lesson of the Iliad is still ringing in our ears: View all 3 comments.

Jan 22, Laura rated it it was amazing Shelves: Jonathan Shay is a psychotherapist — and impressive amateur classicist — who has spent decades treating Vietnam veterans with severe PTSD. In this fascinating book, he analyzes achills he sees as the moral breakdown of Achilles in terms of factors common to the Vietnam War. The first section of iin book outlines these factors: In each of the chapters he describes these conditions as revealed through years of treating veterans, often quoting transcripts of therapy sessions, jonxthan analyzes their presence in The Iliad.

His book is worth multiple readings. I also was stunned by the descriptions of combat in Vietnam — both the conditions of guerilla warfare against the Viet Cong and common U. If not, brace yourself; the accounts are from men whose combat trauma was debilitating enough that they sought professional help. Not all the interviewees swear four or five times in a sentence; there are distinct levels of language corresponding to levels of education, a fact that the Vietnam veterans I know are quick to assert.

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View all 6 comments. Dec 11, James rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: A powerful study of the impact of PTSD on the human personality, using the Iliad and other classic literary portraits of traumatized warriors to illustrate the timelessness of this problem with special emphasis jonatban the reasons that the Vietnam war was a more shattering experience for many veterans than other wars have been.

Jun 18, David Litwack rated it it was amazing. The definitive work on Vietnam era post traumatic stress. The Author compares the way warriors soldiers dealt with the hardship of war in Vietnam and in the Trojan war, based on the Odyssey.

The book is filled with moving vignettes, dialog from the Odyssey compared with actual discussions between Vietnam vets and the author. May 20, Janell Rhiannon rated it it was amazing.

This book changed the way I saw Achilles. It helped me see the “human” side of the hero birthed by a nymph. Jonathan Shay did two things: Chapter by chapter, he connects Achilles emotions and actions with the modern warrior. You understand how grief manifests into rage It’s a fascinating read. I highly recom This book changed the way I saw Achilles.

I highly recommend it. Nov 19, Dave rated it it was amazing. This was a great book in conjunction with The Jonathah. Very intense depictions of modern PTSD copied verbatim from transcripts with the vets. One man describes leaving his house at night carrying a steak knife, walking down dark alleys hoping someone will threaten him. Jul 14, Joe Green rated it it was amazing. I was writing a paper about Bill Anderson and his Civil War experience when I stumbled upon this work.

Completely changed the direction of the paper, and my relationship with a friend who recently returned from combat in Iraq. All of these ratings are based on a scale of10 being the best. Not so with this one. It’s written at an accessible level. It is rather dry, befitting its genre, but definitely makes apt comparisons and keeps a good balance between example and explanation. I now understand the ancient Greek culture surrounding the Iliad much better, as well as the horrific culture experienced by Vietnam combat veterans.

I can discuss the norms of military hierarchy without ever having experienced it. I do wish there was more of the Iliad for balance, but overall they were both ih done. We delve into the psychology of Achilles and the troubles of Vietnam vets. I never knew what caused such things as the “beserk state,” but now felt able to sympathize with the feeling. I was impressed by this character development, especially in a nonfiction book.

For confidentiality reasons, the veterans were not named, though this did take away from my understanding as when Shay tags something like, “the say veteran we met earlier said this. That’s the only reason points are docked. So the argument did its job. Since it’s a complicated problem, the answer is quite complicated, and I can’t state all of its facets here.

I’m not sure I could follow a logical path, dhay, from one argument to the next, which is where the lost points come from.

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Jonathan Shay – Wikipedia

But it’s never shaj to learn about combat. It made for more focused reading certainly. But the overall book seemed not to have a common goal until the end.

Since it’s not a novel, they don’t arc, but it was an impressive emotional attachment all the same. If you’ve read a little bit, you can put it down and not care about the rest. But while you’re shaj it, it does have those impressive insights to keep you going. All of this averages out to a 6. Sep 24, Holly rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is a somewhat difficult book to review, but I would go so far as to say this is an absolute must-read for achulles combat trauma.

The Achilles argument was enlightening because it contextualized war within the scope of thousands of years of history and thousands of years of soldiering. Shay’s treatment of the morally wounded is quite respectful and profoundly thoughtful. The book is peppered with the raw experience of combat survivors, so it is sometimes difficult to read; however, thi This is a somewhat difficult book to review, but I would go so far as to say this is an absolute must-read for understanding combat trauma.

The book is peppered with the raw experience of combat survivors, so it is sometimes difficult to read; however, this works in way to allow the reader to increase his own understanding and compassion of those who’ve survived such experiences.

Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character

One of the most important points of the book is an examination of what Shay names a “berserker” response which he introduces after outlining Achilles’ rampage on the Trojans following the death of his closest companion, Patroclus. This was one of the more useful aspects of the book because such a response is rarely addressed with such thoughtful analysis as this is done by Shay- not just in the Achilles illustration, but in how he transfers the experience to our own time.

Shay goes beyond just the devastating effects of the response and critically examines many aspects how it takes shape and why we observe its increased prevalence in the American military.

Achilles in Vietnam is a study of the impact of PTSD on the human personality, using The Iliad to illustrate the impact of this problem with emphasis on the reasons why Vietnam was more traumatic for many veterans than other conflicts have been. This book contained some very keen observations in it.

You just have to fight through all of the boring psychology jargon and Achilles in Vietnam is a study of the impact of PTSD on the human personality, using The Iliad to illustrate the impact of this problem with emphasis on the reasons why Vietnam was more traumatic for many veterans than other conflicts have been.

You just have to fight through all of the boring psychology jargon and read it carefully and analytically to understand its numerous messages. If there is one problem I had with the way it was written, I would say that it throws a great deal of information at you and never lets up. Leaving you to sort out the mess inside your head.