Casualty Figures is not about the millions who died in the First World War it is about the countless thousands of men who lived as long term casualtiesnot of shrapnel and gas, but of the bleak trauma of the slaughter they escaped In this powerful new book, Michle Barrett uncovers the lives of five ordinary soldiers who endured the war to end all wars, and how they dealt with its horrors, both at the front and after the wars end Through their stories, Barrett sheds new light on the nature of the psychological damage of war, which for the first time became both widely acknowledged and profoundly controversial through the term shell shock Drawing on a wealth of previously unpublished material, Casualty Figures is a moving and original account of the psychological havoc caused by war....
|Title||:||Casualty Figures: How Five Men Survived the First World War|
|Publisher||:||Verso April 17, 2008|
|Number of Pages||:||174 pages|
|File Size||:||572 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Casualty Figures: How Five Men Survived the First World War Reviews
I was excited to order Casualty Figures when I first saw the recommendation, however, I can't say I feel the same now having just finished it. All is all, it's not a bad book, nor a poor read, it just felt a touch light at times. The research is obviously there, and well-footnoted, however, it reminded me, dare I say it, of writing a history essay when you one does not have enough material to make a compelling-enough argument. Part of the problem here might be the choice of case studies the author has selected and available material associated with them. The thought that nagged at me the whole time, was 'well, yes, and?'. Incidents are described and passages from first-hand accounts quoted, but at the end of each somewhat short chapter, there is no real moment of enlightenment or truly satisfying conclusion, only a rather abrupt finish with conjecture that 'this might have been what tipped him over the edge'.
At first I was surprised to see the low rating Amazon reviewers had provided for CASUALTY FIGURES. (At that point, prior to reading the book, I hadn't read the reviews, just glanced at the star rating.) After reading it, however, I think I understand why. The author doesn't dig deep enough, somehow. It's not that her research is lacking. It's just that, at the end of the book, I don't feel I know these five men. They remain "subjects" in a "study". The author maintains a respectful distance from her subjects; too respectful, perhaps. We aren't even provided with their photographs. Their horrific experiences are detailed, and yet, despite these details, it's a mechanical retelling; a collection of bare-bones psychological history lessons. CASUALTY FIGURES almost reads like a thesis, rather than insightful biographical studies of victims of First World War post-traumatic stress.
I was really excited to hear that someone was writing a book on shell-shock casualties on the First World War. After studying the same topic for several years, I was eager to see what conclusions Michele Barrett had reached on the condition and its historical importance.
When we go to war, casualty figures are humans. This book reviews the history of five English men of WWI. All suffered from shell shock. All lost some of their innocence during the war. One prematuredly died, several were alcholic when they moved to civilian life. One remembered the war well, and stayed in the Air Force, but his personality was permanently scarred.