Publishers Weekly

April 18, 2011 — Print this Page

Broken Bodies, Shattered Minds: A Medical Odyssey from Vietnam to Afghanistan
Ronald J. Glasser, M.D., foreword by Gen. Harold G. Moore (ret.). History Publishing (Midpoint, dist.), $17.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-933-90947-9

Each war has its signature wound, and in America’s latest wars, it carries the prefix “poly,” writes Glasser (Another War, Another Peace), a former U.S. Army Medical Corp major.

In this deftly written and researched account, he explains that because so many more soldiers survive their wounds today than did in Vietnam, they often suffer from multiple injuries requiring “poly-trauma units.” Glasser describes how improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan and Iraq blow off limbs, wreak havoc on internal organs, and cause devastating concussive brain damage—the signature injuries of our new wars.

Glasser points out that today’s wars with new weapons, new injuries, and new treatments all add up to “new suffering” for soldiers. He also focuses on the “Band of Sisters” in the new wars whose major cause of PTSD once was sexual harassment and now is combat.

The weight of Glasser’s research is compelling. But his powerful telling of these wounded warriors’ stories is more than enough reason for a nation to read and react. (June)

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