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PRAISE for AFTERWAR
"Afterwar brilliantly explores the moral and philosophical complexities of homecomings for modern veterans, the largest reintegration of servicemembers back into society since Vietnam. This is an urgently necessary book—at once a moving account of individual veterans' stories and a powerful examination of our collective obligations toward those who fought in our name.”
Phil Klay, author of Redeployment and Winner of the National Book Award
"Afterwar is a real step forward in assessing what America’s modern wars have done to — and also for — the one percent of America’s people who have fought them, and how the other 99% of the country should respond."
—James Fallows, The Atlantic
"Presents a fresh perspective on moral injury and how individuals can and should contribute to the healing and repair that so many soldiers need."
—Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Jesse Kirkpatrick, Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at George Mason University
"A fresh perspective on moral injury and how individuals can and should contribute to the healing and repair that so many soldiers need. By interlacing stories from the ancient world with those of the new, Sherman brings to light the fact that moral injury has been experienced since antiquity. While the book focuses on the experience and injuries of American soldiers, it is clear that it speaks to a global audience who, if history is any guide, will long remain in need of books like Afterwar."
Washington Post reviews AFTERWAR
"Self-empathy, Sherman writes, is the way forward for others. And it’s something we need to help our vets achieve. After all, we have a sacred moral obligation to those who serve."
—Amanda Erickson, Washington Post
"The most important contribution of Afterwar is the lesson that the effective transition of soldiers back to society has to begin before thewar starts. We need to pay attention to what we teach soldiers about responsibility, civilians about their duties, and leaders about how to build trust and hope in their subordinates to ensure they will be resilient in the face of adversity. While moral injury may be as unavoidable in war as physical injury, we have much to do before we fully realize our responsibilities to address it."
—Parameters 46(1) Spring 2016
"Sherman’s book is critically important at this time for our nation."
—The Christian Century
"Nancy Sherman’s new book, Afterwar, is as fascinating as it is crucial to our collective recuperation after 14 years of war."
—Washington Independent Review of Books
“thoughtful and serious...offer a way to talk to veterans about their military service and the moral injury they may be struggling with. And, hopefully, that should reduce the alarmingly high suicide rate."
—Clinical Psychiatry News
"Sherman brings into the light the hellish experiences of both men and women in theaters of war, experiences that do not dissipate after leaving...A piercing course in sensitivity training to build a moral community upon re-entry into society."
“Nancy Sherman writes about the souls of our soldiers and the wounds that are deeply hidden. Her writing stretches beyond the scholarly writing of war, ethics, and morality. She reaches down deep into the heart and emotion of young people who sign up to fight for their country and find that the fighting is much harder and more complex than they imagined. This is a must-read book for Americans at a time when our nation is bringing home our troops while preparing others for the next wave of conflicts.”
—Brigadier General (Ret) Stephen N. Xenakis, M.D., Adjunct Professor, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences
“Our returning troops are exposed to moral injury—a violation of deeply held beliefs about just behavior. This injury is more than PTSD. Drawing upon a unique and intimate knowledge of the combat soldier's emotional struggle and the language of classical philosophy, this extremely sensitive and compelling volume, Afterwar, enlightens and disturbs. We are reminded that our veterans are not only injured by exposure to brutal and tragic loss, but suffer by being alienated from their sense of order and honor. We, the civilians who send them to war and welcome them back, need to learn a new language if we are to truly embrace our home-coming combatants. We need to speak with them, not just of them. This book is essential reading for a nation bringing home troops after over a decade of war.”
—Frank M Ochberg, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Michigan State University, former Associate Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, and editor of Post-Traumatic Therapy and Victims of Violence
“Every combat veteran comes home in his or her way. Afterwar combines Nancy Sherman's brilliant insights as a scholar with her perceptive ear and storyteller's gift for prose, producing a rich tapestry of experiences from many veterans of our post-9/11 deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and other theaters of war. We often cloak combat service in heroic narrative, both to recognize the extraordinary acts performed therein and encourage others to step forward into the breach when their time comes. Prof. Sherman moves beyond this heroic narrative to help us understand how veterans experience the extraordinary experience of war, and move on from it when they return to civilian society.”
—Phillip Carter, Iraq veteran and director of the veterans research program at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, DC
“Nancy Sherman is a philosopher who talks to soldiers and, what is more important, listens to soldiers—in this case soldiers returning from our recent wars. Her book is a powerful account of what she heard and a plea to all her readers to join in the work of listening, so that coming back for these soldiers is also coming home.”
—Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, and author of Just and Unjust Wars