The Evil Hours

The Evil Hours

A Biography of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Book - 2015
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"In the tradition of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Noonday Demon, a moving, eye-opening exploration of PTSD. Just as polio loomed over the 1950s, and AIDS stalked the 1980s and '90s, posttraumatic stress disorder haunts us in the early years of the twenty-first century. Over a decade into the United States' "global war on terror," PTSD afflicts as many as 30 percent of the conflict's veterans. But the disorder's reach extends far beyond the armed forces. In total, some twenty-seven million Americans are believed to be PTSD survivors. Yet to many of us, the disorder remains shrouded in mystery, secrecy, and shame.Now, David J. Morris -- a war correspondent, former Marine, and PTSD sufferer himself -- has written the essential account of this illness. Through interviews with individuals living with PTSD, forays into the scientific, literary, and cultural history of the illness, and memoir, Morris crafts a moving work that will speak not only to those with the condition and to their loved ones, but also to all of us struggling to make sense of an anxious and uncertain time"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015
ISBN: 9780544086616
Branch Call Number: 616.8521 Mo
Description: xii, 338 pages ; 24 cm


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Oct 28, 2015

This is probably the most illuminating of several books I've read on PTSD. Most importantly, it's the only one written by someone who's experienced the condition. But he's not content to write an "autobiography" of his own PTSD. As a journalist and historian, Morris's book is also the only one to look back in history to see not only how (mostly) war has affected those who participated in it. He writes unflinchingly about the VA, who in the US "owns" PTSD, as they get billions of dollars to research and treat it. He also alludes to other forms of trauma, including rape, natural disasters, and severe injury. Without asking, most of the time, for pity for himself, he provides an inside view of what it was like to go from being a gung ho Marine to one who could not trust his government, or anyone else, and ultimately find a certain emotional balance. He is an extremely good writer, and a decade after his Iraq experience, writes a page turner. He provides no definitive answers to the mystery that is PTSD, but the last sentence brought me to tears. I'd have given him five complete starts, except that at times he becomes repetitive. A small cavil at a wonderful book that everyone concerned about what trauma does to people needs to read.

May 22, 2015

Smart, compassionate, well-researched, thoughtful. We need more writers who can so intelligently make a complex subject understandable. Thanks!


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