SERGEANT BACK AGAIN-THE ANTHOLOGY contains the first collection of published critical and clinical writings regarding the earliest characterizations and manifestations of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) based on the central characters and actions dramatized in Charles Coleman's universally-acclaimed portrayal of PTSD in his Vietnam War-era cult classic, Sergeant Back Again. Six highly-respected scholars, historians, and psychiatrists "weigh in" on the social, political, and medical aspects and ...
SERGEANT BACK AGAIN-THE ANTHOLOGY contains the first collection of published critical and clinical writings regarding the earliest characterizations and manifestations of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) based on the central characters and actions dramatized in Charles Coleman's universally-acclaimed portrayal of PTSD in his Vietnam War-era cult classic, Sergeant Back Again. Six highly-respected scholars, historians, and psychiatrists "weigh in" on the social, political, and medical aspects and consequences of the emergence of post-traumatic stress disorder during and after the Vietnam War. "This is clearly the first account of the causes and effects of PTSD on U.S. Servicemen and women, based on the case of Specialist Andrew Collins, a line medic and later a surgical specialist who served in Vietnam in 1970." It is THE "Vietnam War novel that made PTSD Real!" (Philip Beidler, Ph.D.) and looks at comparisons of Coleman's dramatic portrayal to those of Hemingway, Heller and Kesey while fast-forwarding to what has happened to-and will likely continue to occur-among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Skillfully analyzing scenes from the battlefield and then on the closed wards of Chambers Psychiatric Pavilion at Fort Sam Houston and the psychological milieu of both the patients and staff during the 1970s, Veterans' psychiatrist Harold Kudler, M.D., explores the military medical establishment's dilemma in trying to understand veterans returning from Vietnam and attempting to classify and "treat" them for something as yet unknown: PTSD. Now, thirty years after arriving at a definition of PTSD, "Psychiatry is still struggling to see beyond abstractions in order to find the patients it left behind." Now, fast-forward to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the dramatic jump in active duty and veterans' suicides culminating in "the real heart of darkness that defines psychological trauma." "One sees now in [Sergeant Back Again] a story we probably recognized but did not know at the time  how to read, at least in its newest, challenging, creative iteration," states Vietnam combat veteran and novelist Philip Beidler, Ph.D. "But its uniqueness is its attempt to speak in a bold literary way about an emergent, newly-identified, peculiarly war-related form of psychological trauma increasingly associated with representations of Vietnam veterans' attempts to deal with war-related experiences and memory. This story is to some degree my story. But mainly it will remain even beyond the book-in its real touch of genius to me-the stories contained in the spurious letters." Here, too, historian and socio-political critic of film and literature of the Vietnam War era, Tony Williams, Ph.D., juxtaposes numerous points of view from social and literary archives of the time and insightfully contrasts Norman Mailer (who "provided his own answers as to Why are we in Vietnam?") with Coleman's rendering of "certain strategies of vision to depict what later became known as PTSD and which makes book truly remarkable in its original context and extremely relevant today." This theme of "vision" in Sergeant Back Again is again echoed by Nathan Beck, screenwriter and film critic of the Vietnam Era: "This is a riveting, detailed vision of one man's struggle to free himself from the grip of PTSD in which the protagonist, US Army medic Andy Collins, comes to discover that field hospitals are combat zones of their own, where the enemy is death, dismemberment, and psychological dislocation in which the men working over the wasted are eventually wasted themselves." John Presley, Ph.D., historian, essayist and authority on the life and works of WWI writer Robert Graves, continues the theme of vision and contrast as he dissects the very fabric of the men who became the "walking wounded" from WWI to the Vietnam War. SERGEANT BACK AGAIN: THE ANTHOLOGY is a watershed work of major significance in understanding the signs, symptoms and treatment f
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