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Heavy Laden
Union Veterans, Psychological Illness, and Suicide


Part of Cambridge Disability Law and Policy Series

  • Date Published: August 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107589957

£ 22.99

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About the Authors
  • The psychological aftereffects of war are not just a modern-day plight. Following the Civil War, numerous soldiers returned with damaged bodies or damaged minds. Drawing on archival materials including digitized records for more than 70,000 white and African-American Union army recruits, newspaper reports, and census returns, Larry M. Logue and Peter Blanck uncover the diversity and severity of Civil War veterans' psychological distress. Their findings concerning the recognition of veterans' post-traumatic stress disorders, treatment programs, and suicide rates will inform current studies on how to effectively cope with this enduring disability in former soldiers. This compelling book brings to light the continued sacrifices of men who went to war.

    • Provides a historical perspective on a contemporary phenomenon
    • Weaves individual case examples into a more systematic narrative of Civil War suicides by combining compassionate veteran testimonies with extensive, quantitative data
    • Uncovers the diversity and severity of Union army veterans' psychological distress, including how African-American soldiers were diagnosed and treated differently from whites
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The hidden injuries of war are by no means an invention of the last hundred years. Veterans of the American Civil War carried the often silent and unacknowledged traces of combat with them, in body and soul, for the rest of their lives. Logue and Blanck merit our gratitude for having brought the American soldiers of 1861–65, Northerners and Southerners, black and white, into the growing body of literature on the war-related mortality and morbidity of soldiers who return from war.' Jay Winter, author of War beyond Words: Languages of Remembrance from the Great War to the Present and editor of The Cambridge History of the First World War

    'Suicide amongst veterans is an enigma. It is shocking, deeply disturbing, and tragic in nature, with the potential of damning the impact of war. But, it is subject to extremes: it can either defy analysis due to underreporting and the elusive nature of assigning causation, or it can slip into a melodramatic tirade against war. Logue and Blanck recognize the subtleties of the subject, and deliver a nuanced consideration of the plight of Civil War veterans, centering on the topic of suicide. A must-read for those concerned about the impact of this or any war.' Eric T. Dean, Jr, author of Shook over Hell: Post-Traumatic Stress, Vietnam, and the Civil War

    'Logue and Blanck offer groundbreaking analyses and insights of how veterans across the spectrum of humanity perceived and coped with warfare's consequences. Logue and Blanck brilliantly open up new historical vistas, reminding me of the promise by which I closed The Center Cannot Hold: 'the humanity we all share is more important than the mental illness we may not'.' Elyn Saks, author of The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey through Madness, from the foreword

    'An important read for students of veterans affairs.' The NYMAS Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107589957
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.385kg
    • contains: 24 b/w illus. 22 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. What is a Union veteran?
    2. Changed men
    3. When war came
    4. Perilous years
    5. Aftershocks
    6. Trials of black veterans
    7. Heavy laden

  • Authors

    Larry M. Logue, Syracuse University, New York
    Larry M. Logue is a Senior Fellow at the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, New York. He received a Ph.D. in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania. His books include To Appomattox and Beyond: The Civil War Soldier in War and Peace (1995) and Race, Ethnicity, and Disability: Veterans and Benefits in Post-Civil War America (Cambridge, 2010), co-authored with Peter Blanck.

    Peter Blanck, Syracuse University, New York
    Peter Blanck is University Professor at Syracuse University, New York and chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute. Blanck received a Juris Doctorate from Stanford University, California, where he was President of the Stanford Law Review, and a Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University, Massachusetts. His recent books include Routledge Handbook of Disability Law and Human Rights (2016), co-edited with Eilionoir Flynn, and e-Quality: The Struggle for Web Accessibility by Persons with Cognitive Disabilities (Cambridge, 2016).

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