Synopses & Reviews
Philosopher, ethicist, and psychoanalyst Nancy Sherman explores the psychological and moral burdens borne by soldiers. By illuminating the extent to which wars are fought internally as well as externally, this book expands the national discussion about war and the men and women who fight our nation's battles. With close-up looks at servicemen and --women preparing for, experiencing, and returning home from war, Sherman probes the psyche of today's soldiers--examining how they learn to kill and to leave the killing behind. Bringing to light the moral quandaries soldiers face--torture, the thin line between fighters and civilians, and the anguish of killing even in a just war--Sherman bares the souls of our soldiers and the emotional landscape of soldiering. At the heart of the book are interviews with soldiers, from the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also from Vietnam and World Wars I and II.
"Starred Review. At a time when suicide rates among veterans is increasing sharply, this empathic examination of 'the moral weight that soldiers carry on their shoulders' is essential reading." Publishers Weekly
"Nancy Sherman, a professor of philosophy at Georgetown University who has written a book about the moral implications of war on troops, , said dehumanizing the enemy can be a psychological defense mechanism for the troops whose job is to kill that enemy. 'Desecrating bodies is not routine, nor is it expected or condoned,' Ms. Sherman said. 'But you can understand it, in complicated ways. Because war requires a very complicated moral psyche." James Dao
A unique analysis of the moral weight of warfare today through the lenses of philosophy and psychology.
About the Author
Nancy Sherman, University Professor at Georgetown University, served as the Inaugural Distinguished Chair in Ethics at the Naval Academy. Trained as both a philosopher and a psychoanalyst, she lectures on resilience, trauma, and military ethics. She lives in Kensington, Maryland.