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Broken Bodies, Shattered Minds: A Medical Odyssey from Vietnam to Afghanistan Paperback – June 15, 2011


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Broken Bodies, Shattered Minds: A Medical Odyssey from Vietnam to Afghanistan + Once a Warrior--Always a Warrior: Navigating The Transition From Combat To Home--Including Combat Stress, Ptsd, And Mtbi
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: History Publishing Company, LLC; 1 edition (June 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933909471
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933909479
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #665,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Publishers Weekly

Each war has its signature wound, and in America's latest wars, it carries the prefix "poly," writes Glasser (Another War, Another Peace), a former U.S. Army Medical Corp major . In this deftly written and researched account, he explains that because so many more soldiers survive their wounds today than did in Vietnam, they often suffer from multiple injuries requiring "poly-trauma units." Glasser describes how improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan and Iraq blow off limbs, wreak havoc on internal organs, and cause devastating concussive brain damage--the signature injuries of our new wars. Glasser points out that today's wars with new weapons, new injuries, and new treatments all add up to "new suffering" for soldiers. He also focuses on the "Band of Sisters" in the new wars whose major cause of PTSD once was sexual harassment and now is combat. The weight of Glasser's research is compelling. But his powerful telling of these wounded warriors' stories is more than enough reason for a nation to read and react. (June)

--Publisher's Weekly

Ronald Glasser's book is an argument for a choice between two stark, inescapable courses of action: call up a national draft and put everything we've got into the fight, or withdraw our forces from Southwest and Central Asia -- or to use his phrase, the "Edge of Empire." The paradigm shift between our presence in Indochina and our multiplex of wars these days is best reflected by the fact that the enemy used to shoot. Today, soldiers get blown up. And that is a fundamental difference, Dr. Glasser says. It seems that this veteran Army medic takes the image of exploded bodies as a larger metaphor for what is going on: everything is blowing up in our face and we have no plan.

One decade after the beginning of a global war of undefined scope and duration against a protean foe that could hardly care less about the next American election cycle, the United States as a society is not at war -- only its allegedly all-volunteer Armed Forces and military families who have carried the entire burden for this Ten Years War, what some have called a crusade against evil that may simply be freedom enduring the sweeping dust over the "Graveyard of Empires." Since the weight of the fight is almost entirely borne by a sliver of the population, Glasser raises the question of a draft directly and forcefully. He writes that "even after a decade of fighting, with the volu --Publishers Weekly

Library Journal

Pediatrician Glasser, whose best-selling 1971 memoir, 365 Days, recounted his experiences as an army physician during the Vietnam era, updates his earlier observations with this disturbing exploration of the medical aspects of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, where explosives are the enemies' weapons of choice. Survivors of these improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and suicide bombs may suffer massive injuries, amputations, and brain damage, requiring years, if not lifetimes, of expensive treatment. Other explosive injuries to the brain are subtle and difficult to detect without advanced imaging equipment. Glasser argues convincingly that the effects of surviving repeated shock waves contribute to soldiers' and veterans' high rates of prescription drug addiction, suicide, and debilitating post-traumatic stress syndrome. The tragic human cost of such injuries is paralleled by our mounting financial obligation to provide lifelong care for the ever-growing number of returning soldiers. VERDICT Glasser writes with a passion that challenges those who might wish to avoid the harsh medical and social costs of current warfare. General readers will find themselves engrossed in his accounts of the spirit, creativity, and heroism of our soldiers and the medics, nurses, and physicians who care for them.

-Kathy Arsenault, St. Petersburg, FL

--Library Journal

About the Author

An American doctor and author, most famous for his bestselling book "365 Days," the preeminent Vietnam War book reviewed in the Washington Monthly and the New York Times. 365 Days has been translated into nine languages and is widely read.He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Medical School and is a resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Customer Reviews

I wish every American would read this book.
TAnderson
One gets a sense of respect that the author, Dr. Glasser, has for those that serve in the armed forces.
Peter Clarine
In blunt, sobering, compelling language, Dr. Glasser opens our eyes to the true costs of our wars.
Jon K. Oh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas on June 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed Dr. Ron Glasser's, MD, latest book, "Broken Bodies, Shattered Minds", which flows nicely from his earlier works, "365 Days", and "Wounded". ("365 Days", a major book to come out of the Vietnam War, and "Wounded", which was written in the early period of the U.S. Iraq and Afghan Wars.) Dr. Glasser provides a very unique perspective as a military commentator, physician, and former Army Doctor who has treated many wounded soldiers from the Vietnam War.

His medical commentary greatly underscores his military observations, and makes the latter less abstract, and more meaningful. In the present era of our all volunteer, professional military, which is very much apart from mainstream American Society, it is very important for Americans to read a book like this which shows some of what is going on now in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, in our name and with our borrowed tax dollars, and shows some of the terrible mental and physical costs of these wars that are being borne by a small minority of our fellow citizens, who all too often remain in the shadows for most of us.

In my judgment too many of our political and military leaders have erred in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to counteract this Americans must become more engaged with, and aware of, our current war policy, and its consequences upon our society. A great way to start this process is by reading Ron Glasser's new book, "Broken Bodies, Shattered Minds", after which I'm sure you will want to read his earlier, "365 Days", and, "Wounded".
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By TAnderson on June 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
There are images from this book that I will never forget - such as Dr. Glasser's description of the "combat action tourniquet". I wish every American would read this book. Then we could have an informed national discussion about the awesome human cost of modern militarily deployment on our sons and daughters.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Karl on June 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
"We apparently have two parallel universes running side by side, one on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the other in the media and the rest of the country...Perhaps America can be forgiven for not caring, but not knowing is a whole different matter." Dr. Glasser makes a comprehensive analysis of the cost of our current political wars. He is a detailed historian and compelling writer. Dr. Glasser's experiences as a wartime army doctor, and 40 years as a practicing physician, give him the unique authority and special talent to describe complex military and medical conditions such that a layperson can well understand. We haven't seen this story on CNN, MSNBC, Fox or even read it in newspapers. Our professional army of volunteers is strained, and our politicians and media are not telling us the story that Dr. Glasser has written. This is a MUST READ for all Americans.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By christie on June 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading Dr. Ronald Glasser's gripping account of the true costs of war in human term, BROKEN BODIES SHATTERED MINDS. As a physician and a warrior, Dr. Glasser captures the history of war perfectly,especially as it relates to our returning heroes and the wounds they suffer as a result of fighting for our country. As technology improves, both in the weapons and the resuscitation of the injured warrior, there is a tendency for the rest of the non-military population to ignore the continued suffering and challenges of wars in the 21st century. Traumatic Brain Injury, (TBI), the signature wound of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, has been with us in every war, as Dr. Glasser so astutely points out to the reader. He is a warrior, historian, physician, educator, engineer, and healer. If you are going to read ONE BOOK about War and its consequences, this is the book for you.
THANK you, Dr. Glasser, for all your time, effort, and service to our nation. Your manuscript is a MUST read for all of us, and should be required reading in every high school in the country.

Chrisanne Gordon, MD
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Randi & Robert on June 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
Dr. Glasser addresses the differences in injuries from the Vietnam War to today's war in Afghanistan.
Some of these injuries, for example brain damage caused by concussion are problematic facts Dr. Glasser puts into perspective.
Glasser is devastatingly articulate about medical care for our soldiers and their hidden escalating costs. These injuries, that frequently require lifetime care have never before been properly explained to us, the non-military public.
This book is a a very dramatic narrative about the physical and psychological injuries suffered by our soldiers.
It is truly unusual to read such an informed and passionate account.
We enthusiastically recommend this book to anyone who wants to know what's really happening to our returning heroes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter Clarine on July 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
I am a nurse practitioner and work for a neurosurgical service that serves a large metropolitan hospital. I found this book facinating, to the point and accurate. The message is new and not one that has already been hashed over. It doesn't matter if you are a medical professional or a layman, Americans need to know how different the affects of modern war are on our soldiers compared to past wars. The book is fair to those who serve in the military. One gets a sense of respect that the author, Dr. Glasser, has for those that serve in the armed forces. Good book, easy to read and you will walk away better informed about war and the wounded.
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