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The Anatomy of Courage: The Classic WWI Study of the Psychological Effects of War Paperback – January 17, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

As relevant today as it was when first written over sixty years ago The Bulletin of the Military Historical Society --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Lord Moran was created 1st Baron Moran on Manton in 1943. During the 1914-18 war he was awarded the MC during the Battle of the Somme and the Italian Silver Medal for Military Valour for a raid. He was for twenty-four years the Dean of St Mary's Hospital Medical School. In 1945 he published The Anatomy of Courage. He became Winston Churchill's doctor in 1940, as the curtain was rising on one of the greatest dramas in our history, and from 1941 to 1950 he was also President of the Royal College of Physicians. In his war memoirs, Churchill called Moran "a devoted and personal friend" to whose "unfailing care I probably owe my life."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 1st Carroll & Graf Ed edition (January 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786718994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786718993
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
The Anatomy of Courage strives to dissect the problem of courage and give the commander a tool to enhance it in battle, to increase it in training, or to find it in recruiting. He discusses the mystery of why one person can fight in the trenches (In WWI) for days or weeks and then one day, simply break. He searches for methods to discover than breaking point and extend it - to maximize the use of that precious commodity. He fails. Instead, he seems to say that the only really beneficial thing the commander can do is recognize the man that has courage and recruit him for service. Promote him when he demonstrates it and hope for the best from the rest of his troops. It is not a happy discovery for the author but he doesn't do well discovering a solution to the problem. It is not for lack of effort and his thoroughness makes the prospects for another would be problem solver seem just as bleak.

It is a wonderful journey and a great exploration of the topic. If there isn't a solution to the problem of maximizing courage then the commander can see how important recruiting is and spend his resources there instead. The US marine recruiting goal of looking for "a few good men" seems to be on the mark. Well worth the read.
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I am not sure where to start with this review. I was reading something else and found reference to this book and it is the best surprise in books I have had in years. Written by a Medical Doctor who served in the trenches of WW I for England he wrote the book for Churchill, who he served in WW II. Outstanding material on the attribute of courage on the battlefield, under stress - what causes problems, how to prevent them and on and on. The man has been there. I could see things he was talking about from my sniper teams in Vietnam. I could see it so clearly it was a little weird. I don't know where this book has been or why it isn't at the forefront of military reading but one outstanding look at the problems and solutions from down in the dirt of war.
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Every soldier or potential officer in any military would benefit from this book. Its cited in just about every non-fiction war type book written since
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