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Veterans on Trial: The Coming Court Battles over PTSD Hardcover – June 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"Barry Schaller’s enlightening narrative will go a long way toward helping to educate members of the military, law enforcement, the courts, and the general public about the unique challenges facing veterans struggling with the ‘invisible’ injuries of war. In this compelling book, Schaller effectively addresses one of the most complex issues facing American society."—Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, USA (Ret.), former vice chief of staff; CEO, One Mind for Research
(Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, USA (Ret.))

"Veterans on Trial is sobering, insightful, and enormously timely. Far more than a legal treatise, it is a compelling cultural, political, and national security assessment of the significant and deeply misunderstood psychiatric casualties that accompany any national decision on military intervention. Barry Schaller has written the definitive analysis of the mental health consequences of war."—Lt. Gen. Daniel W. Christman, USA (Ret.), former superintendent, United States Military Academy
(Lt. Gen. Daniel W. Christman)

"Justice Schaller effectively and simply lays out the framework for understanding PTSD and the negative and far-reaching effects it has on society as a whole. If his suggestions for how to deal more effectively with PTSD were incorporated by our politicians, military leadership, mental health and legal communities, and by the general population, the long-term impact of PTSD could be mitigated, and it would be less costly—monetarily and in quality of life—for so many veterans and their families. This book should be required reading by the legal and psychological communities, as well as by the layman."—Laurie Harkness, PhD, director, Errera Community Care Center, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, and clinical professor in psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine
(Laurie Harkness)

“This book is the clearest, most concise, and evenly argued history and analysis of PTSD and its effect on families and society that I’ve ever read. It should be required reading for anyone in the legal, medical, or mental health fields, because all of them, after ten years of war, are going to be hit with what the author persuasively argues is going to be a national public health issue of grave proportions.”—Karl Marlantes, author of Matterhorn and What It Is Like to Go to War
(Karl Marlantes)

"Hundreds of thousands of troops are returning from war with PTSD caused by combat, sexual assault, or both. In his wise and compassionate book, Justice Schaller makes a compelling argument for why we must acknowledge the damage war does to our soldiers before we deploy them. As he so ably demonstrates, we must also learn how to ameliorate it afterward, recognizing the unique circumstances of veterans while also maintaining the right of all citizens to equal protection under the law."—Helen Benedict, author of Sand Queen and The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq
(Helen Benedict)

"Schaller’s comprehensive study reminds us that while veterans are returning home in large numbers with an array of grievous physical and mental wounds, it is the nation itself—its political and military leadership, its social service and judicial institutions—that is on trial."—Larry Minear, author of Through Veterans’ Eyes: The Iraq and Afghanistan Experience
(Larry Minear)

About the Author

BARRY R. SCHALLER is a clinical visiting lecturer at the Yale Law School, where he received his law degree, and a visiting lecturer at Trinity College. Since retiring from the Connecticut Supreme Court, he continues his judicial service on the Connecticut Appellate Court. He is the author of A Vision of American Law (Praeger, 1997) and Understanding Bioethics and the Law (Praeger, 2008). He lives in Guilford, Connecticut.

TODD BREWSTER is the director of the Center for Oral History at the United States Military Academy, West Point, and co-author, with Peter Jennings, of The Century (Doubleday, 1998) and In Search of America (Hyperion, 2002).

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books (June 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597976962
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597976961
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,368,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James D. McCann on August 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book on Kindle and read it last month. I was personally interested in this topic as I am the child of a WWII vet who committed suicide after returning from France.
I found it to be a terrific, clear and engaging read that is an education in itself. In all probability we will all be dealing with these issues ourselves especially in the behavioral health and medical arenas - to say nothing of our own neighborhoods. As an educated society, we should all be aware of the costs on individuals of going to war. This thoroughly researched book spells out the legal and legislative attmepts that have been made to cope with soldiers returning from war with PTSD (both now and historically) and fleshes it out with real-life personal stories of individuals, both men and women, who struggle to cope with the effect war has had on them. Reading this book will help make all of us more conversant with the legal and historical issues while making us more compassionate and informed citizens.
It would be great if libraries would promote this book for book discussion groups. I believe this book can both prepare us and help heal us.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Zacchea on August 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Veterans on Trial is a lucid discussion about the intersection of PTSD/TBI and the law. In my estimation, it is an important contribution to the national discussion about the looming crisis in mental health care and how our nation will deal with the tidal wave of veterans returning from combat theaters and attempting to re-integrate into a post-combat, post-military society which may be at best apathetic, and at worst subtly hostile to them.

Our nation is facing a crisis in the next decade as the military down-sizes and more than two million combat veterans return to civilian society. Solving the problem of how to reintegrate them will require a multi-faceted, holistic approach. Justice Schaller's perceptive book poses in clear prose the magnitude of the task.

A "Must Read" for veterans, families and friends of veterans, and law enforcement officials, education professionals, health care professionals, and business people who want to be part of the solution.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By california girl on October 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
great book!
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