A doctor who treats Canadian armed forces veterans with PTSD explores the causes and consequences of this devastating condition.
Ever since Dr. John Whelan (Going Crazy in the Green Machine, 2014) started working with veterans, he has felt that he had a duty “to ensure that the voices of those men and women wounded by their service are heard and not forgotten.” He does not fail in that mission in his new book—part medical report on the emotions that trigger PTSD, part journalistic investigation into the lives of soldiers who have returned home from war zones—which creates a bridge between suffering veterans and the people who want to understand and help them recover. In this volume, readers hear episodic tales from veterans with diverse experiences: from those who felt “intensely angry about their service” and others who struggled to integrate themselves “into a world with vague structure and unclear directions.” Whelan, a Royal Canadian Navy veteran, treats his subjects with the utmost respect and care, taking the time to explain to readers inexperienced in this field that “it is this stoicism and adherence to an outdated version of prideful masculinity that may be contributing to the problems of emotional exhaustion and mental health declines including the phenomenon of chronic PTSD.” Whelan sees the humanity of the veterans he tries to help, and his striking analysis of life in the armed forces—for instance, his explanation of how soldiers often feel more connected to their military family than their biological clan and therefore feel abandoned after leaving the service—shows readers that these warriors have complex emotions and that the best thing the public can do to honor them is to listen to their personal accounts. In this important and necessary book, Whelan explains that “at a fundamental level,” veterans are bound to the military and “maintain aspects of this identity” for the remainder of their lives. He concludes that “the real threat to the health of the institution is cynicism…cynicism tells members…that they are essentially on their own.”
A valuable work for anyone interested in gaining insight into the inner lives of troubled veterans.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)