Book Reviews

Reviews of books by MWSA members. Reviews appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recent review posted appearing first.
Note: Some older reviews are being reposted to this site and those will appear out of order.

Tears for Mother Earth

Title: Tears for Mother Earth
Author: jim greenwald
Genre: Poetry, Book of Poetry
Reviewer: Claudia Pemberton

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1607038161

This book is about a concern we should all share, keeping this planet, our home, alive for future generations to enjoy. It is about saving our planet, raising awareness, creating a concern within each person to do something rather than sitting back and wishing. I hope that something I wrote spurs you to action, to become involved in the saving of this planet. It would be hard to imagine a person not concerned enough to act to save what they have for their children, who deserve no less. That oft used phrase of “what can I do, I am only one person” rings hollow, for there is much an individual can do.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
greenwald, jim

Vietnam Trilogy: Vol. 3 War Trauma: Lessons Unlearned from Vietnam to Iraq, A

Title: A Vietnam Trilogy: Vol. 3 War Trauma: Lessons Unlearned from Vietnam to Iraq
Author: Raymond Monsour Scurfield
Genre: Non-Fiction, History
Reviewer: Joyce Gilmour

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): ISBN / EAN

"War Trauma" concludes "A Vietnam Trilogy," in which a nationally-renowned authority on post-traumatic stress disorder reveals the psychiatric impact of war on soldiers and veterans, which is denied or minimized by government and the military. Through efforts to treat veterans of past conflicts he illustrates the inevitability of lifelong psychiatric scars from today s conflicts as well.

Scurfield draws on the experience of prior wars for valuable insights to help people who are now in the military or in the healing professions, and their families and communities, to deal with today s realities of combat and its aftermath.

This book studies the psychiatric impact of war on soldiers and veterans, and their familiesm and uses the experience of veterans of earlier wars to help people who are now in the military or in the healing professions, and their families and communities, to deal with today s realities of combat and its aftermath.
The effects go on for decades after the violence occurred, and we are still just learning to understand the depth and variety of problems it can cause. Further, Scurfield documents his proven innovative therapies for treating PTSD.

This volume also looks at what military and mental health professionals should have learned from the Vietnam War in order to better protect Americans in later conflicts and to help them recover afterwards. The Persian Gulf War, for instance, had an immense impact on veterans of all wars. The author was a national faculty member for joint VA-DOD training programs to enhance mental health response readiness for receiving anticipated medical and psychiatric casualties from the Persian Gulf War. What he found was a resurgence of selective amnesia and denial about the true impact of war.

Scurfield notes, "Chillingly, what happened in Vietnam in 1968-69 regarding psychiatric casualties has enormous parallels to what is happening today regarding US psychiatric casualties from the Iraq War."

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Scurfield, Raymond

Vietnam Trilogy: Vol. 2 Healing Journeys: Study Abroad with Vietnam Veterans, A

Title: A Vietnam Trilogy: Vol. 2 Healing Journeys: Study Abroad with Vietnam Veterans
Author: Raymond Monsour Scurfield
Genre: Non-Fiction
Reviewer: Joyce Gilmour

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 087586404X

Synopsis of the book, submitted by the author.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Scurfield, Raymond

Vietnam Trilogy: Vol. 1 Veterans and Post Traumatic Stress: 1968, 1989, 2000, A

Title: A Vietnam Trilogy: Vol. 1 Veterans and Post Traumatic Stress: 1968, 1989, 2000
Author: Raymond Scurfield
Genre: Non-Fiction
Reviewer: Joyce Gilmour

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0875863221

An internationally recognized expert on war and post-traumatic stress therapy analyzes the Vietnam War s psychological and social impact and the implications for today s veterans through the lens of his service in 1968 and two return visits in 1989 and 2000.

Through the stories of veterans and the author s own understanding as a psychiatric social work officer in Vietnam and his extensive post-war experiences as a mental health professional, A Vietnam Trilogy describes the impact of war on veterans from a psychiatric, psychological, social and cultural perspective, both during and decades after the war.
The large numbers of psychiatric casualties from war used to be attributed to an underlying psychiatric disorder presenting the classic blame-the-victim scenario. When they were finally classified as what is now known as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), the path was opened for more realistic and fruitful healing techniques. A Vietnam Trilogy describes a care-giver s and numerous veterans perspectives of what happens to combatants during war, the therapeutic processes fostered by an innovative Dept. of Veteran Affairs treatment program directed by Dr. Scurfield, and the pioneering return trips he co-led to peace-time Vietnam in 1989 and 2000.
This book offers a unique vicarious journey of healing and pathos by relating the experiences of those who participated in these therapeutic efforts. For families, care-givers, students and teachers of history, and others, the book offers a glimpse from the participants view of the shock, the horrors, the overwhelming stress, and the mindset that were so damaging to personnel in the war zone, as well as of the extraordinary courage and strength necessary to survive. Finally, it offers insight into creative therapeutic approaches and recommendations for veterans and those who wish to help them recover from the traumas of war. Volume 1,"A Vietnam Trilogy. Veterans and Post-Traumatic Stress, 1968, 1989 and 2000", describes the healing processes of hundreds of veterans from Vietnam and earlier wars up until 1990, when the author co-led a group of veterans on a therapeutic trip back to Vietnam to face their demons.
The second volume, "Healing Journeys," continues from 1990 to 2000 (including a discussion of the impact of the first Gulf War on veterans of earlier wars) and a second return trip to Vietnam in 2000, as part of a university Study Abroad program, to help veterans in their healing process.
Volume 3, "War Trauma, Lessons Unlearned From Vietnam to Iraq" (Algora, fall 2006), completes the Trilogy with a consideration of the experience of prior wars to help people who are now in the military or in the healing professions, and their families and communities, to deal with today s realities of combat and its aftermath.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Scurfield, Raymond

Fire in the Night: Creative Essays from an Iraq War Vet

Title: Fire in the Night: Creative Essays from an Iraq War Vet
Author: Lee Kelley
Genre: Non-Fiction, Anthology
Reviewer: Joyce Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1438235488

Already a freelance writer, Lee started a blog when he was sent to Iraq in 2005. His family and friends expected to read of his experiences, and a blog was the perfect medium. A hometown reporter visited his unit in Iraq, and Lee ended up on the front page of the Salt Lake Tribune. That's how it all began. Since then, he's been in the top 10 military blogs on milblogging.com for years, featured in TIME magazine, read some of his essays on radio shows, and even been on the local news in Salt Lake City, Utah. Through it all, readers have been very supportive of Lee's writing and he has received thousands of queries about when he might publish a book. Here are 53 of the most popular essays. They have been adapted from the blog, and writing that he's done in other forums, such as The New York Times and Doonesbury.com. All of the work in this book was either written while he was still in Iraq or as a direct result of his experiences there.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Kelley, Lee

Pages