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Description de l’éditeur
During World War I, when Captain J. T. MacCurdy, a Canadian psychiatrist and Cornell University lecturer, was despatched on a special mission to Britain, he undertook one of the earliest studies of war neuroses. The new factor was the availability of high explosives following Nobel’s discovery of dynamite in 1867 (nitroglycerin and diatomaceous earth) and developments thereof such as trinitrotoluene (TNT) and picric acid. High explosives were a boon to the mining and the civil engineer but inflicted terrible injuries on combatants. Shell shock—or, as we would now call it, post-traumatic stress disorder—resulted from extreme experiences on the battlefield, injury, concussion, being buried alive or simply the scale of the slaughter.
This book, which was first published in 1943, contains the text of lectures delivered by Dr. J. T. MacCurdy to groups of officers from the army and the auxiliary women’s services early in WWII. MacCurdy, continuing on from his findings during WWI, discusses the nature of fear, the national factors at play in the creation and sustainability of morale with reference to the Allied and Axis powers, and the significance of psychological factors in practice in an organized community.
“This intelligent, objective analysis of the nature of the psychological factor in war was intended for the British soldier, but its interest and application are universal.”—Foreign Affairs