Traumatic Pasts: History, Psychiatry, and Trauma in the Modern Age, 1870-1930

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Traumatic Pasts, originally published in 2001, offers a variety of perspectives on mental trauma in war, medicine, culture and society in modern European and American history. Its primary goals are: to provide a generous sampling of the best of the historical scholarship about trauma; to indicate the empirical, analytical and methodological scope of this work; and to present some of the conceptual and methodological issues inherent in writing about the subject. The book operates on the premise that the historical humanities have something crucially important to say about trauma; its essays may be read, in part, as attempts to introduce a deep historical dimension into ongoing debates and controversies. However, it is important to stress that these essays are not simply addressed the concerns; rather, they reflect a shared conviction that trauma opens up fresh perspectives in the study of social and cultural history.