Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a psychiatric disorder, the fourth-most-common one in America. Over a decade into the global war on terror, PTSD purportedly afflicts as many as 30 percent of the conflict’s veterans. And the disorder’s reach extends far beyond the armed forces.
David J. Morris, who served in Iraq from 2004 to 2007, provides us with a new understanding in his recently released The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD, he notes, is “in a manner of speaking, a way of institutionalizing moral outrage.”
From Morris’s website is a brief summary of The Evil Hours: Drawing on his own battles with post-traumatic stress, David J. Morris — a war correspondent and former Marine — has written a humane, unforgettable book…Through interviews with people living with PTSD; forays into the rich scientific, literary, and cultural history of the condition; and memoir, Morris crafts a moving work that will speak not only to those with PTSD and their loved ones, but to all of us struggling to make sense of an anxious and uncertain time.
David Morris notes:
I first got interested in PTSD when I read a newspaper article about how some Iraq veterans felt “poisoned” by the war, as if it had fundamentally altered their existential position in the world. I am fascinated by this moral component of survivorship—how events in life can freeze us in time, seeming to render us unfit for the everyday world. This is essentially the same question confronted by Ishmael at the end of Moby Dick, as he looks out on the vast sea from Queequeg’s coffin: How does one live in the aftermath of the impossible?
The Evil Hours has been widely and quite favorably reviewed, from “an eye-opening investigation of war’s casualties” (Kirkus Reviews) to “Well-integrated autobiographical elements make this remarkable work highly instructive and readable. (Publishers Weekly) Read more…