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New Book Corner Suggestion: The Veteran Comes Back by Willard Waller

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    This book was recommended by Professor Mike Almond.

    Published in 1944 by a renowned American sociologist who knew the veterans’ experience through his grandfather who experienced the American Civil War and his own service in the US Navy in WW1. It starts by describing the biblical experience of war, death and leadership in the time of King David. Dying early, and suddenly, aged 46 and just before the end of WW2 Waller didn’t see the GI Bill and support for veterans after WW2. The book contains 4 key themes of; the irreversible change becoming a soldier engenders, the extraordinary bonds of solidarity that brings, the reshaping of the moral code required (especially for those experiencing combat) and that the soldier cannot return to the citizen they once were.

    Written in its time, framed by the post WW1 depression, and watching the rise of fascism, perhaps embraced particularly by veterans, it raises difficult questions from the 1930’s. Is any of this true today or like the biblical introduction is it now best left in the past?

    The book can be accessed for free here.

    Veteran book

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