In this ambitious follow-up to Achilles in Vietnam, Dr. Jonathan Shay uses the Odyssey, the story of a soldier's homecoming, to illuminate the pitfalls that trap many veterans on the road back to civilian life.
Seamlessly combining important psychological work and brilliant literary interpretation with an impassioned plea to renovate American military institutions, Shay deepens our understanding of both the combat veteran's experience and one of the world's greatest classics.
Jonathan Shay is a Boston-area psychiatrist whose patients are Vietnam combat veterans with severe, chronic post-traumatic stress disorder in the Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic. He is also on the faculty of Tufts Medical School. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“[A] fresh take on a literary classic.”–Library Journal
“A brilliant successor to Shay's groundbreaking Achilles in Vietnam.”–Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Why They Kill and The Making of the Atomic Bomb
“Should be read by anyone interested in the effects of combat on troops, or in the meaning of Homer's works -- and by everyone who wants to better understand today's United States. Buy it, read it, and make your friends read it.” –Thomas E. Ricks, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Making the Corps
“Just as the Iliad and Odyssey complement each other perfectly, so also Odysseus in America is a most worthy companion to Achilles in Vietnam. Dr. Shay has given his readers a true American Odyssey.” –Gregory Nagy, Professor of Classical Greek Literature at Harvard University, and Director of Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C.
“Provocative thinking and clarity of style on the page are Jonathan Shay's consistent hallmarks. Even those who disagree with his conclusions will find his work of profound value. This is a moral, insightful, stimulating book.” –Ralph Peters, author of Beyond Terror and Fighting for the Future Vibrant