The Politics of Wounds: Military Patients and Medical Power in the First World War

Hardcover | October 8, 2014

byAna Carden-Coyne

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The Politics of Wounds explores military patients' experiences of frontline medical evacuation, war surgery, and the social world of military hospitals during the First World War. The proximity of the front and the colossal numbers of wounded created greater public awareness of the impact ofthe war than had been seen in previous conflicts, with serious political consequences.Frequently referred to as "our wounded", the central place of the soldier in society, as a symbol of the war's shifting meaning, drew contradictory responses of compassion, heroism, and censure. Wounds also stirred romantic and sexual responses. This volume reveals the paradoxical situation of theincreasing political demand levied on citizen soldiers concurrent with the rise in medical humanitarianism and war-related charitable voluntarism. The physical gestures and poignant sounds of the suffering men reached across the classes, giving rise to convictions about patient rights, which attimes conflicted with the military's pragmatism. Why, then, did patients represent military medicine, doctors and nurses in a negative light? The Politics of Wounds listens to the voices of wounded soldiers, placing their personal experience of pain within the social, cultural, and political contexts of military medical institutions. The author reveals how the wounded and disabled found culturally creative ways to express their pain,negotiate power relations, manage systemic tensions, and enact forms of "soft resistance" against the societal and military expectations of masculinity when confronted by men in pain. The volume concludes by considering the way the state ascribed social and economic values on the body parts ofdisabled soldiers though the pension system.

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The Politics of Wounds explores military patients' experiences of frontline medical evacuation, war surgery, and the social world of military hospitals during the First World War. The proximity of the front and the colossal numbers of wounded created greater public awareness of the impact ofthe war than had been seen in previous confli...

Ana Carden-Coyne is Co-Director of the Centre for the Cultural History of War, University of Manchester, and co-founder, Disability History Group, UK/Europe. Her publications include Reconstructing the Body: Classicism, Modernism and the First World War (2009), Gender and Conflict Since 1914: Historical and Interdisciplinary Perspectiv...

other books by Ana Carden-Coyne

Format:HardcoverDimensions:328 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.1 inPublished:October 8, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199698260

ISBN - 13:9780199698264

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Table of Contents

Introduction, Wounded Politics1. Men in Pain: Triage, Transport and the War Machine2. Wounds, Experiments, and Ethics: Military Surgery at War3. Transformations in the Theatre of Dreams: Resuscitation, Anaesthetics, Opportunity, and Patient Agency4. Provocative Wounds: Sociality and Intimacy in War Hospitals5. Silent Wounds: Coercion, Brutality, and Resistance in War Hospitals6. ConclusionEpilogue: Citizen Cripple: The Social and Economic Value of Body PartsBibliography