War's Waste: Rehabilitation In World War I America by Beth LinkerWar's Waste: Rehabilitation In World War I America by Beth Linker

War's Waste: Rehabilitation In World War I America

byBeth Linker

Paperback | February 26, 2014

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With US soldiers stationed around the world and engaged in multiple conflicts, Americans will be forced for the foreseeable future to come to terms with those permanently disabled in battle. At the moment, we accept rehabilitation as the proper social and cultural response to the wounded, swiftly returning injured combatants to their civilian lives. But this was not always the case, as Beth Linker reveals in her provocative new book, War’s Waste.
Linker explains how, before entering World War I, the United States sought a way to avoid the enormous cost of providing injured soldiers with pensions, which it had done since the Revolutionary War. Emboldened by their faith in the new social and medical sciences, reformers pushed rehabilitation as a means to “rebuild” disabled soldiers, relieving the nation of a monetary burden and easing the decision to enter the Great War. Linker’s narrative moves from the professional development of orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists to the curative workshops, or hospital spaces where disabled soldiers learned how to repair automobiles as well as their own artificial limbs. The story culminates in the postwar establishment of the Veterans Administration, one of the greatest legacies to come out of the First World War.
Beth Linker is associate professor in the Department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania.
Title:War's Waste: Rehabilitation In World War I AmericaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:300 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:February 26, 2014Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022614335X

ISBN - 13:9780226143354

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Roots of Rehabilitation

1 The Problem of the Pensioner

2 Reconstructing Disabled Soldiers

3 A New Female Force

4 Maximalist Medicine at Walter Reed

5 The Limb Lab and the Engineering of Manly Bodies

6 Propaganda and Patient Protest

7 Rehabilitating the Industrial Army

Epilogue: Walter Reed, Then and Now





Editorial Reviews

“War’s Waste connects the history of medicine to the historical experience of disability. Beth Linker shows that World War I doctors developed new rehabilitation technologies they hoped would cure disability in response to the vast human and economic costs of the war’s new technologies of mass carnage. But soldiers with disabilities also played a key role in this medicalization. They rejected claims that rehabilitation produced quick cures, and they demanded additional medical and nursing treatment. Linker’s sensitive and moving examples bring to life the economic, gender, and race conflicts that shaped the first generation to experience twentieth-century rehabilitation.”