How and why war and military culture have a traumatic impact on families and memory
The Wars We Inherit
Military Life, Gender Violence, and Memory
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Lori E. Amy
By combining personal memoir and critical analysis, Lori Amy links the violence we live in our homes to the violence that structures our larger culture. The Wars We Inherit brings insights from memory and trauma studies to the story of violence in the author’s own family.
In this brave, fascinating, and compelling book, Amy confronts the brutality associated with the military. She explores how this institution of public, cultural violence with its hypermasculinity spills over, imbuing society with physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual aggression. Her portrait of her war-veteran father conveys the chaotic and dehumanizing impact of war, illustrating how families experience and remember violence.
Amy contends that “if we can begin, in our own lives, to transform the destructive ways that we have been shaped by violence, then we might begin to transform the cultural conditions that breed violence.”
"The Wars We Inherit [is] a groundbreaking addition to the literatures on trauma and gendered violence. Amy makes a unique contribution to the current literature on traumatic memory and survival. She presents her arguments effectively, and her story, clearly and courageously told, is both riveting and painful."
"Amy breaks her silence to scrutinize family violence and teach methods for dealing with it....[S]he helps expose abuse she says is often hidden by the careful performances of both victims and abusers."
"I have never, ever read anything like Lori E. Amy's The Wars We Inherit….Although I could put it down after I started it, I found myself reading it again the morning after I first picked it up—at five a.m., when I couldn't sleep....This is an extraordinary book...it belongs in every public library. Book groups should read it. Even if you don't agree with what the author is saying, I think you would have to agree that she is trying to be thoughtful and fair while she is saying it."