War's Waste: Rehabilitation in World War I America

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9780226482538: War's Waste: Rehabilitation in World War I America

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.

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About the Author:

Beth Linker is associate professor in the Department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania.

Review:

“Beth Linker has deftly and expertly woven together numerous historical strands to produce an important book deserving of a wide readership. Basing her work on a review of official government documents, popular literature, professional medical and military journals, and, where possible, the voices of soldier-patients themselves, Linker presents a thoughtful and balanced account of the origin, development, and legacies of army rehabilitation policies, practices, and programs. Because of its broad historical scope coupled with its probing scholarly analysis, War’s Waste ought to be rewarding for medical and military historians; historians of disability studies, gender, and technology; health and welfare policy analysts; American Studies scholars (especially those focused on the Progressive Era); and physical rehabilitation specialists—along with orthopedic surgeons and physiatrists who may be interested in the vocational roots of their respective professions.”
(J. T. H. Connor Isis)

“In an erudite and gracefully written first book entitled War’s Waste, Beth Linker explores the cultural, political, and medical meanings ascribed to the rehabilitation of disabled soldiers and veterans during the World War I era. . . . Deftly wielding insights from the history of medicine, gender analysis, and historical institutionalism . . . War’s Waste will be standard reading for those interested in many different fields of historical analysis: modern medicine, the Progressive Era, disability, and the veterans’ welfare system. At a time when thousands of American veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with disability and rehabilitation, the cultural, political, and institutional foundations of their care—and its inadequacies—deserve this special attention.” (Stephen R. Ortiz Journal of American History)

War’s Waste is a well researched and deeply rewarding history of soldiers’ rehabilitation, noteworthy for both the clarity of the author’s prose and the persuasiveness of her arguments. . . . Beth Linker has written an invaluable and all too timely study, one that will interest historians of medicine, policy historians and disability scholars.” (John M. Kinder, Oklahoma State University Social History of Medicine)

“Reading Beth Linker’s excellent book on rehabilitation of American soldiers disabled in World War I is a thrilling experience.” (Leo van Bergen Medicine, Conflict, and Survival)

“This pathbreaking study opens up exciting avenues for future research.” (Jennifer D. Keene, Chapman University American Historical Review)

“Recommended.” (R. D. Arcari, University of Connecticut School of Medicine Choice)

“[A] compelling study. . . . War’s Waste offers important insights into the developments of the ethic of rehabilitation in the Progressive Era and would be useful to any historian of the period.” (Kathleen Brian H-Net)

“A useful addition to the work undertaken in the study of disability as it relates to the First World War. Linker’s book is timely. It not only reveals a little-known area of history and war, but also highlights historical continuities surrounding concerns over the levels of support of those who were sent away to fight and returned maimed.” (Julie Anderson, University of Kent Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era)

War’s Waste is a fine book. Linker has laid down her marker as an important scholar of keen ability and judgment in the field of medical history.” (Christine Hallett, University of Manchester Nursing History Review)

“The rich and important history presented in War’s Waste is relevant to readers wishing to understand the roots of the specialty of rehabilitation medicine but more broadly will likewise be relevant to those interested in the influence of social and political factors on medical practices.” (Elliot J. Roth, Northwestern University Journal of the American Medical Association)

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Beth Linker
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ISBN 10: 0226482537 ISBN 13: 9780226482538
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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 Veteran s Administration, one of the greatest legacies to come out of the First World War. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780226482538

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 Veteran s Administration, one of the greatest legacies to come out of the First World War. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780226482538

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press. Hardback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, War's Waste: Rehabilitation in World War I America, Beth Linker, 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 Veteran's Administration, one of the greatest legacies to come out of the First World War. Bookseller Inventory # B9780226482538

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