The Wars We Inherit: Military Life, Gender Violence, and Memory


Amy, Lori E. 2010. The Wars We Inherit: Military Life, Gender Violence, and Memory. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Author: Lori E. Amy


By combining personal memoir and critical analysis, the author links the violence we live in our homes to the violence that structures our larger culture. This book brings insights from memory and trauma studies to the story of violence in the author's own family. She concerns herself with the violence associated with the military, and how this institution of public, cultural violence, with its hypermasculinity pervades society with physical, verbal, emotional and sexual aggression. She uses her war-veteran father to represent the chaotic and dehumanizing impact of war to show how violence is experienced and remembered. She provides examples that support the relationship between military structures and domestic violence, or how the sexual violence that permeates her family prompts debates about the nature of trauma and memory. In addition, she employs feminist psychoanalytic theory, cultural and trauma studies, and narrative theory, to explain how torture in Abu Ghraib is on a direct continuum with the ordinary violence inherent in our current systems of gender and nation. Here contention here is 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." (Publisher description)

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Health, Trauma, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Sexual Violence, Violence

Year: 2010

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