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Shell Shock and the emotional history of the First World War

Events • History • Talk

This lecture looked at shell shock as a new category of emotional response to the terrors of modern war, arising not from individual war experience, but from the monstrous character of the war itself. Professor Winter contends that the number of men suffering from psychological disabilities after the First World War has been significantly underestimated. As much as 25% of all men wounded in the Great War had psychological or neurological injuries. The significant experiences of this vast army of disabled soldiers – perhaps 5-6 million men among the 35 million who were injured or fell ill during the conflict – must now, in this centenary year, be reconsidered.


Jay Winter
Charles J. Stille Professor of History at Yale University.

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