Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

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In this groundbreaking book, a leading clinical psychiatrist redefines how we think about and treat victims of trauma. A “stunning achievement” that remains a “classic for our generation.” (Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., author of The Body Keeps the Score).

Trauma and Recovery is revered as the seminal text on understanding trauma survivors. By placing individual experience in a broader political frame, Harvard psychiatrist Judith Herman argues that psychological trauma is inseparable from its social and political context. Drawing on her own research on incest, as well as a vast literature on combat veterans and victims of political terror, she shows surprising parallels between private horrors like child abuse and public horrors like war.

Hailed by the New York Times as “one of the most important psychiatry works to be published since Freud,” Trauma and Recovery is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand how we heal and are healed.



“One of the most important psychiatric works to be published since Freud.”―New York Times

“A landmark.”―Gloria Steinem

“A stunning achievement … a classic for our generation.”―Bessel van der Kolk, of The Body Keeps the Score

“A book of luminous intelligence. You must read it as soon as possible.”―Sophie Freud

“Astute, accessible, and beautifully documented. Bridging the worlds of war veterans, prisoners of war, battered women, and incest victims, Herman presents a compelling analysis of trauma and the process of healing. A triumph.”―Laura Daviscoauthor of The Courage to Heal

“Brilliant.”―Boston Globe

“This book will surely become a landmark work on the social impact of psychological trauma and on its treatments…. A magnificent gift to survivors.”―Women’s Review of Books

“Herman’s brilliant insights into the nature of trauma and the process of healing shine through in every page of this rich and compassionate book.”―Lenore Walker, ED.D., Director, Domestic Violence Instituteand author of Terrifying Love

“Herman links the public traumas of society to those of domestic life in this provocative work of psychiatric theory.”―Publishers Weekly

About the Author:

Judith Herman, M.D., is professor of psychiatry, emerita, at Harvard Medical School. Herman is also a founding member of the Women’s Mental Health Collective. She was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and the Woman in Science Award from the American Medical Women’s Association, and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.
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