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rapidfire


Listening to Veterans


T


o reduce some of the suffering of the nation’s veterans, Harvard psychologist Dr. Paula J. Caplan came across a very simple


yet effective treatment: listening intently with re- spect. Caplan says this alternative, low-risk approach is helping veterans heal emotionally. A study conducted at Harvard Kennedy School in


Massachusetts through The Welcome Johnny and Jane Home Project coached untrained civilians to listen to whatever veterans had to say about their war and homecoming experiences. Listeners were instructed not to ask questions or make comments but to listen with all their attention. The veterans, who ranged from World War II servicemembers to veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom, uniformly reported the experience was not only positive but also unique, for no one had ever given them the op- portunity to say whatever they needed to say with- out having to respond to someone else’s agenda. The listeners were moved and said they discovered a common shared humanity. Caplan’s research was presented at Harvard Ken- nedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Gover- nance’s “A Better Welcome Home” conference (http:// bit.ly/OToAwc), along with 29 other nonpathologizing, low-risk approaches to helping veterans. To learn more, contact paulacaplan@gmail.com.


DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE


Watch Dr. Paula Caplan present her study’s find- ings. Click here to launch the video.


In Review


The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China. By David J. Silbey. Hill and Wang, 2012. $26.95. ISBN 978-0-8090-9477-6.


The Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900 was “one of the most spon- taneous,


disorganized, violent, and downright peculiar upris- ings” and resulted in the collapse of a dynasty and the further subjugation of China by eight rapaciously imperialistic nations. Historian David Silbey


dramatically presents one of the most balanced and perceptive accounts of this odd, unexpected war, from the popular rising of a disaff ected Chinese population against Chris- tians, all foreigners, and Western infl uence, to the siege of foreign legations in Beijing (Peking) and the confused, hasty allied military response that led to outright war. With crisp, astute nar-


rative and colorful par- ticipant observations, he describes the jingoistic politics of Western and Japanese imperialism, internal Chinese court in- trigues, the bumbling steps toward war, the fi ghting, the heroic defense of the


legations, and the myopic aftermath that led directly to the Russo-Japanese War fi ve years later.


Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Pro- duced Victory in World War II. By Arthur Herman. Random House, 2012. $28. ISBN 978-1-4000-6964-4.


During World War II, the U.S. was known as the “Arsenal of Democ-


racy” for its overwhelming production of war material historian Arthur Herman calls “the greatest industrial miracle in history.” Herman’s comprehen-


sive history describes how American business, not government, was responsi- ble for the conversion from consumer goods to wartime production, capitalizing on free-market enterprise, profi t motive, and the imagination and resource- fulness of businessmen like General Motors’ William Knudsen and construction tycoon Henry Kaiser. Herman tells how American businesses — big and small — cooperat- ed, sharing ideas, manpow- er, resources, and facilities to out-produce the Axis Powers and all America’s allies combined. — William D. Bushnell


*online: Col. William D. Bushnell, USMC-Ret., recommends more books at www.moaa.org/professional. 26 MILITARY OFFICER NOVEMBER 2012


IMAGE: SHUTTERSTOCK


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