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War's WasteRehabilitation in World War I America$
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Beth Linker

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226482538

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226482552.001.0001

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Propaganda and Patient Protest

Propaganda and Patient Protest

(p.120) Six Propaganda and Patient Protest
War's Waste
University of Chicago Press

This chapter describes in detail the rehabilitation propaganda and complaints of disabled American soldiers. Rehabilitation propaganda worked to maintain political support for both the passage of the War Risk Insurance Act (WRIA) and the war itself. The Office of the Surgeon General (OSG) propaganda and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) reports showed two very different views of physical rehabilitation—one based on ideals, the other on lived experience. The disabled soldiers in charge of the Come-Back assumed that while most able-bodied men had many prospects for marriage, the disabled veteran should feel lucky if even one woman expressed interest in him and should thus reciprocate her signs of affection, even with false words of praise. Military physicians employed the diagnosis of hospitalism to avoid taking responsibility for medical failure. Thus, hospitalism placed the blame on the patient.

Keywords:   rehabilitation propaganda, disabled American soldiers, WRIA, OSG, OIG, military physicians, physical rehabilitation, hospitalism

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