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The Human Body in the Age of CatastropheBrittleness, Integration, Science, and the Great War$
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Stefanos Geroulanos and Todd Meyers

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226556451

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226556628.001.0001

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The Puzzle of Wounds: Shock and the Body at War

The Puzzle of Wounds: Shock and the Body at War

(p.34) 2 The Puzzle of Wounds: Shock and the Body at War
The Human Body in the Age of Catastrophe

Stefanos Geroulanos

Todd Meyers

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 2 launches our study of the body at war—the injured soldier’s body during and after World War I, and specifically the body that, once injured, appeared to be at war with itself. The chapter focuses on the fierce debates around “wound shock” that took place in the period 1916–1919 and that brought together many of the protagonists of this book who have since receded into historical oblivion. It also locates shock in a group of daunting whole-body conditions: “soldier’s heart,” shell shock, sepsis, shallow breathing, and exhaustion. These conditions provided sites for pursuing, adapting, and applying research, particularly on hormones and the interaction between different systems within the body, and consequently they supplied a framework for understanding how each organism behaves—and collapses—as a unit.

Keywords:   battlefield, British Expeditionary Force (WWI), William M. Bayliss, Walter B. Cannon, Alexis Carrel, E. M. Cowell, Henry Dale, disintegration, George Washington Crile, Erwin Morris, F. W. Mott, Charles S. Myers, shell shock, soldier's heart, surgery, wound shock, World War I

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