Aftershock | Granta

  • Published: 07/07/2016
  • ISBN: 9781846273315
  • 129x20mm
  • 336 pages


Matthew Green

Over the last decade, we have sent thousands of people to fight on our behalf. But what happens when these soldiers come back home, having lost their friends and killed their enemies, having seen and done things that have no place in civilian life? In Aftershock, Matthew Green tells the story of our veterans’ journey from the frontline of combat to the reality of return.

Through wide-ranging interviews with former combatants — including a Royal Marine sniper and a former operator in the SAS – as well as serving personnel and their families, physicians, therapists, and psychiatrists, Aftershock looks beyond the headline-grabbing statistics and the labels of post-traumatic stress disorder to get to the heart of today’s post-conflict experience. Green asks what lessons have been learned from past wars, and explores the range of help currently available, from traditional talking cures to cutting-edge scientific therapies. As today’s battle-scarred troops begin to lay their weapons down, Aftershock is a hard-hitting account of the hidden cost of conflict. And its message is one that has profound implications, not just for the military, but for anyone with an interest in how we experience trauma and survive.

Green has documented the hidden cost of modern war in a way no other author has ever even attempted. Intelligent, sensitive, courageous and tenacious, he has spent two years listening to the harrowing stories of former soldiers struggling to cope with PTSD - and hearing how the military and medical establishment have, for the most part, failed them. The MoD should hang their heads in shame if this book does not become required reading at every staff college. Aftershock hasn't come a moment too soon

James Fergusson, author, A Million Bullets

Compelling, humbling and hugely inspiring accounts from the real heroes of our era. We have a duty to understand what these men have given on our behalf

Bear Grylls

Intelligently written and agreeably unsensational... One of the many strengths of this nuanced book is the sympathy and compassion [Green] brings to the experiences of soldiers... [A] revealing and thought-provoking study

Trevor Royle, Sunday Herald

The Author

Matthew Green is a journalist dedicated to exploring how an understanding of collective trauma can help solve our global crises. Green began his career as a journalist working in east Africa, where he wrote his first book the Wizard of the Nile: The Hunt for Joseph Kony. After spending 14 years working internationally as a correspondent, including in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Green returned to Britain to write Aftershock: Fighting War, Surviving Trauma and Finding Peace, which documents the struggles of military veterans and their families to find new ways to recover from the trauma of war. Green is now focused on climate accountability journalism, and writes Resonant World, a newsletter serving the global movement dedicated to healing the impact of individual, ancestral and collective trauma.

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From the Same Author

The Wizard Of The Nile

Matthew Green

Somewhere in the jungles of Uganda, there hides a fugitive rebel leader: he is said to take his orders directly from the spirit world and, together with his ragged army of brutalized child soldiers, he has left a bloody trail of devastation across his country. Joseph Kony is now an internationally wanted criminal, and yet nobody really knows who he is or what he is fighting for. Intrigued by the myths, Matthew Green heads off into a war zone, meeting the victims, the peacemakers and the regional powerbrokers as he tracks down the man himself. The Wizard of the Nile is the first book to peel back the layers of mysticism and murky politics surrounding Kony, to shine a searching light onto this forgotten conflict, and to tell the gripping human story behind an inhumane war and a humanitarian crisis.

Matthew Green on

In Conversation | The Online Edition

Matthew Green and Bryan Doerries

Matthew Green & Bryan Doerries

Matthew Green and Bryan Doerries discuss Greek tragedy, post-traumatic stress disorder and the cathartic power of drama.