A remarkable kind of light . . .

War Torn
Stories of Courage, Love, and Resilience
by Kenneth E. Miller
Current Events / World Affairs



Foreword by James Garbarino

6 x 9
295 pages

List price : $17.95
Regular online price : $14.36
(You save $3.59)


With some 200 million people affected by armed

conflict or genocide, refugees are appearing in

record numbers. War Torn takes us beyond the

headlines into the lives of civilians caught up in

war's destructive power in Afghanistan, Iraq,

Bosnia, Guatemala, and Sri Lanka.   Alongside

stories that convey the destruction and heartbreak

of armed conflict, he captures the courage and

resilience he calls “a remarkable kind of light,” an

essential counterpoint to the grief and trauma that

war creates. The stories in War Torn are powerful,

heart-wrenching, and unforgettable. After reading

them, we welcome the rich list of options Miller

offers (at the end of the book) for ways we can


Drawing on his extensive research and clinical

experience, Miller also offers a nuanced critique

of the overly narrow focus on PTSD among sur-

vivors of armed conflict.

About Ken Miller

  An international expert on the impact of armed

conflict on civilians, psychologist Kenneth E. Miller

has been working with war-affected communities

since 1991 as a researcher, clinician, organizational

consultant, and filmmaker. A professor of clinical

and community psychology for much of his career

(San Francisco State University, Pomona College),

in 2015 he joined the Dutch NGO War Child Holland

and is currently based in Amsterdam. His website is


Kenneth E. Miller

Early Praise

“You could find no better guide than Ken Miller to

illuminate this dark territory. A skilled storyteller,

he has an eye for nuance that is often missing in

our cultural conversation about PTSD. There is

great suffering in the aftermath of unthinkable

events, but there is also bravery and courage

that reveal what is best about humanity. I put

down this book with a heart that was broken but

also filled with hope.”

    —Ethan Watters, author, Crazy Like Us and
       cofounder, San Francisco Writers’ Grotto

“"Ken Miller weaves together for us tragic stories

of war, loss, and injustice with tales of friendship,

family, and laughter. Ken's gift is the way he listens,

which takes him and his readers beyond simple

categories of war victim or trauma to the complex

experiences people have in settings torn apart by

violence. I'm grateful for the way he has captured

the simultaneously disabling and inspiring coexistence

of darkness and light in these places."

—Jeannie Annan, PhD, Director of Research, Evaluation,
and Learning at the International Rescue Committee

"In evocative and powerful prose, Miller captures

the remarkable human capacity for resilience in

the face of great adversity. He also writes with

compassion about the lasting damage that war

has on the human heart and mind, when the

limits of resilience have been surpassed.”

      —from the foreword by James Garbarino,
author of Lost Boys and No Place to be a Child

“War Torn is an exceptional, gripping account of

the impact of war—a must-read for anyone interested

in how war profoundly touches and shapes people.

Ken Miller merges the expressive writing of a

novelist with compassion and the profound under-

standing of a seasoned mental health professional.

This collection of personal experiences and mosaic

of situations provides rich and unique insights into

the complexities of war torn countries.”

—Dr. Mark Jordans, Center for Global Mental Health,
   King’s College London

War Torn provides harrowing first-hand insights

into human suffering across contexts burned into

global consciousness as theatres of late twentieth

century and early twenty-first century inhumanity:

Guatemala,Bosnia, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Afghani-

stan,and Syria. But the extraordinarily sensitive and

insightful text ultimately communicates most power-

fully regarding the humanity that endures in such

adversity. This humanity is observed in those humani-

tarians seeking to respond to those in need but, above

all, in the determination, humor, and love shown by

those struggling against the destruction of their com-

munities and identities by civil conflict. Miller’s narra-

tive doesn’t lapse into sentimentality, however.

The humanity that it witnesses to is a bloodied one,

born of labor, sacrifice, and suffering. In the year

when the UN Secretary-General, through the World

Humanitarian Summit, is calling for recognizing our

shared humanity as the key driver of our decision-

making and collective action, we would benefit from

this book being compulsory reading for all who need

to grasp that that sharedness is not a principle, but

a visceral, tortured and consoling reality.”
    —Alastair Ager, Director of International Health and
Development at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.
Author of Faith, Secularism, and Humanitarian Engagement;
editor of  Refugees: Perspectives on the Experience of
Forced Migration