War Torn

Stories of Courage, Love, and Resilience By Kenneth E. Miller

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About this book:

War Torn
Stories of Courage, Love, and Resilience
by Kenneth E. Miller

Foreword by James Garbarino

With more than 200 million people affected by armed conflict or genocide, refugees are appearing in record numbers . . .

Subjects: Current Events / World Affairs, Autobiography

6 x 9, paperback
295 pages

ISBN 10: 1-936012-78-2
ISBN 13: 978-1-936012-78-7

Book Details

Description

"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

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 help. 

Drawing on his extensive research and clinical experience, Miller also offers a nuanced critique of the overly narrow focus on PTSD among survivors of armed conflict. 

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 understanding 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, Afghanistan,and Syria. But the extraordinarily sensitive and insightful text ultimately communicates most powerfully regarding the humanity that endures in such adversity. This humanity is observed in those humanitarians 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 communities and identities by civil conflict. Miller’s narrative 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

About Kenneth E. 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 www.kennethemiller.com.

Book Details

"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

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 help. 

Drawing on his extensive research and clinical experience, Miller also offers a nuanced critique of the overly narrow focus on PTSD among survivors of armed conflict. 

“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 understanding 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, Afghanistan,and Syria. But the extraordinarily sensitive and insightful text ultimately communicates most powerfully regarding the humanity that endures in such adversity. This humanity is observed in those humanitarians 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 communities and identities by civil conflict. Miller’s narrative 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

About Kenneth E. Miller

Larson Publications photo of author Kenneth E. 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 www.kennethemiller.com.

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