The Wars We Inherit

Military Life, Gender Violence, and Memory

Lori E. Amy
Book Cover

PB: $29.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-961-3
Publication: May 10

HC: $81.50
EAN: 978-1-59213-960-6
Publication: May 10

Ebook: $29.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-962-0

216 pages
5.5 x 8.25
5 figs., 3 halftones

How and why war and military culture have a traumatic impact on families and memory

Read Chapter 1 (pdf).


By combining personal memoir and critical analysis, Lori Amy links the violence we live in our homes to the violence that structures our larger culture. The Wars We Inherit brings insights from memory and trauma studies to the story of violence in the author’s own family. In this brave, fascinating, and compelling book, Amy confronts the brutality associated with the military. She explores how this institution of public, cultural violence with its hypermasculinity spills over, imbuing society with physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual aggression. Her portrait of her war-veteran father conveys the chaotic and dehumanizing impact of war, illustrating how families experience and remember violence. Amy contends that “if we can begin, in our own lives, to transform the destructive ways that we have been shaped by violence, then we might begin to transform the cultural conditions that breed violence.”

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 
2. Frank and Sally 
3. The Hole Things Fall Into 
4. Forgetting and Re-membering 
Interlude I: On the Event without a Witness 
5. Re-membering II 
Interlude II : On Bearing Witness 
6. If I Should Die before I Wake 
Interlude III : On Bearing Witness to the Process of Witnessing 
7. The Pasts We Repeat I: Margaret 
Interlude IV : The Uncanny Return 
8. The Pasts We Repeat II : Jenny 
9. If Our First Language Is the Silence of Complicity, How Do We Learn to Speak? 
10. The Work of War 
Interlude V: On the Violence of Nations in the Violence of Homes 
11. Toward Re-membering a Future 
12. The Work of Love 
13. Conclusion 
Web Sites 

About the Author(s)

Lori E. Amy is Associate Professor in the Department of Writing and Linguistics and Director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program at Georgia Southern University.