"To the British soldiers of the Great War who heard about it, shell shock was uncanny, amusing and sad. To those who experienced it, the condition was shameful, unjustly stigmatizing and life-changing. This first full-length study of the British shell-shocked soldiers of the Great War combines social and medical history to investigate the experience of psychological casualties on the Western Front, in hospitals, and through their postwar lives. It considers the ways in which the condition was turned from a potential public relations disaster in Britain into a cause that helped promote the war effort. It describes the difficult transition back into peacetime society and the situation of war neurotic ex-servicemen. It traces the condition's discovery back to the developments in the new industrial society of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and recalls its legacy in poetry, fiction and film throughout the twentieth century."--BOOK JACKET.