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Attachments to War
Biomedical Logics and Violence in Twenty-First-Century America. Next Wave: New Directions in Women's Studies
In Attachments to War Jennifer Terry traces how biomedical logics entangle Americans in a perpetual state of war. Focusing on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars between 2002 and 2014, Terry identifies the presence of a biomedicine-war nexus in which new forms of wounding provoke the continual development of complex treatment, rehabilitation, and prosthetic technologies. At the same time, the U.S. military rationalizes violence and military occupation as necessary conditions for advancing medical knowledge and saving lives. Terry examines the treatment of war-generated polytrauma, postinjury bionic prosthetics design, and the development of defenses against infectious pathogens, showing how the interdependence between war and biomedicine is interwoven with neoliberal ideals of freedom, democracy, and prosperity. She also outlines the ways in which military-sponsored biomedicine relies on racialized logics that devalue the lives of Afghan and Iraqi citizens and U.S. veterans of color. Uncovering the mechanisms that attach all Americans to war and highlighting their embeddedness and institutionalization in everyday life via the government, media, biotechnology, finance, and higher education, Terry helps lay the foundation for a more meaningful opposition to war.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"Terry's work serves as a critical reminder that biomedicine, 'as both an epistemological formation and an industry,' sutures war to care, laboring to convince the public that the knowledge produced through warfare justifies its violence. The crucial work of dismantling US empire, Terry reminds her reader, is to reject that 'labyrinth of excuses.'" -- Jennifer Kelly * Radical History Review * "Terry's work is eye-opening to a powerful new perspective on the American way of war. Her scholarship is well researched and carefully supported. . . . A fascinating piece of scholarship concerning a tragically understudied subject." -- James Sandy * H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews * "Attachments to War provides a set of tools that will be valuable to students and established scholars alike for prizing apart and connecting together these attachments in new and vitally necessary ways." -- Kenneth MacLeish * Medical Anthropology Quarterly *