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Breakdown
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About the Author

Taylor Downing is a television producer and writer. He was educated at Cambridge University and went on to become Managing Director and Head of History at Flashback Television, an independent production company. His most recent books include Breakdown, Secret Warriors, Spies in the Sky, Churchill's War Lab, Cold War (with Sir Jeremy Isaacs) and Night Raid.

Reviews

This vivid, compassionate account draws on harrowing first-person testimony to chronicle the sometimes humane, but more often cruel and uncaring, treatment of damaged men, both in wartime and its aftermath * Daily Mail * What is innovative about Downing's approach is the interleaving of "the crisis of shell shock" with the military history of the Somme. He tells both histories concisely and with good balance . . . Downing is too clever a historian to rehearse cliches about things never being the same again' -- Daniel Todman * Financial Times * [A] humane and intensely moving book * Telegraph * This is a thoughtful, intelligent book . . . Thoroughly researched, highly readable and highly recommended * Military History * The tragic fate of the Lonsdales forms one of the most telling subplots in Breakdown, the historian Taylor Downing's superb account of the military's response to the epidemic of shell shock . . . Downing manages to offer a useful perspective by unpacking the pivotal role the cataclysm in the Somme played in the birth not just of military psychiatry, but a new era in our understanding of mental health . . . Downing's book is a necessary remind that trauma is an injury, and not a sign of weakness * New Statesman * An impressive, balanced and often deeply moving book. As the Somme's anniversary approaches, anyone who wishes to understand it and its terrible consequences should buy Breakdown * The Times *

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