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A Heavy Reckoning

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No-holds-barred, powerful medical non-fiction from the bleeding edge of medicine and war

About the Author

Dr Emily Mayhew is a military medical historian specialising in the study of severe casualty, its infliction, treatment and long-term outcomes in 20th and 21st century warfare. She is historian in residence in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College, and a Research Fellow in the Division of Surgery within the Department of Surgery and Cancer. She is the author of Wounded: From Battlefield to Blight 1914-1918, which was shortlisted for the Wellcome Prize 2014.


A great book, compelling and hard hitting. A Heavy Reckoning is a crucial milestone in remembering the most important lesson learnt from recent conflict in Afghanistan -- Harry Parker, author of Anatomy of a Soldier Moving, thought provoking and informative, it is not one to be missed. * Soldier Magazine * An extraordinary human story of resilience ... an outstanding study of a lamentably underreported aspect of modern warfare. * Sunday Times * An outstanding study of medicine on the front line in Afghanistan and beyond. * The Sunday Times * A riveting description of the journey from the battlefield through every stage of resuscitation to recovery back home. * Spectator * In her book, Emily Mayhew, a medical military historian who studies the history of severe casualty in warfare, describes all of this carnage in the most extraordinary, close-up detail and by the end you appreciate her for doing it - after all, why on earth would she spare us? -- Mark Smith * Scotland Herald * Mayhew's book is a valuable contribution to the history of military medicine -- Pete Starling * British Society for the History of Medicine * Mayhew is uniquely placed to tell this story, which flits between medical science and heart-thumping narrative. -- Miles Amoore * Literary Review * Disturbing and moving in equal measure, it raises some profound questions about the trade-off between survival and lasting wellbeing and the limits of modern medicine. A highly recommended, if sobering read. -- Becky Clark * Soldier Magazine * Superbly details the effect of the war on British soldiers. * TLS *

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