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, Amyconcerns herself with the violence associated with the military, and how this institution of public, cultural violence, with its hypermasculinity, pervades society with physical, verbal, emotional and sexual aggression. She uses her war-veteran father to represent the chaotic and dehumanizing impact of war to show how violence is experienced and remembered.
Amy provides examples that support the relationship between military structures and domestic violence, or how the sexual violence that permeates her family prompts debates about the nature of trauma and memory. In addition, Amy employs feminist psychoanalytic theory, cultural and trauma studies, and narrative theory, to explain how torture in Abu Ghraib is on a direct continuum with the ordinary violence inherent in our current systems of gender and nation.
Placing individual experience in cultural context, Amy argues 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.”