Introduction: The Roots of Rehabilitation

in War's Waste

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780226482538
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226482552 | DOI:
Introduction: The Roots of Rehabilitation

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This chapter reports the origins of rehabilitation. “War's waste” was a turn of phrase that referred to the human remains of war as well as to the economic cost that the nation had to endure after the battle was over. Rehabilitation was a way to repair social order after the chaos of war by (re)making men into producers of capital. The Army Medical Department stepped in rapidly to fill the legislative requirements for rehabilitation. Rehabilitation legislation resulted in the formation of entirely new, female-dominated medical subspecialties. This book explains how and why amputee patients became the gold standard of rehabilitation. Antipension proponents who wanted to bolster the virtues of rehabilitation frequently used success stories of amputee veterans who could appear cured. The Progressive reformers who legislated and instituted rehabilitation could not have imagined a more ideal disabled soldier-patient.

Keywords: rehabilitation; social order; Army Medical Department; legislation; amputee patients; Progressive reformers

Chapter.  3734 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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