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Belfast: Toward a City Without Walls Paperback – 18 May 2015
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And why do we care so much – because in the middle of the book there’s a chapter on PTSD which extends this insidious condition from the individual to a population. If one looks, say, at the disturbing percentages of US military veterans returning from combat zones with PTSD, those vets nevertheless dissolve (in due course) as individuals or smallish groups of individuals into a larger society: but in Belfast we are talking about a different order of magnitude - a whole clumped community suffering from PTSD, with no real margin for a solvent.
So it is also a book that should be read by everybody in any city that is actively thinking about erecting walls – at the time of writing, Jerusalem comes to mind. Note, the book does not argue that walls did not once serve a purpose; rather that the consequences and their costs are greater, considerably greater, than the builders could ever have foreseen.