Gerald Weissmann

Gerald Weissmann is Professor of Medicine at New York University Medical Centre. His Democracy and DNA came out this year.

The Beast on My Back

Gerald Weissmann, 6 June 1996

‘Bête Noire’ is set in Piccadilly during the long winter between the Battle of Alamein and the Normandy invasion. At the time, the 24-year-old Douglas had pretty much recovered from wounds inflicted by German 88s in the Western Desert and by spring he was back in action. On 9 June, three days after landing in France, he was killed behind enemy lines. We can trace the beast to a passage in From Alamein to Zem Zem, in which he describes his escape from a blasted tank over a minefield of wrecked armour and oil-stained corpses:



6 June 1996

Sheldon Litt (Letters, 18 July) has written a shrill response to my review of Allan Young’s book The Harmony of Illusions: Inventing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This book, like my review of it, tries to explain not only the fact that doctors invent new names for old syndromes but why they do so. Young’s book describes in some detail and with a good deal of care why, as Litt puts it in his trottoir...

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