The Madness | Paperback | By Fergal Keane

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Code 9780008420437

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Product Information
  • The Madness: A Memoir of War, Fear and PTSD
  • Pages: 272
  • Format: Paperback
  • Author: Fergal Keane
  • Publisher: William Collins
  • Publication date: 10 November 2022
  • Category: Memoirs, Mental Health, Journalism
  • Size: 23.4 x 15.3 x 2.3cm
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The Madness: A Memoir of War, Fear and PTSD by Fergal Keane


As a journalist Keane has covered conflict and brutality across the world for more than thirty years, from Rwanda, Sudan, Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine and many more. Driven by an irresistible compulsion to be where the night is darkest, he made a name for reporting with humanity and empathy from places where death and serious injury were not abstractions, and tragedy often just a moment's bad luck away. But all this time he struggled not to be overwhelmed by another story, his acute 'complex post-traumatic stress disorder', a condition arising from exposure to multiple instances of trauma experienced over a long period.

This condition has led him to suffer three breakdowns and numerous severe hospitalisations. Despite this, and countless promises to do otherwise, he has gone back to the wars again and again. Why? In this powerful and intensely personal book, Keane interrogates what it is that draws him to the wars, what keeps him there and offers a reckoning of the damage done. PTSD affects approximately 6 per cent of the adult population from all walks of life. Trauma can be found in many places, not just war. Keane's book speaks to the struggle of all who are trying to recover from injury, addiction and mental breakdown. It is a survivor's story drawn from lived experience, told with honesty, courage and an open heart.


‘Keane has not just the courage to risk death so that the most important stories can be told, as well as the eye to tell them with vivid subtlety, but also the humility to reveal the havoc that this task visits on the beholder’ Spectator

‘A brutally honest exploration of what motivates Keane to keep reporting on atrocities despite the toll on his mental health… Gentle but unflinching’ Guardian, Book of the Day

The Madness is engaging without resorting to sensation. Fluent prose follows the decline of the political situation – and of Keane’s own mental health – in chilling, compelling detail’ Observer

‘Fergal Keane opens doors into closed places. He lets us look inside those complex compartments where fear, anxiety, anger and panic lurk, and he tells a story of being afraid all of his life… beautifully written… This is an important book’ Irish Times

About the Author

Fergal Keane is one of the BBC's most distinguished correspondents and an award-winning broadcaster and author. He has been awarded a BAFTA and named reporter of the year on television and radio, winning honours from the Royal Television Society and the Sony Radio Awards. He has also been named Report of the Year in the Amnesty International Press Awards and the Edward R. Murrow Award from the US Overseas Press Association


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