This book is a very original and thought-provoking history of the concept of psychic trauma and its evolution over the past century of psychoanalytic, psychological, and neurobiological thought. The author is a professor in the Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins University. She demonstrates a profound and far-ranging knowledge of traumatology with considerations of predisposition, vulnerability, reactivation, shock trauma, and strain trauma as well as the immediate effects, the long-range consequences, and sequelae of trauma. The author provides a valuable synthesis of the development and still-evolving theories of psychic trauma, with an exemplary review of the pertinent literature. Many of the footnotes guide the reader to important comments and references that might well have been incorporated into the text. The historical overview is fascinating, although at times there is a repetitive questioning of the time-tested issues concerning the existence of unconscious mental processes and unconscious conflicts and fantasy.