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On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and Peace Paperback – September 1, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0964920514 ISBN-10: 0964920514 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 395 pages
  • Publisher: PPCT Research Publications (September 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964920514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964920514
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (339 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #414,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A former army Ranger, paratrooper, West Point Professor of Military Science and author of the classic book, ON KILLING, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman is currently the Director of the Killology Research Group and one of the world's foremost experts in the field of human aggression and the psychology of combat.

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Customer Reviews

On Combat should be required reading for Law Enforcement and Military personnel everywhere!
Sheepdog
If you know someone that's having problems with that kind of thing, this book may help them out and it may get them to seek the help they need if they read it.
Browning
A very well written book covers a lot of material in an easy to read and understand fashion.
Larry conrad

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

238 of 255 people found the following review helpful By L. A. Kane TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
Advertising for this marvelous work states, "a ground-breaking examination of what it takes to perform, cope and survive in the toxicity of deadly combat as a soldier in a foreign land and a police officer in the mean streets of urban America." It really is all that, and more... Outstanding isn't a strong enough word to describe it.

If you are a soldier, a police officer, a martial artist, the holder of a concealed weapons permit, or just live in a bad neighborhood you really ought to read this book. Both authors really know what they're talking about, clearly able to articulate hard won wisdom in this well-written and comprehensive tome. Their thought-provoking, insightful work definitively examines every aspect of the psychology and physiology of deadly conflict.

The book begins by describing what happens to a person anatomically during a battle then covers the perceptual distortions that take place in combat. Having done college studies on eyewitness testimony and psychology and the law I recognize and agree with many of their points. The second half of the book covers why people put themselves in harms way and what happens to them after the smoke clears. It talks about post traumatic stress disorder, survivor's guilt, and a host of related subjects. I particularly liked the section on the Judeo/Christian views of killing which really help warriors understand and come to grips with their actions in battle - be it on the field of war, a city street, or even in their own back yard.

The research is great. The various vignettes and quotes are quite interesting. Even if you are never involved in a deadly encounter it really helps you understand and have a new appreciation for those who are.
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323 of 353 people found the following review helpful By G. S. Winchell on March 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book explores in detail what physically and mentally happens to most people when confronted with a deadly threat. Both authors have written previous books dealing with this subject. This collaboration brings together the best both have to offer.

Col. Grossman has an extensive military background as a member of the Army Rangers. His book, On Killing, was written over a decade ago and is still one of the definitive words on the subject. Through research and interviews, Col. Grossman was able to open a window into the soul of a "warrior" and explain why even when directly threatened, it is not a simple thing to take another human beings life.

Loren Christensen is a former police office and co-author of another excellent use of force book, Deadly Force Encounters. That book focused on law enforcement experiences with lethal force. Again through interviews and research, Christensen, and his co-author Dr. Alexis Artwohl, gave a human face to the peace officer forced to kill.

On Combat combines the world of the military combat veteran with that of the police officer. The authors contention is that both are worthy of the term "warrior". The "warrior" is the 1% who protects the 98% from the remaining 1% who would do them harm.

The book is divided into four sections. Each section deals with a different aspect of combat but always from the perspective of how a human deals with combat.

The first section is titled, "The Physiology of Combat: The Anatomy of the Human Body in Battle". The authors describe a basic element of combat as the "Universal Human Phobia". That phobia is the innate human aversion to killing one of their own.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Daniel L. Bender on May 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
After reading "ON COMBAT", I bought 2 more copies for relatives in law enforcement and another 8 copies for the Sheriff's Office I work for. As a person with over 25 years in law enforcement and a tour in Vietnam, I highly recommend this book for anyone in law enforcement, the military, and their families.

It not only provides a wealth of information on surviving deadly force encounters, both physically and mentally, but it does so in a very easy to read format. Everyone I loan my copy to says they hate to put it down once they start it.

The book contains many insightful first-hand accounts from people who have been in deadly force encounters.

I was so impressed with the book, I added a 1 hour segment to my law enforcement 1st Aid /CPR courses to share highlights from "On Combat" with my fellow officers because it offers much that can enhance their safety and their well being.

The section dealing with the influence of violent video games on our children and their desensitization to violent behavior is something every parent should know.

If you are a cop, a soldier, or a trainer of either, this book should be required reading!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Abbi on October 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
Overall a very good book which breaks down the effects of combat into detail. The book is divided in to four chapters:

1: The Physiology of Combat:The anatomy of the Human body in Battle.

This section gives a great insight into rationalising combat (those working with the law e.g. police, army etc.) the effects of experiencing a tramatic situation and analysing different levels of fear.

2: Perceptual distortions in combat: An Altered State of consciousness.

Very interesting section of the book, examines some of the reactions a person may experience during combat such as slow motion time. This part of the book is most appealing as anyone can read and take on board the various effects and be better prepared if they are ever in a violent/fearful situation.

3: The call to combat: Where do we get such men?

This section gives an insight into army/police training how to overcome stress and fear. It can also be applied by the average reader if they engage in any martial arts or other contact sport. Throw's light on the strength and will to live in near death situations and how mental attitude can carry you to surviving a dangerous situation.

4: The price of combat: After the smoke clears

This section examines the after effects of combat and is mainly applicable to those returning from war or were in the army. Some still carry the burden of what they saw, did or didnt do etc and gives tips on how to help them re-integrate in 'normal' society.

Overall, the book was an interesting read, a lot of examples used are American (as is the book) and would be great for anyone working in law enforcement/ the army.

For the average person reading this book most of it is interesting.
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