Customer Reviews: Principles of Personal Defense
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on November 5, 2005
If you're looking for information from the best in his field, Jeff Cooper is the go-to guy. But DO NOT waste your money on this "book." This is a reissue of a 1989 training presentation that Cooper developed.

While his chapter headings are good (7 principles), each "chapter" is about 2-3 pages of large print. The entire "book" contains only 28 pages on which there is reading material, and many of those pages are less than half full. And Paladin Press, usually fairly competent, apparently never bothered to proofread this mess, with missing punctuation and errors such as "50-called" instead of "so-called."

I will now give you the entire book, in less than 100 words:

Here are the seven principles of successful personal defense:

- Alertness

- Decisiveness

- Aggressiveness

- Speed

- Coolness

- Ruthlessness

- Surprise

And the one take-home nugget of insight from this book:

All of these principles must be backed up by one's SKILL with a firearm, which requires training and practice. "YOU ARE NO MORE ARMED BECAUSE YOU ARE WEARING A PISTOL THAN YOU ARE A MUSICIAN BECAUSE YOU OWN A GUITAR." This one sentence inspired me to schedule some refresher training, and to set aside some additional time on a weekly basis to practice and maintain my skills.

OK, I just saved everyone about $10, plus s+h, plus the wait for it to arrive in the mail, plus the disappointment that you didn't buy one of Jeff's other books instead. Buy a box of JHPs with good stopping power, and think of me [fondly, NOT as the imaginary target!] the next time you go to the practice range.
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on July 4, 2013
Brevity has it's own value and this book fills an important niche by offering up profoundly practical advice on personal defense in a concise and unprotracted manner.

Personally, reading this short book is as close as I'll ever get to sitting down with Colonel Cooper for a short chat about his thoughts on personal defense. I can almost imagine his voice as I read this book and his personality shows through.

This book serves as a wonderful introduction to Colonel Cooper or as a personal defense primer that ANYONE can pick up and read quickly. It will leave most readers looking for more!

I would absolutely feel comfortable recommending this book to even my mother without overwhelming her. There are very few books on this subject that would do well with that assignment.

- Yes, there are other, more extensive works available by Colonel Cooper, but at this time only four are available for the kindle. If you are looking for something with a little more content, check out: To Ride, Shoot Straight, And Speak The Truth
- Is it worth $9.99? That's up to you. What is sage advice really worth? The book I just recommended(To Ride, Shoot Straight, And Speak the Truth) will set you back more than $25, making this book look like a steal.
- Formatting and copy-editing are definitely substandard. There are a number of spacing and punctuation errors throughout. It's not like the book is too long to properly lay-out and proof. For the price, we should be getting a polished final product and frankly, Colonel Cooper's words deserve to be treated better. These errors do not make the text unreadable, just slightly annoying.

In my opinion, the content and uniquely brief format of this book combine to trump the aforementioned considerations. I wholeheartedly recommend this book and will be buying it for my family and friends in the years to come.

If you enjoy reading about personal security and tactics, I also recommend Tactical Bible Stories: Personal Security Tips from the Bible for unique perspective and practical advice for keeping you and your family safe in dangerous times.
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on November 16, 1999
I thought the content of the book was excellent. It breaks down in small portions, principles of self defense that a person can apply everyday in their life. No magic, just great common sense. My only gripe is that the book is so short. It literally takes about 1/2 hour to read.
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on December 5, 1999
O.K. The basic concepts of the book are fine. However, this is not a book. It is a magazine article in disguise. Half of the forty pages are pictures, blank, of half pages of text. Go to the library if you must read this, but save your money.
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on February 8, 2009
Written by the master himself. Jeff Cooper hits home runs on every swing. This is a clean, to the point manual for those who've decided they will no longer walk as prey upon the face of the earth. It is foundational, and if you will follow Jeff's advice, this book will guide you upon your way to eleminating yourself as someone elses dinner.

I heartily recommend this book. I cannot do it justice on how clear and precise his teachings are. So, read it, and if you have friends or family among the grass eaters, get them to read it too.
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on December 26, 2002
Col Cooper's principles are fundamental to staying alive on the mean streets but they also form a critical set of skills for survival in today's business world. Many "modern" managers read Sun Tzu to learn how to defeat their corporate enemies. They would be better served by reading Col. Cooper.
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on January 27, 2003
Too many reviewers of this book are entirely too worried about length and cost.
Jeff doesn't claim the concepts in this book to be original, nor does length have bearing on quality. The concepts in this book can be critical to survival. If our entire society thought and reacted in this manner, our crime rates would drop dramatically, and the overall society would be more polite and better behaved.
I have purchased and given away at least a dozen copies of "Principles". It has ALWAYS been money well spent. This book bears repeated reading.
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on February 29, 2004
If you're new to personal defense, you need to read... no you need to devour this text.
I assure you that once you ever face situations that Jeff Cooper describes, you will be equipped to handle them. This book literally could save your life.
Do not be a victim even when you're the victim!
If this book were longer, it would be even better but listen... if it were longer, fewer people would read it. It would sit on shelves for "one of these days" and then it might be too late.
I do not know Jeff Cooper but I have read one other book of his and I am so very greatly impressed. He teaches so much more than defense in his writings, although for this jewel, it's primary reason for being is to teach you to protect yourself.
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on March 19, 2006
This is a hard copy of a presentation. If you took out the drawings and put on 8.5x11 paper, it would probaby be only a few pages long.

That said, it is excellent advice and worthy of keeping around to read on a regular basis. I plan on giving a copy to each of my teenage kids.
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on July 17, 2002
Other reviewers have noted, and criticized, this text for it's common sense principals and it's austere presentation. It is true that there is nothing presented in this book that has not been contemplated by every gun owner or martial artist with at least a room temperature IQ. I myself read this book during my lunch-hour one day and can say that I didn't come away with anything new. But, I think that the critics are missing the point. Mr. Cooper's intention was not to reveal some profound secret, but to provoke though on the topic of self-defense. In this respect the book is very good. After reading this I found myself questioning how prepared I was to defend myself and what I could do to be more attentive in these matters. If this was your intention Mr. Cooper then well done!
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