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Principles of Personal Defense
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493 of 526 people found the following review helpful
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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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
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.

Considerations:
- 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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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
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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74 of 88 people found the following review helpful
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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
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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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
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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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
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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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 27, 2009
You can love him or hate him, but you can not deny the impact Jeff Cooper had on modern handgun teaching and tactics. And even today Principles of Personnel Defense is a must read for any student of self defense and the combat mindset. For many firearm training schools this is required reading, and every school I have been to has had it as at least recommended. This book is short, but it is good. Many of the points Cooper makes are every bit as valid and important now as when he first started teaching the Modern Technique. I would call this a must read for anyone who is s serious student of combat handgunning.
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