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On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and Peace Paperback – September, 2004
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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!
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have to say that if you are in a business where life and death decisions and situations occur frequently you should read this book and it's predecessor. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
It is terrifying that this is what is being taught to our police officers across the country. This is part of police workshops called "The Bulletproof Warrior". Read morePublished 13 days ago by J. Todd
As a police officer I consider this book a must read because it helps you understand what your body goes through during high stress encounters. Read morePublished 28 days ago by George S
I love this book! I ordered several copies of this to give to co workers. As a deputy sheriff, we relate to this book very well. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kristy Lang
Read "On Killing" first then see Lt. Col. Grossman in person, then read this book not once but twice and the final step give this and his other books to all your friends. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Grossman is THE expert on the science and psychology behind violent conflict. This is his second book, and his most entertaining. I think it's even on the FBI reading list. Read morePublished 2 months ago by John Scout