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On Killing: The Psychological Cost of…

On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society (1995)

by Dave Grossman

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» See also 15 mentions

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The psychological cost of learning to kill in war and society. This seems to be the definitive book on why soldiers do and don't kill in battle. Author's thesis is that most infantry don't shoot because of inbuilt resistance to killing. That seems very hard to believe and the stats, while convincing, aren't verifiable...e.g. 85% of civil war soldiers did not shoot, not because they're scared, but because they have inborn resistance to killing. It's a difficult book to read because of the subject; not fun reading. If you read it, be skeptical. ( )
  buffalogr | May 21, 2019 |
Interesting and daunting. Final chapters really encourage thought about the society we live in and are bringing our children up in. ( )
  SMBrick | Feb 25, 2018 |
The psychological cost of learning to kill in war and society
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
Does not contain history or strategy or tactics, except as they are collateral to the study of how soldiers kill in war, and how killing affects those soldiers.
  librisissimo | Oct 15, 2016 |
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Our first step in the study of killing is to understand the existence, extent, and nature of the average human being's resistance to killing his fellow human.
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Drawing on interviews, published personal accounts and academic studies, Grossman investigates the psychology of killing in combat. Stressing that human beings have a powerful, innate resistance to the taking of life, he examines the techniques developed by the military to overcome that aversion.… (more)

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