On Killing

Front Cover
E-Reads, Oct 1, 2002 - Social Science - 416 pages
49 Reviews
The good news is that the vast majority of soldiers are loath to kill in battle. Unfortunately, modern armies, using Pavlovian and operant conditioning, have developed sophisticated ways of overcoming this instinctive aversion. The psychological cost for soldiers, as witnessed by the increase in post-traumatic stress, is devastating. The psychological cost for the rest of us is even more so: contemporary civilian society, particularly the media, replicates the army's conditioning techniques and, according to Grossman's controversial thesis, is responsible for our rising rate of murder and violence, especially among the young. ON KILLING is an important study of the techniques the military uses to overcome the powerful reluctance to kill, of how killing affects the soldier, and of the societal implications of escalating violence.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society

User Review  - GoodReadsAccount - Goodreads

As someone who's been diagnosed with combat-related PTSD, and spent six weeks in an inpatient treatment facility for it in 2012, this book was an incredible, and insightful, read. It spurns any ... Read full review

Review: On Killing

User Review  - Willis Roberts - Goodreads

Four stars because this book is unprecedented. I felt it was missing an element, that element being a deeper understanding of the human experience. It was just like his knowledge was based on flash ... Read full review

About the author (2002)

A former army Ranger and paratrooper, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman taught psychology at West Point and is currently the Professor of Military Science at Arkansas State University. The author's website, Killology Reasearch Group, amplifies and extends the material covered in the book and is regularly updated with new, topical information on the subject.

Bibliographic information