Insightful, provocative, unsettling
The first hand accounts of veterans who admit that killing stays with them.
An essential read for any LEO or service member
Most of the book is very engaging and Grossman is clear and convincing in his defense of his thesis that human's are naturally averse to killing and need to be conditioned to do so effectively in times of war. The anecdotes, mostly from soldiers, are very moving.
Unfortunately, he relies heavily on S.L.A Marshall's work, and the quality of that work is now seriously questioned. Worse, his final claim that the world is becoming a more violent place seems to contradict a large body of evidence, and goes against recent studies, such as Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature.
I still recommend it, for it is entertaining, although I'd balance it with some critical reviews.
His principle point, that the killing done by soldiers is the most traumatic aspect of war, is novel and interesting.
I question some of his other hypotheses:
He cites the Milgram experiment as being proof that most people will inflict violence on others at the urging of an authority figure. There are many interpretations one can take from that study, but for the most part, Milgram's study remains controversial, both in his implementation of the experiment and his ultimate conclusions.
He also claims that the children of Western cultures are more or less being groomed for warfare by playing video games. While aggression is increased after a session of gaming, no study has ever shown video games to result in actual violence of any kind.
Still, it is an interesting read, but approach it with the attitude that the author is expressing a number of opinions without much proof.
A great insight to what transpires when a person takes the life of another human. A must read for any spouse or family that have loved ones serving in the military or law enforcement. Especially if you know that loved one has had to take kill to survive.
Any Pastors/Chaplins this should be a must read hands down to give you insight to the emotion that is experienced.. He dose the best he can to help us have insight into what transpires in a person during this time. Forever indebted for his work in this area.
I very grateful for the remorse, and personal effort he goes into explaining what he wrote. you can at time hear the sadness and remorse of what he is having to share in his voice. it bring since of solace and peace to what he is sharing
Killing, the unspoken words spoken
Can't recommend this enough. Just so much a must read i am getting a case to keep on hand just to use with Families of loved ones who have served, and to be able to give as gifts to friends of mine that are in similar line of work.
What a powerful accurate mind opening book. I will recommend this book to everyone. I so appreciate what this man has written here.
Very provocative book that makes one think of the implications for society of making people more effective at killing. Let us hope that we don't become a warrior society. What are the options? Where do we go from here?
This is a must read for all people who either protect and serve or the people who train and work with our soldiers and law enforcement.
this was a good listening. Extremely interesting and thought provoking subjet.
the book raises questions that in general are not discussed, and some of the points, such as the human aversion to killing members of our own species (with great examples), the behavioral conditioning that goes on during military training to try to break this aversion, and the potential similarity of this conditioning to the current exposure of children to films and games of violence, is very interesting and provocative.What ruined this book for me was that after a supposedly "objective" treatment of the subject, the author goes on in a very biased and non-objective direction when discussing the Vietnam war. Statements such as "they lost the battle but won the war" and such appeared unnecessary and very biased to the political views of the author, rather than the deep question posed in the rest of the book, which is a deep thought about the act of killing in a war. Also, I thought that the author neglected, especially when discussing Vietnam, the role of society in placing limits to what is and what is not allowed, even in war. For example, should the soldiers that committed atrocities during the Nazi era, even under superior's orders, have been received by parades and as heroes by society? Not only this is not the case, but the German population was chastised for "doing nothing" to prevent what happened. It is still our role as society to place limits and make sure that our political leaders do not cross that line. Yes, that means that the soldiers are caught in the middle, but this is a subject that need much more than the superficial analysis offered in the book
this was fine. Nothing special, but fine.