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On killing : the psychological cost of learning to kill in war and society

Author: Dave Grossman
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2009.
Edition/Format:   Book : English : Rev. edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Updated to include information on twenty-first century military conflicts, recent crime rates, suicide bombings, school shootings, and much more, this account looks at the techniques the military uses to overcome soldiers' reluctance to kill and examines the psychological cost on fighting men and women as well as the detrimental effects on society.
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Dave Grossman
ISBN: 9780316040938 0316040932
OCLC Number: 427757599
Description: xxxvi, 377 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
Contents: Acknowledgments --
Introduction to the revised edition --
Introduction --
section I. Killing and the existence of resistance : a world of virgins studying sex --
1. Fight or flight, posture or submit --
2. Nonfirers throughout history --
3. Why can't Johnny kill? --
4. The nature and source of the resistance --
section II. Killing and combat trauma : the role of killing in psychiatric casualties --
1. The nature of psychiatric casualities : the psychological price of war --
2. The reign of fear --
3. The weight of exhaustion --
4. The mud of guilt and horror --
5. The wind of hate --
6. The well of fortitude --
7. The burden of killing --
8. The blind men and the elephant --
section III. Killing and physical distance : from a distance, you don't look anything like a friend --
1. Distance : a qualitative distinction in death --
2. Killing at maximum and long range : never a need for repentance or regret --
3. Killing at mid- and hand-grenade range : "you can never be sure it was you" --
4. Killing at close range : "I knew that it was up to me, personally, to kill him" --
5. Killing at edged-weapons range : an "intimate brutality" --
6. Killing at hand-to-hand-combat range --
7. Killing at sexual range : "the primal aggression, the release, and orgasmic discharge" --
section IV. An anatomy of killing : all factors considered --
1. The demands of authority : Milgram and the military --
2. Group absolution : "the individual is not a killer, but the group is" --
3. Emotional distance : "to me they were less than animals" --
4. The nature of the victim : relevance and payoff --
5. Aggressive predisposition of the killer : avengers, conditioning, and the 2 percent who like it --
6. All factors considered : the mathematics of death --
section V. Killing and atrocities : "no honor here, no virtue" --
1. The full spectrum of atrocity --
2. The dark power of atrocity --
3. The entrapment of atrocity --
4. A case study in atrocity --
5. The greatest trap of all : to live with that which thou hath wrought --
section VI. The killing response stages --
1. What does it feel like to kill? --
2. Applications of the model : murder-suicides, lost elections, and thoughts of insanity --
section VII. Killing in Vietnam : what have we done to our soldiers? --
1. Desensitization and conditioning in Vietnam : overcoming the resistance to killing --
2. What have we done to our soldiers? The rationalization of killing and how it failed in Vietnam --
3. Post-traumatic stress disorder and the cost of killing in Vietnam --
4. The limits of human endurance and the lessons of Vietnam --
section VIII. Killing in America : what are we doing to our children? --
1. A virus of violence --
2. Desensitization and Pavlov's dog t the movies --
3. B.F. Skinner's rats and operant conditioning at the video arcade --
4. Social learning and role models in the media --
5. The resensitization of America --
Notes --
Bibliography --
Index.
Responsibility: Dave Grossman.

Abstract:

An updated edition of a perennial bestseller--the "illuminating account of how soldiers learn to kill and how they live with the experience of having killed." - Washington Post  Read more...

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