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

Open Road Media
65
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A controversial psychological examination of how soldiers’ willingness to kill has been encouraged and exploited to the detriment of contemporary civilian society.
 
Psychologist and US Army Ranger Dave Grossman writes that the vast majority of soldiers are loath to pull the trigger in battle. Unfortunately, modern armies, using Pavlovian and operant conditioning, have developed sophisticated ways of overcoming this instinctive aversion.
 
The mental cost for members of the military, as witnessed by the increase in post-traumatic stress, is devastating. The sociological cost for the rest of us is even worse: Contemporary civilian society, particularly the media, replicates the army’s conditioning techniques and, Grossman argues, is responsible for the rising rate of murder and violence, especially among the young.
 
Drawing from interviews, personal accounts, and academic studies, On Killing is an important look at 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.
 
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About the author

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.
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Reviews

4.4
65 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Apr 1, 2014
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9781497629202
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / General
Psychology / Social Psychology
Social Science / Violence in Society
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Dave Grossman
The author of the 400,000-copy bestseller On Killing reveals how violent video games have ushered in a new era of mass homicide--and what we must do about it.
Paducah, Kentucky, 1997: a 14-year-old boy shoots eight students in a prayer circle at his school. Littleton, Colorado, 1999: two high school seniors kill a teacher, twelve other students, and then themselves. Utoya, Norway, 2011: a political extremist shoots and kills sixty-nine participants in a youth summer camp. Newtown, Connecticut, 2012: a troubled 20-year-old man kills 20 children and six adults at the elementary school he once attended.

What links these and other horrific acts of mass murder? A young person's obsession with video games that teach to kill.

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, who in his perennial bestseller On Killingrevealed that most of us are not "natural born killers" - and who has spent decades training soldiers, police, and others who keep us secure to overcome the intrinsic human resistance to harming others and to use firearms responsibly when necessary - turns a laser focus on the threat posed to our society by violent video games.

Drawing on crime statistics, cutting-edge social research, and scientific studies of the teenage brain, Col. Grossman shows how video games that depict antisocial, misanthropic, casually savage behavior can warp the mind - with potentially deadly results. His book will become the focus of a new national conversation about video games and the epidemic of mass murders that they have unleashed.
Leo Frankowski
The Virtual-Reality Mercenaries of
A Boy and His Tank Face a New Menace
¾and There's Nothing Virtual About It!

First, the involuntary colonists of New Kashubia rescued their planet from crushing debt by becoming virtual-reality mercenaries, then they successfully revolted against the oppressive government of Earth, but now they are menaced by the Mitchegai, a species whose biology has made them inherently evil. The carnivorous adults lay and abandon vast numbers of eggs, some of which grow into vegetarian juveniles, which are the adults' only food supply. Their culture has no family life, they eat only meat, have nothing like sex., and their main pleasures are gambling, art, and killing each other. They are an ancient civilization, millions of years old, with thousands of densely populated star systems in their realm. Lacking an immune system, they must completely sterilize any planet before they colonize it. The region of the galaxy they occupy is rapidly expanding . . . and Human Space is their next frontier!

At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).

Praise for Leo Frankowski and A Boy and His Tank

"When I teach science fiction, I use Frankowski's books as an example of how to do it right." ¾Gene Wolfe

". . . a literate military adventure laced with political allegory¾and a great deal of fun." ¾Starlog

". . . the action is gripping, and there are plenty of novel twists and ironic moments." ¾Locus

"A blend of Keith Laumer's Bolos and David Drake's Slammers. . . ." ¾Science Fiction Chronicle
Leo Frankowski
The Virtual-Reality Mercenaries of
A Boy and His Tank Face a New Menace
¾and There's Nothing Virtual About It!

First, the involuntary colonists of New Kashubia rescued their planet from crushing debt by becoming virtual-reality mercenaries, then they successfully revolted against the oppressive government of Earth, but now they are menaced by the Mitchegai, a species whose biology has made them inherently evil. The carnivorous adults lay and abandon vast numbers of eggs, some of which grow into vegetarian juveniles, which are the adults' only food supply. Their culture has no family life, they eat only meat, have nothing like sex., and their main pleasures are gambling, art, and killing each other. They are an ancient civilization, millions of years old, with thousands of densely populated star systems in their realm. Lacking an immune system, they must completely sterilize any planet before they colonize it. The region of the galaxy they occupy is rapidly expanding . . . and Human Space is their next frontier!

At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).

Praise for Leo Frankowski and A Boy and His Tank

"When I teach science fiction, I use Frankowski's books as an example of how to do it right." ¾Gene Wolfe

". . . a literate military adventure laced with political allegory¾and a great deal of fun." ¾Starlog

". . . the action is gripping, and there are plenty of novel twists and ironic moments." ¾Locus

"A blend of Keith Laumer's Bolos and David Drake's Slammers. . . ." ¾Science Fiction Chronicle
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
Dave Grossman
The author of the 400,000-copy bestseller On Killing reveals how violent video games have ushered in a new era of mass homicide--and what we must do about it.
Paducah, Kentucky, 1997: a 14-year-old boy shoots eight students in a prayer circle at his school. Littleton, Colorado, 1999: two high school seniors kill a teacher, twelve other students, and then themselves. Utoya, Norway, 2011: a political extremist shoots and kills sixty-nine participants in a youth summer camp. Newtown, Connecticut, 2012: a troubled 20-year-old man kills 20 children and six adults at the elementary school he once attended.

What links these and other horrific acts of mass murder? A young person's obsession with video games that teach to kill.

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, who in his perennial bestseller On Killingrevealed that most of us are not "natural born killers" - and who has spent decades training soldiers, police, and others who keep us secure to overcome the intrinsic human resistance to harming others and to use firearms responsibly when necessary - turns a laser focus on the threat posed to our society by violent video games.

Drawing on crime statistics, cutting-edge social research, and scientific studies of the teenage brain, Col. Grossman shows how video games that depict antisocial, misanthropic, casually savage behavior can warp the mind - with potentially deadly results. His book will become the focus of a new national conversation about video games and the epidemic of mass murders that they have unleashed.
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
There is perhaps no bigger or more important issue in America at present than youth violence. Columbine, Sandy Hook, Aurora: We know them all too well, and for all the wrong reasons: kids, some as young as eleven years old, taking up arms and, with deadly, frightening accuracy, murdering anyone in their paths. What is going on? According to the authors of Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill, there is blame to be laid right at the feet of the makers of violent video games (called "murder trainers" by one expert), the TV networks, and the Hollywood movie studios--the people responsible for the fact that children witness literally thousands of violent images a day.

Authors Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Gloria DeGaetano offer incontrovertible evidence, much of it based on recent major scientific studies and empirical research, that movies, TV, and video games are not just conditioning children to be violent--and unaware of the consequences of that violence--but are teaching the very mechanics of killing. Their book is a much-needed call to action for every parent, teacher, and citizen to help our children and stop the wave of killing and violence gripping America's youth. And, most important, it is a blueprint for us all on how that can be achieved.

In Paducah, Kentucky, Michael Carneal, a fourteen-year-old boy who stole a gun from a neighbor's house, brought it to school and fired eight shots at a student prayer group as they were breaking up. Prior to this event, he had never shot a real gun before. Of the eight shots he fired, he had eight hits on eight different kids. Five were head shots, the other three upper torso. The result was three dead, one paralyzed for life. The FBI says that the average, experienced, qualified law enforcement officer, in the average shootout, at an average range of seven yards, hits with less than one bullet in five. How does a child acquire such killing ability? What would lead him to go out and commit such a horrific act?


From the Hardcover edition.
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