On Killing (Paperback)

The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society

By Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman

Back Bay Books, 9780316040938, 416pp.

Publication Date: June 22, 2009

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (6/21/2009)
Paperback (1/1/1996)
CD-Audio (6/22/2009)
Pre-Recorded Audio Player (4/1/2010)

List Price: 17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The good news is that most soldiers are loath to kill. But armies have developed sophisticated ways of overcoming this instinctive aversion. And contemporary civilian society, particularly the media, replicates the army's conditioning techniques, and, according to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman's thesis, is responsible for our rising rate of murder among the young.

Upon its initial publication, ON KILLING was hailed as a landmark study of the techniques the military uses to overcome the powerful reluctance to kill, of how killing affects soldiers, and of the societal implications of escalating violence. Now, Grossman has updated this classic work to include information on 21st-century military conflicts, recent trends in crime, suicide bombings, school shootings, and more. The result is a work certain to be relevant and important for decades to come.

About the Author

A former army Ranger and paratrooper, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman taught psychology at West Point and was the professor of Military Science at Arkansas State University.