ON KILLING: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society

ON KILLING: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society PDFOn Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society  by Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman   PDF 

Not of the princes and prelates with periwigged charioteers
Riding triumphantly laureled to lap the fat of the years,
Rather the scorned — the rejected — the men hemmed in with spears;

The men in tattered battalion which fights till it dies,
Dazed with the dust of the battle, the din and the cries,
The men with the broken heads and the blood running into their eyes.

Not the bc-mcdallcd Commander, beloved of the throne,
Riding cock-horse to parade when the bugles are blown.
But the lads who carried the hill and cannot be known.

Others may sing of the wine and the wealth and the mirth.
The portly presence of potentates goodly in girth;—
Mine be the dirt and the dross, the dust and scum of the earth!

Theirs be the music, the colour, the glory, the gold;
Mine be a handful of ashes, a mouthful of mould.
Of the maimed, of the halt and the blind in the rain and the cold —

Of these shall my songs be fashioned, my talc be told. Amen.

                             —John Masefield “A Consecration”


Introduction to the Revised Edition

Section I:  Killing and the Existence of Resistance: A World of Virgins Studying Sex

  • Chapter One Fight or Flight, Posture or Submit
  • Chapter Two Nonfirers Throughout History
  • Chapter Three Why Can’t Johnny Kill?
  • Chapter Four The Nature and Source of the Resistance

Section II: Killing and Combat Trauma: The Role of Killing in Psychiatric Casualties

  • Chapter One The Nature  of Psychiatric Casualties: The Psychological Price of War
  • Chapter Two The Reign of Fear
  • Chapter Three The Weight of Exhaustion
  • Chapter Four The Mud of Guilt and Horror
  • Chapter Five The Wind of Hate
  • Chapter Six The Well of Fortitude

Section III: Killing and Physical Distance: From a Distance, You Don’t Look Anything Like a Friend

  • Chapter One Distance: A Qualitative Distinction in Death
  • Chapter Two Killing at Maximum and Long Range: Never a Need for Repentance or Regret
  • Chapter Three Killing at Mid- and Hand-Grenade Range: “You Can Never Be Sure It Was You”
  • Chapter Four Killing at Close Range: “I Knew That It Was up to Me, Personally, to Kill Him”
  • Chapter Five Killing at Edged-Weapons Range: An “Intimate Brutality”
  • Chapter Six Killing at Hand-to-Hand-Combat Range
  • Chapter Seven Killing at Sexual Range: “The Primal Aggression, the Release, and Orgasmic Discharge”

Section IV: An Anatomy of Killing: All Factors Considered

  • Chapter One The Demands of Authority: Milgram and the Military
  • Chapter Two Group Absolution: “The Individual Is Not a Killer, but the Group Is”
  • Chapter Three Emotional Distance: “To Me They Were Less than Animals”
  • Chapter Four The Nature of the Victim: Relevance and Payoff
  • Chapter Five Aggressive Predisposition of the Killer: Avengers, Conditioning, and the 2 Percent Who Like It

Section V: Killing and Atrocities: “No Honor Here, No Virtue”

  • Chapter One The Full Spectrum of Atrocity
  • Chapter Two The Dark Power of Atrocity
  • Chapter Three The Entrapment of Atrocity
  • Chapter Four A Case Study in Atrocity
  • Chapter Five The Greatest Trap of All: To Live with That Which Thou Hath Wrought

Section VI: The Killing Response Stages

  • Chapter One What Docs It Feel Like to Kill?
  • Chapter Two Applications of the Model: Murder-Suicides, Lost Elections, and Thoughts of Insanity

Section VII Killing in Vietnam: What Have We Done to Our Soldiers?

  • Chapter One Descensitization and Conditioning in Vietnam: Overcoming the Resistance to Killing
  • Chapter Two What Have We Done to Our Soldiers? The Rationalization of Killing and How It Failed in Vietnam
  • Chapter Three Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the Cost of Killing in Vietnam
  • Chapter Four The Limits of Human Endurance and the Lessons of Vietnam

Section VIII: Killing in America: What Are We Doing to Our Children?

  • Chapter One A Virus of Violence
  •  Chapter Two Desensitization and Pavlov’s Dog at the Movies
  • Chapter Three B. F. Skinner’s Rats and Operant Conditioning at the Video Arcade
  • Chapter Four Social Learning and Role Models in the Media
  • Chapter Five The Resensitization of America


Language: English
Format: Djvu
Pages: 412
Size: 2.5 Mb
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