On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace Audiobook [Free Download by Trial]

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On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace

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ON COMBAT looks at what happens to the human body under the stresses of deadly battle and the impact on the nervous system, heart, breathing, visual and auditory perception, memory - then discusses new research findings as to what measure warriors can take to prevent such debilitations so they can stay in the fight, survive, and win. A brief, but insightful look at history shows the evolution of combat, the development of the physical and psychological leverage that enables humans to kill other humans, followed by an objective examination of domestic violence in America. The authors reveal the nature of the warrior, brave men and women who train their minds and bodies to go to that place from which others flee.



  • I was hoping for a more scientific examination of combat behavior, but I was disappointed to find that the book seemed more like a poorly written opinion piece filled with anecdotes. The only reason I can think of for the positive reviews is the excessive praise for law enforcement personnel.
  • As soon as a psychologist claims that "There are 3 types of people..." in the beginning of their thesis, their credibility raises doubts. Although there are a few intriguing and practical insights to be found in this book, you'll have to sift through a multitude of personal viewpoints, irrelevant stories, and dubious approaches (or sometimes no approach at all). If you are seeking a scholarly exploration of the psychological impacts of contemporary warfare, it's advised to explore other sources that are less biased and better supported.
  • The initial part of the book contains a wealth of valuable information regarding stress resilience and the act of killing in combat. However, a major drawback of the book is that the author excessively references his previous works, which can become quite bothersome over time. Prior to reading this book, I had just finished "On Killing" (which, by the way, is far superior to this one). Unfortunately, it almost felt like I didn't even need to read "On Killing" because the author essentially reiterates all the key points from that book in this one. It seems that the only reason why this book is twice as long as "On Killing" is due to this repetition. Around three-fourths of the way through, I decided to stop listening because the author delved into the topic of violent video games and their impact on children for hours on end. I didn't pick up this book to listen to the author's opinions on violent video games; rather, I wanted to explore the psychological and physiological effects of combat. To extract anything truly valuable from this book, you'll find it within the first three-fourths of its content.
  • This audiobook is a must-listen for soldiers, law enforcement officers, and anyone who takes on the role of a protector. It delves deep into the mindset needed to not just endure, but thrive in the face of conflict, whether on the battlefield or in everyday life. One of the standout features of this audiobook is that it is narrated by the author himself. This adds an extra layer of authenticity and allows the listener to truly feel the author's passion for the subject as it comes through in his voice.
  • I'm only a couple of hours into this book, so I want to give a fair review based on what I've heard so far. The author starts off by listing his previous best-selling book, as well as his extensive experience presenting to prestigious organizations in the medical, military, and law enforcement fields. He spends a lot of time on this, really emphasizing his expertise. He also introduces new words like "killology," which I find a bit strange and definitely not Scrabble-friendly. This author doesn't seem to have much humility, but let's move on. One recurring theme is the author's belief that our civilization could survive without certain professions like medicine, but not without warriors. Personally, I think farmers are just as crucial, as without them we wouldn't have food and everyone would be in trouble, regardless of their occupation. Additionally, if there were no warriors, there would be no wars. So I don't agree that a generation without war would spell the end of civilization. The author uses the term "warrior" to refer to military, police, or anyone engaged in combat. However, whether a warrior is considered good or bad depends on one's perspective. I believe the world could actually benefit from a generation without any kind of warriors. The author also draws a comparison between modern warriors and the chivalrous knights of medieval Europe. I think this analogy falls short because, regardless of their supposed noble ideals, medieval knights used their might to enforce their will. Are we really regressing to a "might makes right" mentality? There are too many quotes that glorify our noble warriors. Let's remember that warriors get paid just like everyone else. While I agree they deserve fair compensation, we shouldn't pretend that aggression for hire, even in defense, is inherently noble. The author shares an early example of armed police officers "running to the sound of the guns," contrasting them with EMTs who are hesitant to enter dangerous situations. He almost portrays the EMTs as cowardly. However, it's worth noting that it's not the EMTs' job to enter dangerous situations unarmed. It's puzzling why the police would allow unarmed EMTs to be put in that position in the first place. The EMTs could be seen as either brave or foolish, depending on how you look at it. The police who allowed them into that situation were not doing their job properly. The author seems to have missed this point entirely and instead glorifies the armed police running into danger. Yes, it's their job and they choose to do it, but they are also paid for it. Overall, the topic of this book is fascinating, but it's challenging to follow the author's logic. It's slow-paced and filled with quotes, anecdotes, and random facts that lack sufficient context to determine their significance or if they are merely used to support the author's argument. As Joe Friday would say, "just the facts." I would add that presenting facts with critical context could have condensed the first two hours of this book into just ten minutes.
  • The author/narrator of this audiobook seems to have a deep admiration for the daring missions he has accomplished. Initially, I was intrigued until he divided the world into two categories: sheep and sheepdogs. According to him, he falls into the latter category, being a protector of society. Sheepdogs, in his perspective, are always ready to utilize their firearms, which they carry at all times. I must respectfully disagree with Col. Grossman on this point. When our son was only 15 years old, he experienced a school shooting at his high school. There were numerous individuals, including a substitute teacher in her 70s, who were willing to sacrifice their lives for the students. While it is true that the shooter would not have been stopped without armed officers, it is important to note that not all defenders are "warriors" or possess weapons. Many courageous individuals contribute to the betterment of society without relying on firearms. Countless lives have been lost in the service of others, all without the need for a single weapon.