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. Reprint.
Grossman examines the effects that killing people has on individual soldiers and on the U.S. as a whole. He shows that most soldiers don't want to kill, and describes the lengths to which the military must go in order to override soldiers' inhibitions and get them to kill people. Despite this indoctrination, soldiers who kill pay a huge psychological price, especially in terms of post-traumatic stress. Grossman suggests that a similar process of desensitization toward killing and violence has taken place in U.S. society in the past two decades, largely a result of violence in the electronic media. (He singles out violent video games as a culprit.) He warns that the resulting increase in killing and violent behavior is a grave danger to the nation's future. A new introduction shows how events since the book's original publication in 1995 have validated Grossman's conclusions about killing and societal violence. Dave Grossman is a former psychology professor at West Point and current director of the Killology Research Group. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)