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Publisher's Summary

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.

After examining the incredible impact of a few true warriors in battle, On Combat presents new and exciting research as to how to train the mind to become inoculated to stress, fear, and even pain. Expanding on Lt. Col. Grossman's popular "bulletproof mind" presentation, the audiobook explores what really happens to the warrior after the battle, and shows how emotions, such as relief and self-blame, are natural and healthy ways to feel about having survived combat. A fresh and highly informative look at post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) details how to prevent it, how to survive it should it happen, how to come out of it stronger, and how to help others who are experiencing it.

On Combat is easy to understand and powerful in scope. It is a true classic that will be listened to by new and veteran warriors for years to come.

©2013 Dave Grossman and Loren W. Christensen (P)2013 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A must read for anyone dealing with "warriors"

This is by far the best way to start understanding the mind of the warrior, soldier, police officer, fire, ambulance, social worker or anyone dealing with the issue of human on human violence (physical, mental, social or emotional).

Colonel Grossman has covered a lot of issues I had previously not fully understood, however his analogies make it easy for even a layman to grasp.

Definitely recommending to all of my friends who are still in the army, and their families and friends to help them understand why we do what we do every day.

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really good

awesome insight into psychology aspects of combat and law enforcement read exceptionally well by the author. should be mandatory readong for any conflict related position.

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  • Daniel
  • 18-12-2013

A solid read. Very informative and rivreting.

Where does On Combat rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's in the top 5 of my non-fiction list. Very informative.. I don't agree with all the author's conclusions, but it's a definite must read for people who want to understand how stress affects performance. If you are a first responder of any branch or want to understand the types of stress they encounter, this should be on your reading list.

What was one of the most memorable moments of On Combat?

Stories from police and military people.. Riveting.

Have you listened to any of Dave Grossman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. But, a friend just gave me On Killing in paperback.. I am planning to start reading it soon.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No one particular moment.. There were many poignant moments in the book.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Jonah
  • 21-03-2017

Just what I needed.

I'm a police officer in the United States, and this book was recommended to me by my SGT after I had just gotten out of a shooting while on duty.

I listened to this while I waited on administrative leave as my department determined my fate. I've never before had someone point a gun in my face with the intent to kill me, nor have I had to discharge my duty weapon at another living person. I was and am still dealing with the complex emotions of that experience.

I just want to say thank you so much for this book, as the knowledge contained in it helped me to process my experience. I know I am better off because of your words.

Sincerely, a grateful patrol officer.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • SmartBean
  • 24-07-2017

Slow and fluffy

There's a lot of useful information here, but it is slow in coming. At times it seems every paragraph is prefaced by a quote; most of these add little and they get very distracting.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael B.
  • 02-05-2017

A Warrior Family read...

A must read for any Warrior, Warrior Family, or Warrior Spouse.

Just read this with my teenage son who is about to enlist to the United States Marine Corps.

What insight regarding every component to battle. The prior, during and following affects to the warrior, and everyone that loves him! The emotional, physiological, and even the spiritual components of combat. The reiteration of the 'Sheepdog' ideology alone makes the book worth every penny!

About to read again, but this time along with my wife... a Marine Wife, and soon to be (God willing), a Marine Mom.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Tom
  • 05-02-2015

Best book on combat of all time!

As a veteran this book helped me understand my experience and know how to help myself heal and heal others. My calling to be a warrior was also affirmed and strengthened.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • george
  • 01-02-2015

Amazing

Any additional comments?

Dave Grossman is a hero and this book will help law enforcement, military and everyday citizens. I carry everyday and this along with dave grossman's other books will prepare you for what can happen .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Elitheman
  • 24-12-2014

A must read for warriors.<br />

For all soldiers, law enforcement and civilian sheep dogs. Mindset, how to survive the fight before it comes .
Nothing beats having the book narrated by it's author you can feel the passion for the subject matter in his voice.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeremiah
  • 26-02-2014

DAT ENDING

If you could sum up On Combat in three words, what would they be?

Insightful, helpful, applicable.

What does Dave Grossman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Dave Grossman brings THAT ENDING.
I won't spoil it, but in the last few seconds of the book the tone of the book goes from 55 mph to Mach freakin' 12 as the patriotism literally EXPLODES into your ears, music even starts playing! I didn't know whether to laugh or gag it was so comical.

Honestly, GREAT BOOK, but there's something to be said about that ending.
If you recommend this book to a friend you will DEFINITELY know when he or she has finished it when they jump up and yell "AMERICAAAAAAA!!!"

The seriousness and somber tone of the rest the book is almost overshadowed by the ending of this book, it just doesn't fit to me.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Every part of this book is important and I found myself rewinding a lot.

Any additional comments?

Be prepared for that ending.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Adam
  • 15-05-2017

Self-aggrandizing, weak on evidence

After listening to 'On Kiling', this followup was an enormous disappointment. With the caveat that I only made it about three quarters of the way through, my complaints:

Constant self-aggrandizement: Grossman repeatedly refers to soldiers/police as 'sheepdogs' and the general nonviolent public as 'sheep'. He at one point makes a ridiculous, half-hearted apology and says he means no insult by the term 'sheep,' an apology completely at odds with the way he actually speaks. Further, his gushing praise of police and solders is superfluous, probably even to readers who belong to those groups.

Bad science: Several of Grossman's major theses are either irrelevant, uncertain, or outright wrong. For example, he claims that violent crime has been increasing since the 1950s, and he implies that our streets today are as dangerous as they have ever been. (In reality, violent crime today, while still above 1950s levels, has been on a steady decline since the late '80s/early '90s). He makes causal claims that are insufficiently supported by the available evidence, the largest of which is that violent video games are the major player in our "increasing" violent crime rate.

Repetition/slow pace: It takes Grossman so very, very long to get to his points. There are literally hours of unnecessary anecdotes. He repeats himself constantly. This audiobook could have been about one quarter its length without a major impact on its meaningful content.

Glaringly missing topics: As I said, I didn't listen to the final quarter, so perhaps one or more of these is finally addressed at the end. If so, it's still his fault for losing my attention before then. He hasn't talked enough about abuse of power. He has a few inadequate one-liners about when a single 'sheepdog' misuses his power, fires without permission or such. But he does not address institutional abuse of power, or those times when the boss turns a blind eye to the sheepdog's abuse of the sheep. Also, in a book mostly about police, I have yet to hear a word about the deliberate use of nonlethal force. It almost seems as if Grossman isn't familiar with the concept.

Last, I think the poems he quotes are cheesy.


The good: A nice discussion on how to train properly for high-stress situations. Some interesting anecdotes about when people trained improperly. That's really about it.

12 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • GP
  • 06-11-2016

An insightful and compelling look at a difficult topic

This is an exceptional book. Col. Grossman's insights on the bulletproof mind and the effects of combat are exceptional - this is not just a look at combat from a soldier's perspective but looks at soldiers, law enforcement, and society in general. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ed
  • 18-08-2017

Disappointed, aimed at law enforcement

Some of the content is quite interesting, however the book seems to be aimed at the "self improvement" market. Lots of uncited anecdotes, lots of inspiring language and reference to "warriors".

I personally found it got in the way of the serious research underneath. I was also annoyed by the lack of citations and proof, you had to take the author's word on it.

Lastly the author narrates the book and he's clearly not a professional. The flow and delivery just lacks polish.

Shame too, there are some really interesting claims and arguments in the book, but they're too sparsely packed within trivia.

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  • Adam Sergeant
  • 01-08-2017

Extremely useful and informative.

Where does On Combat rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The best factual book I have listened to thus far.

What did you like best about this story?

There is so much detail. Most other books skirt round some of the 'harder' topics, but not this one. Col Grossman leaves nothing out and if you are the sort of person that enjoys analysis, then this book is for you.

What does Dave Grossman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I listen on the way to and from work. You cannot do that with a book (legally, anyway).

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

I think it would be too long for a film - generic review question?!

Any additional comments?

After finishing this audiobook, I felt compelled to e-mail Lt Col Grossman to congratulate him. Fantastic. His reading of 'Into Battle' at the start makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck.

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  • Dean Pattinson
  • 06-06-2015

excellent

very informative and eye opening. arguably essential information for every one not just our warriors.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful