On the Psychology of Military Incompetance


Adult Non-Fiction

This text surveys 100 years of military inefficiency from the Crimean War, through the Boer conflict, to the disastrous campaigns of the First World War and the calamities of the Second. It examines the social psychology of military organizations, provides case studies of individual commanders and indentifies an alarming pattern in the causes of military disaster. Previous titles by the author include "Subliminal Perception: The Nature of a Controversy", "Preconscious Processing" and "Our Own Worst Enemy".


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"Shocking and provocative" * New Society * "An absorbing, perceptive and often very funny study in human frailty... Stimulating and almost invariably provocative" -- Lord Chalfont * Listener * "An original, scientifically impressive and fascinating book... This is a minor classic" * Tablet * "It should be compulsory reading wherever future officers are selected or trained, and deserves a very wide readership among psychologists and laymen" -- John Nicholson * New Society * "Classic book" * New York Times *

Dr Norman F. Dixon, M.B.E., Fellow of the British Psychological Society, was Professor Emeritus of Psychology at University College London. After ten years' commission in the Royal Engineers, during which time he was wounded ('largely through my own incompetence'), Professor Dixon left the Army in 1950 and entered university where he obtained a first-class degree in Psychology. He received the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy in 1956 and Doctor of Science in 1972, and in 1974 was awarded the University of London Carpenter Medal 'for work of exceptional distinction in Experimental Psychology'. He held an honorary doctorate from the University of Lund. His other books include: Preconscious Processing, Subliminal Perception: the nature of a controversy, which was described by Professor George Westby as 'one of the most substantial works of British psychology of recent years', and Our Own Worst Enemy, which New Society praised as 'an elegant play on man's chaotic nature...diverse and arresting'.

General Fields

  • : 9780712658898
  • : penguin random house
  • : Pimlico
  • : January 1994
  • : 216mm X 135mm X 33mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paperback
  • : English
  • : 355.331
  • : 448