I've just started reading Geoff Thompson's book Dead or Alive: The Choice is Yours
and I must say I'm impressed. That's saying a lot because not a single book on self defense has really impressed me before.
Geoff Thompson's attitudes towards self defense are very clearly explained and are similar to the principles upon which I build my own self defensive strategy. I may well never have to answer anyone's questions about my opinions of self defense again; I can instead direct them to read this book.
The book is absolutely tremendous reading even in just the first two chapters. I like the way that more than half of the book deals what happens BEFORE you are forced to use physical self defense.
Often, when I tell people that the first thing I would do in a self defense situation is run away or avoid the confrontation in the first place, they think I'm joking or get offended by the idea. Few people I've met are as experienced or trained in fighting as I am and yet I am the most likely to avoid fighting. It's satisfying and reassuring to see that someone else agrees whole-heartedly with this philosophy, as demonstrated in this book. Most people have a strange fantasy about self defense which I believe this book could dispel.
There's surprisingly little machismo in this book. Things are stated directly and warnings given; there's no heroics, no boasting and no rose-tinted glasses. It doesn't glorify violence; it pulls it apart piece-by-piece and explains to you what a danger it poses to the unprepared. There are mentions of techniques, which you may or may not agree with, but I think that the most important issues dealt with in this book are peoples' misconceptions and fears about violence.
Even from what I've read in only the first two chapters, I would already recommend this book to anyone with even a remote interest in protecting themselves.