After reading about this book, I looked high and low for it. "Written by a former SAS man after his experience in the military did little to prepare him for the dangers in civilian life." I expected a manual on self-defense, and their legal issues. (Something Nicolas Cage's character from "Con Air" could have used) After finally getting a copy, the book has little to do with what the catalog implied. The title byline reads "how to protect yourself from domestic accident, mugging, burglary and attack." Three of the four were in the same chapter! What we did get covers the dangers from stress, pollution, even lead paint to driving and safe sex to self defense and terrorism.
The book's good points are it covers amazing scope of subject matter. It doesn't linger on any one topic too long; it simply states the dangers involved with whatever hazard in a few paragraphs, then on to the next item. The book is organized very well and of course, being written like a military manual, the flow is very logical. The color sections on poisonous plants and dangerous animals are very informative. The section on self-defense is a great primer on the basics of fighting.
Unfortunately, that information will never be read. The data on household and city dangers is so vast one must wade thru the "don't do that's" we learned as a kid to find the rare bit of new and useful information. The chapter on the law is mostly for England and is ten years out of date. Especially on firearms in which the author, being former military, surprised me by having an anti-gun attitude.
The chapter on terrorism is thorough but nearly useless to people in the US. Anti-terrorism counter-measures are briefly mentioned and only for the wealthy (bullet proof vests?) who do not need this book as they have bodyguards.
As a military man myself (USMC), I can sympathize with his views on household dangers. In the military, people are briefed on how to safely handle dangerous machines and chemicals, often with mandatory wearing of safety gear (gloves, goggles, etc.) when using the chemicals. In civilian life, the only times warning labels and safety precautions are ever mentioned is in a lawsuit because of product misuse! In the military, you also know how to fight whom, while in civilian life you never know who will attack you but you can go to jail for hurting an attacker in self-defense.
However, I think the author had greatly overdone the coverage of every possible danger to ones health and safety, often to the point of paranoia. I cannot recommend this book to American readers. I gave it three stars because the information that is useful is *very* useful, but it only is only a small part of a big book. Besides, I am sure that all the good knowledge is in either the *SAS Survival Handbook (vol. 1)* or *Collins Gem SAS Self-Defence* especially the latter. It should contain everything the great self-defense section has with a little more detail.
P.s. I found it a amazing that this book, after a year of my searching never received a single review and now TWO people review it on the same day (I just knew I should have done this yesterday! :). I do not fault my follow reviewer, as being English; he or she may have found it more relevant. My review is more for American customers.