Book: Principles of Personal Defense, Jeff Cooper
One of the greatest influences on modern defensive handgun use was the late Col. Jeff Cooper. He spent years instructing in the use of small arms and studying the art of winning a fight. He wrote a number of books, but this short little one (more like a pamphlet), called Principles of Personal Defense, should be a must read for every person aspiring to achieve an effective self defense capability. Fundamentally, it deals with human nature, and the basic elements necessary for successful resolution of violent conflict. It's like an Art of War in miniature and specifically only about the one-on-one and one-on-several conflicts.
Well, I found a PDF of it online. It's a fast read and well worth saving for later reference. It can easily be read in less than an hour.
Here are a few noteworthy quotes from the book:
"If you are justified in shooting you are justified in killing, in all but a few quite obvious circumstances. Don't try to be fancy. Shoot for the center of mass. The world is full of decent people. Criminals we can do without."
"If violent crime is to be curbed, it is only the intended victim who can do it. The felon does not fear the police, and he fears neither judge nor jury. Therefore what he must be taught to fear is his victim. If a felon attacks you and lives, he will reasonably conclude that he can do it again. By submitting to him, you not only imperil your own life, but you jeopardize the lives of others. The first man who resisted Starkweather, after eleven murders, overcame him easily and without injury. If that man had been the first to be accosted, eleven innocent people would have been spared."
"Now how do we cultivate an aggressive response? I think the answer is indignation. Read the papers. Watch the news. These people have no right to prey upon innocent citizens. They have no right to offer you violence. They are bad people and you are quite justified in resenting their behavior to the point of rage. Your response, if attacked, must not be fear, it must be anger."