Sebastian Junger is an author, journalist and documentarian. He spent his working life in Sarajevo, Afghanistan and Iraq. Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging covers the tribal connection and how we lost it. Why suicides and depression rates fall in war and during natural disasters. Why PTSD is soaring in American veterans as the casualty rate plummets.
Tribe is a joy to read; I did it in an afternoon. Junger explains the lack of footnotes is due to it not being an academic text. Instead, they are in the source notes at the end. This makes for a lean and elegant book where the work ripples under the skin. A huge change from my earlier review, The Last Lion.
“It’s about what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty and belonging and the eternal human quest for meaning. It’s about why—for many people—war feels better than peace and hardship can turn out to be a great blessing and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations.”
“What you would risk dying for—and for whom—is perhaps the most profound question a person can ask themselves. The vast majority of people in modern society are able to pass their whole lives without answering that question, which is both an enormous blessing and a significant loss.”