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Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging Hardcover – 24 May 2016

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Twelve (24 May 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455566381
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455566389
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 467,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"Thought-provoking...a gem." ""The Washington Post"""

"Junger has raised one of the most provocative ideas of this campaign season--and accidentally written one of its most intriguing political books." The New York Times"

"There are three excellent reasons to read Sebastian Junger's new book: the clarity of his thought, the elegance of his prose, and the provocativeness of his chosen subject. Within a compact space, the sheer range of his inquiry is astounding." S. C. Gwynne, New York Times bestselling author of Rebel Yell and Empire of the Summer Moon"

"Sebastian Junger has turned the multifaceted problem of returning veterans on its head. It's not so much about what's wrong with the veterans, but what's wrong with us. If we made the changes suggested in TRIBE, not only our returning veterans, but all of us, would be happier and healthier. Please read this book." Karl Marlantes, New York Times bestselling author of Matterhorn and What It Is Like to Go to War"

"Junger uses every word in this slim volume to make a passionate, compelling case for a more egalitarian society." Booklist"

"The author resists the temptation to glorify war as the solution to a nation's mental ills and warns against the tendency "to romanticize Indian life," but he does succeed in showing "the complicated blessings of 'civilization, ' " while issuing warnings about divisiveness and selfishness that should resonate in an election year. The themes implicit in the author's bestsellers are explicit in this slim yet illuminating volume." Kirkus Reviews"

"Thought-provoking...a gem." The Washington Post"

"TRIBE is an important wake-up call. Let's hope we don't sleep through the alarm." Minneapolis Star Tribune"

"Compelling...Junger...offers a starting point for mending some of the toxic divisiveness rampant in our current political and cultural climate." The Boston Globe"

"Junger argues with candor and grace for the everlasting remedies of community and connectedness." O Magazine"

"TRIBE is a fascinating, eloquent and thought-provoking book..packed with ideas...It could help us to think more deeply about how to help men and women battered by war to find a new purpose in peace." The Times of London"

"This is a brilliant little book driven by a powerful idea and series of reflections by the bestselling author of the bestselling books The Perfect Storm and War, and the film documentary Restrepo, about fighting in Afghanistan...The strongest experience of companionship and community often comes with the extremes of war. Junger is particularly good on the stress and exhilaration experienced by reporters, aid workers, and soldiers in combat - and the difficulties they face on return...I would give this gem of an essay to anyone embarking on the understanding of human society and governance." Evening Standard "

"An electrifying tapestry of history, anthropology, psychology and memoir that punctures the stereotype of the veteran as a war-damaged victim in need of salvation. Rather than asking how we can save our returning servicemen and women, Junger challenges us to take a hard look in the mirror and ask whether we can save ourselves." The Guardian "

"Junger has identified one of the last cohesive tribes in America and, through an examination of its culture of self-subjugation grasps for a remedy that might reunite a fragmented civilian society." Elliot Ackerman, Times Literary Supplement"

TRIBE is an extended reflection on the need for inclusion and belonging...written by an impassioned war correspondent less concerned with the scars of battle than the psychological dislocation experienced by those returning home, who have experienced tribal inclusion, but now face a future without it. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette"

TRIBE is a fascinating look into why inspires ancient human virtues of honor, courage and commitment on the battlefield, and the difficulty that can arise when a combat tour is over. While the book may easily fit in a soldier's small cargo pocket, it packs immensely valuable insight that is sure to bring understanding to military and civilian readers alike. San Antonio Express-News"

I first read about this history several months ago in Sebastian Junger's excellent book, TRIBE. It has haunted me since. It raises the possibility that our culture is built on some fundamental error about what makes people happy and fulfilled. David Brooks, The New York Times"

About the Author

Sebastian Junger is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of War, The Perfect Storm, Fire, and A Death in Belmont. Together with Tim Hetherington, he directed the Academy Award-nominated film Restrepo, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and has been awarded a National Magazine Award and an SAIS Novartis Prize for journalism. He lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This thought-provoking account is really an extended essay. One of its themes is post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. The work grew out of an article thaat Junger wrote for Vanity Fair in June 1915. Junger, who is a journalist, examines the medical consequences of traumatic reactions associated with warfare. His essay includes a number of first person accounts of events that took place years ago.

This account is also about being a member of a tribe which he defines as the people you feel compelled to share the last of your food with. Junger asks why is that sentiment so rare in modern society, and what are the consequences. It's about what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty and belonging and the eternal quest for meaning. Why, he asks, do many think war feels better than peace and hardship can turn out to be a blessing. Why are disasters remembered more fondly than weddings? Junger argues 'we need to feel necessary'. Modern society has killed this feeling in many.

Read it and think about his argument. It is very thought provoking and also disturbing. It may be of interest to mention that several studies of people's memories and feelings about the London Blitz in the Second World War support Junger's thesis.

Junger provides the source of studies about warfare and modern society within the text so readers are able to verify the information for themselves.. There is also a section entitled Source Notes.
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Format: Hardcover
Tribe is a short book – or maybe an extended essay – about the impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder of the lives of (mainly) soldiers from around the world. This may seem a relatively familiar topic, as it is often in the news, but what makes this book different is the way in which it seeks to explain why some groups of veterans seem to suffer from PTSD more than others.

I simple terms the book seems to suggest that the variation is due to differing levels of shared commitment and community connection between the soldiers and the “back at home” community. So, soldiers who fought in unpopular wars doe less well then those that gain community support. This difference is highlighted in the differencing ways in which soldiers in Americas recent wars have coped compared to those from Israel.

While written in a ‘popular’ fashion, the author provides lists of references and sources to the studies he cites – which gives the book a greater feeling of authority than some straight ‘opinion pieces’ about the impact of war.

I’m not sure the book says anything remarkably, but what it does say, it says clearly.

I would think that this is pretty close to required reading for anybody interested in the consequences of modern war. Highly Recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Journalistic musing on the subject of PTSD and its wider implication for our forms of social organisation. The author constructs a shaky edifice of anthropological and sociological speculation on a narrow base of anecdotes and selected evidence. Junger's affection for soldiers and male bonding - this is a very male book - and his reasonable outrage at the way in which we treat our young leads him largely to overlook the negative side of 'tribal' thinking. Is it unreasonable to suggest that in an age of resurgent nationalism, religious intolerance and identity politics the idea of 'belonging' has caused at least as much harm as good?

This is essentially a long magazine article - less than 30,000 words - inflated into a book, and I came away thinking that it would have been unlikely to have been published in this form had the author not been a famous journalist. Junger's sincerity isn't in doubt, but his argument is neither new nor carefully thought through. There is an enormous literature on PTSD and its wider social significance, and only a reader completely new to the subject would be likely to get much from this. Disappointing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bought this after hearing a really thought-provoking interview with this author. I hadn't come across him before but highly recommend this book, and intend to purchase his other titles.
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