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I joined the Marine Corps at 17, I invaded Iraq when I was 18 and I fought in Fallujah when I was 19. I then served as the platoon sergeant at the local guard unit while going to college. No book I have ever read about war has ever captured what it all means, not like this one has. This book should be mandatory reading for anyone that serves this country in any capacity.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
I have read several articles recently about our society’s problems with individualism. When I saw Junger’s short book on the subject, I thought it might give me a more in-depth viewpoint on the subject, which it did.
Junger tells of Benjamin Franklin’s 1753 observation that white prisoners of Native American Tribes when recused would run back to the Native American Tribe they had been with. But the situation never worked it reverse. Franklin concluded there was something wrong with our society.
Junger primarily is addressing issues of the returning military personnel and the difficulties they have returning to civilian life. They have been an integral part of a “tribe” or unit then sent home and feel unwanted or needed as a civilian particularly if unable to obtain a job. He says our society honors individuals and being alone rather than being part of a cohesive group, village or tribe. Junger also discusses the bonding of civilians such as with the blitz in England or 9/11 in New York. He states that with WWII both military and civilians sacrificed for a common goal but that is not the case with the current war and the disconnect between civilians and military is widening. He claims we need to bond together in villages, groups and country; he claims that would reduce crime and mental illness.
Sebastian Junger is a journalist and has been in many wars over the years. The book is well written and researched. His analysis and thoughts are clearly presented and backed with documentation. This is an interesting book and worth the effort to read. Junger narrates his own book.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful