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Publisher's Summary

We have a strong instinct to belong to small groups defined by clear purpose and understanding - "tribes". This tribal connection has been largely lost in modern society, but regaining it may be the key to our psychological survival.
Decades before the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin lamented that English settlers were constantly fleeing over to the Indians - but Indians almost never did the same. Tribal society has been exerting an almost gravitational pull on Westerners for hundreds of years, and the reason lies deep in our evolutionary past as a communal species. The most recent example of that attraction is combat veterans who come home to find themselves missing the incredibly intimate bonds of platoon life. The loss of closeness that comes at the end of deployment may explain the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by military veterans today.
Combining history, psychology, and anthropology, Tribe explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning. It explains the irony that - for many veterans as well as civilians - war feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing, and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. Tribe explains why we are stronger when we come together and how that can be achieved even in today's divided world.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2016 Sebastian Junger (P)2016 Hachette Audio
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Critic Reviews

"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 best-selling author of Matterhorn and What It Is Like to Go to War)
"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 best-selling author of Rebel Yell and Empire of the Summer Moon)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By joseph on 05-26-16

The most profound book on the subject

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.

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37 of 38 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Margaret on 10-18-16

Essential field guide to being a human

This book is an essential read. It gives us great insight into the human condition.

Junger opens the book with the story of a homeless man unsuccessful finding day labor who, upon seeing the young Junger hitchhiking, walks out to the highway and offers him his lunch - probably the only food he had. It wasn't just the kindness, Junger observes - it was that this man who had nothing took responsibility for a fellow human.

The rest of the book is a combination of Junger's experience as a war correspondent, anthropological insight about human evolution in small groups responsible for each other, and the downside of our overly affluent society where we're no longer needed. The veterans I know that have read it think he has nailed it - the reason so many of our vets, surrounded in small groups by others who would die for them, lose so much when they come back to a society filled with isolation and living life on screen.

It's a short book, and Junger's journalistic style is direct, clear and full of punch. A very approachable narrative and so illuminating.

Read by Junger himself, in his raspy, just-out-of-the-field voice, a perfect match.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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