Tribe by Sebastian Junger


Sebastian Junger, the bestselling author of War and The Perfect Storm, takes a critical look at post-traumatic stress disorder and the many challenges today’s returning veterans face in modern society.There are ancient tribal human behaviors-loyalty, inter-reliance, cooperation-that flare up in communities during times of turmoil and suffering. These are the very same behaviors that typify good soldiering and foster a sense of belonging among t...

Details Tribe

Release DateMay 24th, 2016
GenreNonfiction, Psychology, History, War, Sociology, Philosophy

Reviews Tribe

  • Petra Eggs
    Update Yesterday I had a friend request saying that he didn't want to friend me just to tell me that he objected to my review being so prominent when it was wrong, crap etc. as the author hadn't meant what I said. I didn't read the rest of the long wodge of no doubt insulting text but the ending was that he was flagging the review. I ignored his FR and wrote back tl;dr. He replied (although I don't know how he got through the privacy settings and...
  • Diane S ☔
    Proves the adage that good things can come in small packages. In this short book, not a wasted word, Junger combines memoir, journalism and scholarly writing to give us a book that makes one think about where our society has been and where it is heading. Tackles the tough subjects of the rising rate of mental illness and PTSD that many in our society are experiencing. Starting at the beginning with the Native Americans and their society that cele...
  • Shannon
    If you watched the PBS series with Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers in the late '80's and read this book, you'll shake your head and realize how right Campbell was simply based on reading and understanding myths. Humans are tribal people, with tens of thousands of years of tribal evolution, myth, and ceremony. Living in an isolated world with a lack of shared stories and myths, with a lack of ceremony, and with a lack of meaningful social structur...
  • Michael
    Junger has an appealing message. That humans have evolved a high order of altruism associated with our tribal social nature which leads us to be willing to take great risks to save another member of the tribe. In many circumstances people are willing to sacrifice themselves for total strangers. Time and again when disasters like earthquakes occur the vast majority of people relinquish all sense of selfishness and pitch in to help. In specific exa...
  • Otis Chandler
    A fascinating book about community and belonging, and how modern society has moved us away from our roots in potentially signifiant ways. The book opens with a thought provoking fact: in early America, there were numerous instances of white people joining primitive, native Indian societies - but zero instances of the opposite, because "the intensely communal nature of an Indian tribe held an appeal that the material benefits of Western civilizati...
  • Allison Scott
    There are many good ideas in this book, including disorders of trauma as disorders of integration, isolation, and group dynamic, however I had too many issues with the way this story was told to fully embrace the important message it meant to convey.When I read “tribe” in this book, I imagine only men. Men at war, men at work at construction sites, male aggression, and male friendship. Where are the women? His main example of a “female” s...
  • Clif Hostetler
    This book provides a convincing articulation of reasons why modern society is ill suited to the innate social needs of homo sapiens (i.e. human beings). Our ancestors lived—and evolved—many thousands of years in hunter gatherer groups that were closely bonded together in a cooperative bond in order to survive dangerous surroundings. Everybody in the group knew that they were dependent on others, and the group expected loyalty, cooperation, an...
  • Monica
    **Warning: This review may be longer than the entire book.**Interesting and thought provoking; if not entirely convincing. On the one hand, some very compelling ideas about the feeling of smaller, close knit communities and how they can foster and encourage good mental health and enhance happiness. On the other hand, Junger for the most part, blames wealth and technological advances for the moral decline of America. While not without evidence, it...
  • Louise
    Sebastian Junger poses that tribal societies had a strong sense of community and fairness because these values were necessary to survive. He poses that while tribal culture buffered its members against catastrophic loss (illness, death, violent weather) its sense of community was protection from what today we call PTSD. He makes his case mostly through anecdotes and a few statistics. While there is a lot of food for thought in Junger’s anecdote...
  • Jean Poulos
    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...
  • Robin
    There are many great books that I cannot wait to introduce to my customers - but then there are other books that I become obsessed with and so passionate for that I need to put it into every single person's hand that walks into my bookstore. Sebastian Junger's new book "Tribe" is one of those books. It is historical, psychological, anthropological and personal. I will think about this book for a very long time. It helped me to understand so much ...
  • Hadrian
    Junger's most recent work - his documentaries, as well as his books - have been keen observations of the lives of soldiers. This is a short meditation on PTSD, where front-line troops and other veterans have a difficult time reintegrating into society - that war, for all of its hardships, creates a feeling of belonging and absolutely unbreakable bonds, and that returning to contemporary society leads to feelings of incredible many. ...
  • Chantel Coughlin
    Sebastian Junger takes us on a historical journey that is both anthropological and psychological in his latest work of non-fiction, Tribe. The age old cliche that history repeats itself is being realized in today's society and Junger presents many examples of this with warrior re-integration into their communities following traumatic conflict throughout history and their varied success rates at combating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Junger doc...
  • Jennifer Taw
    Tribe provides a good foundation for discussions about war, community, gender roles, government, economics, justice, violence, and the intersections of all of the above. It also has some really interesting statistics kind of scattered throughout. That said, as a book on its own, I found it disappointing. There are too many oversimplified or over-generalized observations; there are too many times that an outcome is explained using one variable (se...
  • Bahramo
    Wow. By far the best non fiction I've read so far this year (2016). Timely. Engaging. In my opinion, his best work yet. I'm tempted to complain that it is too short, but the point gets hammered home effectively. It should be required school reading. I'll be thinking about this for a while....
  • Ron S
    An expanded version of an article that first appeared in Vanity Fair titled "How PTSD Became a Problem Far Beyond the Battlefield." Junger has matured as one of the finest American reporters in print. Thinking of him as "the Perfect Storm guy" is as reductive as thinking of Jon Krakauer only as "that guy that wrote Into Thin Air." In this work, Junger looks at community, tribal behaviors, and issues facing veterans while briefly weaving in person...
  • Barbara (The Bibliophage)
    Back in the 90s, my father said email and the Internet were making people unable to communicate with each other. This was before smart phones and social media. But if you've ever agreed that we are becoming more distanced and less comfortable with face-to-face communication, this book is a required read. Junger looks at the innate tribal nature of humans and how it affects us during war time and peace time. The difficulty, of course, being that m...
  • Channing
    This book floored me. I found myself highlighting passage over passage, having to set the book aside and reflect. Before starting, I was worried that this book would focus too heavily on soldiers, and although that certainly was a focal point, the narrative was expansive and evaluated many other "tribes" as well.I finished this book feeling nostalgic for a community I've never been a part of but would someday like to.
  • aPriL does feral sometimes
    "Today's veterans often come home to find that, although they're willing to die for their country, they're not sure how to live for it." -Sebastian Junger.Every veteran and visitor to a war-zone should read 'Tribe" when returning to their home country. Not only does the book connect the dots of being a feeling human being and a soldier, and illustrate briefly war experiences from history and more current adventures, it describes what sort of game...
  • Wendell
    Tribe is a magazine article, not a book – and readers are advised to take seriously the twice-repeated warning that the text is “unaltered” from the version that appeared in Vanity Fair in 2015. As a magazine “think piece,” it was no doubt compelling in the way that “serious” journalism in Vanity Fair (as opposed to 750 well chosen words about hats) is always meant to compel: a writer “goes in” to explore in close-up a phenomeno...
  • Jamie
    I wish there were ideas here that were new to me, but it’s the same ideas I’ve held true for years. If it was new, than maybe it wouldn’t be obvious— and maybe it wouldn’t be true. But it’s true. It’s obvious. It’s Wendell Berry and Charles Bowden and Joseph Campbell and Barry Lopez and on and on, every other voice who has said for years what Junger’s saying: we’re bleeding at the roots.Excellent, succinct, damning, necessary ...
  • Rachel Bayles
    As previous reviews have pointed out, this is a very short book. I read it in a little over an hour. But it is dense, well-written, well thought through and so damn important. Junger brings up the ideas that should be a primary part of the national conversation, but mostly aren't being raised at all. He has proven himself again and again to be someone who is doing the thinking we desperately need.
  • Langston
    Loved it. A well-written rumination on the basic human need for belonging and communal living. And how our fractured, alienating and isolating modern society opposes our tribal instincts which can lead to very unfortunate circumstances.
  • Kelsey Dangelo
    Junger, a war correspondent and world traveler, seeks to promote tribal life, as seen both historically and currently in American Indian and aboriginal groups around the world, as well as in the military. He blames individualism (in terms of hurting the society, such as in alienation and in greed) for the ills of society (mainly in terms of mental illness). Although I greatly admire Junger’s points, and I do strongly wish for a greater sense of...
  • Calzean
    More of a long essay, Junger's book is another way of looking at why the world is in a mess, consumerism and economic growth may be easy to measure but don't make life happier and no surprises, man is a tribal animal. He is probably right unfortunately.His use of American Indians provides strength to his argument and his treatment of PTSD is interesting as he looks at it from a number of different angles.
  • Murtaza
    This book asks a question that resonates quite widely: why does an ultra-wealthy, safe and individually-free society feel so miserable for so many people? Rates of depression and suicide are actually much higher in fully modernized societies, despite an abundance of goods and rights. People may be less connected but they have more available than ever to thrive on their own, theoretically.Junger touches on his own upbringing and his experience of ...
  • Conor
    This was way too short! But it was very enjoyable. As my law school roommate deracinates himself to briefly join the cause of the native people of North Dakota, the contrast between egalitarian, Earth-centered communal living and the infrastructure we require (read: want) for the rest of it could not be more apparent. This book might have been a bit too hamfisted with the evolutionary biology at times, but it really made me ponder how unnatural i...
  • CD
    One of my favorite writers of the past two decades has written a book that I'm not overly fond of at all. The last few paragraphs of the book could possibly redeem author Junger, but not the book. Elegant words about service, a nation and world in turmoil, and that we live in a unique and virtually unprecedented time or in the author's words, an 'extraordinary moment in our history' conclude the book. How the journey to these few final phrases tr...
  • Carmen
    Although an interesting insight about cohesion being essential for group survival in the face of danger or catastrophe, and our lack of this as fundamental to the fragmenting and isolation of modern American society, Junger never really develops his thesis beyond this. His idea that prolonged and unabated ptsd does not stem from the trauma but rather from an inability to reconnect with a society most never felt a part of anyway rings true. He cit...
  • Sarah
    Finished this 3 hour audiobook in one sitting because I was sucked in. I want to take more time to digest this before writing a full review, but I enjoyed it a lot. It presents very compelling ideas about modern society, human nature and evolution, and our psychological bent towards solidarity.