Tribe Lib/E: On Homecoming and Belonging

Sebastian Junger (Read by)


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 a 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.

Product Details

Publish Date
May 24, 2016
6.6 X 1.2 X 6.1 inches | 0.55 pounds
Compact Disc
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Sebastian Junger is the New York Times bestselling author of several books. Together with Tim Hetherington, he directed the documentary Restrepo, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and has been awarded a National Magazine Award and an SAIS Novartis Prize for journalism.


The forcefulness of the author's convictions and his experiences as a combat journalist and filmmaker give authenticity to his narration...As narrator, Junger's tone ranges from critical to supportive, from outraged to sorrowful. Never nuanced in his speaking or timid with his opinions, Junger dismisses the empty platitudes we offer troops and calls for a better understanding of and more appropriate support for veterans.

-- "AudioFile"

I was so struck by the ideas in this book that I wanted to tell everybody.

-- "Oprah Winfrey, American talk-show host, actress, and producer"

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

-- "New York Times"

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 "

Tribe is an important wake-up call. Let's hope we don't sleep through the alarm.

-- "Minneapolis Star Tribune"

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

-- "O, The Oprah Magazine"

Offers a starting point for mending some of the toxic divisiveness rampant in our current political and cultural climate.

-- "Boston Globe"

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.

-- "Times Literary Supplement (London)"

Sure to bring understanding to military and civilian readers alike.

-- "San Antonio Express-News"

Junger challenges us to take a hard look in the mirror and ask whether we can save ourselves.

-- "Guardian (London)"

I would give this gem of an essay to anyone embarking on the understanding of human society and governance.

-- "Evening Standard (London)"

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

-- "Booklist"

A short book with a solid argument about the downside of civilization's progress...issuing warnings about divisiveness and selfishness that should resonate.

-- "Kirkus Reviews"