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Jun 14

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging

A book event

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, Sebastian Junger 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. In Tribe, Junger explains why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved even in today's divided world.

Sebastian Junger is a #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.

More About the Speakers

Sebastian Junger
Author of Tribe

Jay Nordlinger
Senior Editor, National Review

Hosted By

Peter Brookes Peter Brookes

Senior Fellow, National Security Affairs Read More