Review of Tribe

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Rating

9 Overall

9 Applicability

8 Innovation

9 Style

Recommendation

Sebastian Junger, the best-selling author of War, Fire, The Perfect Storm and Death in Belmont, co-directed the Academy Award–nominated Afghan War documentary Restrepo. Four years later, he directed Korengal, a documentary tracking the aftereffects of the war on the soldiers he profiled in Restrepo. Junger captured a curious ambivalence among the soldiers, an ambivalence more prevalent than most war reporting might lead you to believe exists. All the soldiers described their time at Restrepo – an isolated outpost high on a mountain overlooking the Korengal Valley – as the most harrowing months of their lives. They described the loss of their friends there as the most heartbreaking events of their lives. Yet many expressed a desire to return to those adrenaline-filled days of combat. In Tribe, Junger addresses this phenomenon as it has occurred throughout history and circumstance: People who live through life-threatening, high-stress situations yearn in some way to re-experience them. What Junger discovered, and what provides the theme of Tribe, is that while these people didn’t miss the horror of their experiences, they did miss the once-in-a-lifetime sense of community these events nourished. Trauma, Junger writes, fuels tribal bonds.

About the Author

Sebastian Junger is the best-selling author of War, Fire, The Perfect Storm and Death in Belmont. He co-directed the Academy Award–nominated Afghanistan War documentary Restrepo. A contributing editor to Vanity Fair, Junger won a National Magazine Award.

 

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