Tribe - Sebastian Junger


By Sebastian Junger

  • Release Date: 2016-05-24
  • Genre: Social Science
Score: 4.5
From 469 Ratings


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.


  • Absolutely an A+ Read!

    By FletcherHR
    This book was recommended by my Company Commander during my time in the Marine Corps. It is a perfect take on what it looks like to be a part of a “Tribe” whether its in the military or in times of personal, economic, or political disasters.
  • Insightful

    By Kenneth Glish
    This was a good book. Reminded me of Guns, Germs, and Steel. I like books that dive into the human race and why we are the way we are. This is one of them.
  • Great insight to social isolation

    By AppleBooks20
    I found this perspective interesting on how one can go through life in modern society and not have to interact with anyone. And because of this ability people only interact with those they choose to and this leads to some intense isolation
  • It’s like it was written for 2020

    By j0hn50n21
    Really compelling perspective on social divides and community. Highly recommend.
  • Did not enjoy this book

    By trailrun71
    I didn’t enjoy reading this book. I found the concept intriguing but his writing seemed to jump around too much. Some of his points concerning ptsd I found to be in accurate.
  • Good book

    By Bll51
    Junger has some tremendous points. A lot of good lessons on why we need the tribe in our life!
  • Thought provoking

    By americanslave
    It’s an interesting theory to what ails modern society. Questions about how tribalism is both good and bad aren’t well elucidated. Rape is used as an example of a traumatic experience. I would challenge the author that victims of rape would be interested in consensual sex with loving partners after their assault. Thus, contradictory to the author’s POV, would cause serious problems downstream in life. I feel the way to apply the tribe mentality in current life is underdeveloped. If this is read as a thought provoking read, then it’s excellent. It was not something that I found useful beyond thought provoking and entertaining.
  • Good read

    By Truck832
    In today’s times of political strife and separation within our country it identifies how we all can be a solution.
  • A must read

    By Kevin B123
    Insightful, valuable perspective.
  • Clear as Mud

    By Rodonisle
    The mud in the Grunt's clothes stays in spite of years of soap. Likewise the stains on his soul left by war. This author not only acknowledges the fact, but seeks out why, and makes it clear. Too bad the world that needs to hear his words, is deafened by the loss of tribe.