Tribe Summary

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.

Book Reviews

Kevin B123

A must read5 star

Insightful, valuable perspective.55


Clear as Mud4 star

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.45


Just a prelude3 star

I’ve heard The author speak at length, both about this book and on other topics and I really like him. I did enjoy this book, but it’s not nearly long enough. I finished what I thought was the first section, the setup if you will, but to my dismay I found I had turned the last page. In that regard, I was fairly disappointed. What was contained in those scant chapters though was well written and interesting. I like his writing well enough and look forward to more from the other, but I need more. I needed this book to go somewhere and it simply didn’t. I’m fascinated by the topic covered and want to find more books dealing with this subject.35


Magnificent5 star

I couldn't praise this work highly enough so I won't even try.55


Tribe4 star

Short & Sweet. Very compelling and on point.45

I am a kite

Enjoyed it4 star

Train by day joe rogan podcast by night45


Quick read5 star

Great book and very quick to read. Like others have said, the author wrote this much like an article you would find in a magazine (actually, the author mentions that parts of this book have been published in magazines). The author did a great job explaining how the sense of community (tribe) directly correlates to the success of a society. I don't believe the author was as politically charged as others claim in other reviews. I highly recommend this book.55

Fr. Don kirchner,Cssr

Tribe5 star

Great insights into ancient wisdom in modern clothing. Needs to be read by all who are responsible for the well being of others - politicians, community leaders, business people, parents. The future quality of our human race in a globalized, capitalistic world depends upon it.55


A long article.3 star

It was a VERY easy read. Seemed much like a long magazine article which the author stated he sourced from. About halfway thru, Junger's left leaning ideology simmers through. It isn't too heavy and was more a point of surprise than an intrusion. When he lays the total cost of things on a popular left view whipping boy instead of truly going all the way to the core & true source of the problem, the seminal event that set up the whole stage for the resultant failure, it left me to wonder if it were a lack of research work, a blind eye turned to the truth, or simply toeing the opinion line he prefers.35

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