By Robert Cocuzzo | June 27, 2016 | Culture
In this latest book, award-winning journalist Sebastian Junger tackles PTSD.
After more than two decades covering combat in some of the most violent corners of the globe, Sebastian Junger, award-winning documentarian and the bestselling author of The Perfect Storm, believes he’s finally answered the questions about war that have burned within him since his childhood in Belmont, Massachusetts. In his latest book, Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging (HarperCollins), he examines how the tremors of war—namely today’s unprecedented rates of post-traumatic stress disorder seen in many veterans—might have as much to do with civilian life as combat itself. “Once I stopped war reporting, I was able to think with a little more nuance and some more quietness,” says the 54-year-old from his summer home in Cape Cod. “Out of that came these thoughts that I had about my society.” He believes that American society has become fractured and far removed from the tribal sense of community soldiers necessarily come to rely on, so that, upon returning home, they’re not only grappling with the emotional traumas of war, but doing so in an inherently isolating environment. “It’s very easy to be distracted by the drama of warfare,” Junger says, “but it requires a certain respect for ordinary lives to understand that, for better or for worse, there’s an awful lot of drama everywhere. It isn’t just gunfire.”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY TIM HETHERINGTON