Sebastian Junger - book author
Sebastian Junger is the #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. He lives in New York City.
Sebastian Junger is the author of books: The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea, War, Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, A Death in Belmont, Fire, A World Made of Blood, Rough Water: Stories of Survival from the Sea, Princess of Park Lane, the whale hunters, En pleine tempête
October 1991. It was "the perfect storm"--a tempest that may happen only once in a century--a nor'easter created by so rare a combination of factors that it could not possibly have been worse. Creating waves ten stories high and winds of 120 miles an hour, the storm whipped the sea to inconceivable levels few people on Earth have ever witnessed. Few, except the six-man crew of the Andrea Gail, a commercial fishing boat tragically headed towards its hellish center.
There are ancient tribal human behaviors-loyalty, inter-reliance, cooperation-that flare up in communities during times of turmoil and suffering. These are the very same behaviors that typify good soldiering and foster a sense of belonging among troops, whether they’re fighting on the front lines or engaged in non-combat activities away from the action. Drawing from history, psychology, and anthropology, bestselling author Sebastian Junger shows us just how at odds the structure of modern society is with our tribal instincts, arguing that the difficulties many veterans face upon returning home from war do not stem entirely from the trauma they’ve suffered, but also from the individualist societies they must reintegrate into.
A 2011 study by the Canadian Forces and Statistics Canada reveals that 78 percent of military suicides from 1972 to the end of 2006 involved veterans. Though these numbers present an implicit call to action, the government is only just taking steps now to address the problems veterans face when they return home. But can the government ever truly eliminate the challenges faced by returning veterans? Or is the problem deeper, woven into the very fabric of our modern existence? Perhaps our circumstances are not so bleak, and simply understanding that beneath our modern guises we all belong to one tribe or another would help us face not just the problems of our nation but of our individual lives as well.
Well-researched and compellingly written, this timely look at how veterans react to coming home will reconceive our approach to veteran’s affairs and help us to repair our current social dynamic.
In the spring of 1963, the quiet suburb of Belmont, Massachusetts, is rocked by a shocking sex murder that exactly fits the pattern of the Boston Strangler. Sensing a break in the case that has paralyzed the city of Boston, the police track down a black man, Roy Smith, who cleaned the victim's house that day and left a receipt with his name on the kitchen counter. Smith is hastily convicted of the Belmont murder, but the terror of the Strangler continues.
On the day of the murder, Albert DeSalvo—the man who would eventually confess in lurid detail to the Strangler's crimes—is also in Belmont, working as a carpenter at the Jungers' home. In this spare, powerful narrative, Sebastian Junger chronicles three lives that collide—and ultimately are destroyed—in the vortex of one of the first and most controversial serial murder cases in America.
Sebastian Junger has made a specialty of bringing to life the drama of nature and human nature. Few writers have been to so many disparate and desperate corners of the globe. Fewer still have met the standard of great journalism more consistently. None has provided more starkly memorable evocations of extreme events. From the murderous mechanics of the diamond trade in Sierra Leone, to an inferno forest fire burning out of control in the steep canyons of Idaho, to the forensics of genocide in Kosovo, this collection of Junger's reporting will take readers to places they need to know about but wouldn't dream of going on their own. In his company we travel to these places, pass through frightening checkpoints, actual and psychological, and come face-to-face with the truth.
Daniel wanted to escape the Midwest and its small-town newspapers, but he didn’t sign up for this: a war-torn West African city strung in barbed wire, its embassies abandoned, child soldiers brandishing guns in the streets. Andre, the veteran photographer Daniel is paired with, is conversant in all of it—the jungle, the locals, and especially the attendant risks of covering war—and pushes them to go deeper into the conflict, to get to the front lines. Yet in a battle like this, there are no reliable lines of safety. Western rules do not apply, and atrocity is color-blind. Just when Daniel thinks he’s convinced his fearless partner to retreat, they arrive at what could be the end of the road for both of them.
This powerful short story, at once modern and timeless, combines the best elements of classic war literature and psychological horror. Junger’s unforgettable journey into the heart of darkness confronts man’s unrelenting savagery and his unpredictable capacity for cowardice—and courage.