Sebastian Junger On War Reporting And PTSD

Jun 18, 2016

Our guest on this edition of ”Two Way Street” is New York Times best-selling author Sebastian Junger. Junger wrote the international blockbuster “The Perfect Storm,” the harrowing true tale of the doomed efforts of a boat of commercial fisherman struggling to survive a raging North Atlantic storm. Later, the book became a hit movie starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg.

Junger has spent years as a war correspondent. His experience as an embed with U.S. troops in Afghanistan led him to write the book “War,” about facing the enemy in one of the hottest battle zones in the Afghan war. He also co-directed the documentary "Restrepo,” which features the day-to-day experiences of those same troops.

Junger’s new book is “Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging.” The book is part memoir, as Junger describes his long search to find a higher purpose in life after growing up in a suburban town where he says no one was ever called upon to do anything to make the community a better place. But Junger has also received attention for arguing that PTSD in returning soldiers is less a response to their experiences in battle and more a function of their inability to adjust to a society that lacks the cohesion and the shared purpose that brings people together when they face war and crisis.

We recorded our conversation in front of a live audience at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library.