tv In Depth with Sebastian Junger CSPAN July 29, 2016 8:00pm-10:59pm EDT
relationship, is the subject of the book, commander-in-chief. if examines the military and tactical us from frustrations. go for book t.v..org for the schedule. next book t.v. in prime-time. we begin with in-depth, with sebastian and then two afterwards presentations with pamela haig and peter marks, author of good for the money, my fight to pay back america. >> starting now on book t.v., we sit down with author and filmmaker, sebastian the out that are of several books including the perfect storm and tribe. he answered viewers questions, concerning his life and work. this is three hours.
>> how did you end up in wyoming? >> i graduated college, and i would grown up in the east coast, and i felt like i -- >> i was vir prepared and i set off and, it was a really tough mining town. and, i was trying to get a ride for hours, freezing cold. and, guys were throwing beer bottles at me and i had hitchhiked and here i am. and i had never seen the west before. and, it was a tough town.
i saw -- someone walking towards me from town that looked like bad news. and, you know, i'm a young kid, and i'm definitely jumpy, and the guy is walking towards me and he was in a canvas suit that was dirty and his hair was matted and homeless and struggling. he was a big deed. >> and, he said where are you going? i said i'm going to california. and he said how much food you ghot now, i would get food to anyone who was hungry. i thought he wanted to rob me. he wanted me to get me to open up my bag. i didn't know what was going to happen. i was jumpy about it. so, i said, oh, i just got a little cheese. bly get to california on a little cheese. in his world, what you got in
your bag is what you got. you don't have traveler's checks in your wallet. and he was carrying a lunch box and he said, you know, i live in a broke down car in town. in other words he was homeless, living in a car. he said i walk out to the coal mine every day to see if anyone is sick and they can hire me. most days they don't need to hire me. and today they don't need me so i won't be needing my lunch. and he showed me his lunch box and he had a baloney sandwich and an apple and a bag of potato chips elm said i want you to have my lunch because you're going to need all the food you can get to get to california. you can imagine how bad i felt. my first really profound lesson not in generosity, but in taking responsibility for another person that you don't know. he looked at me out on the highway and he saw a brother. he saw someone who was on foot,
homeless in this huge land. he didn't know i was just a college kid having an adventure. he thought i was a brother and walked out there to check on a brother and make sure i was all right. >> host: did you ever make it to california? >> guest: i did. went on up through idaho, and to seattle, and down the coast, wound up in l.a., and i was going to hitchhike home and i ran out of steam. back that people's express would fly you across the country for $150 and i got a >> ant >> i trained with their best runners. got summer of 1983 but i wanted
to be a journalist so i immediately got a job rate -- waiting tables it just didn't go very well eventually got a job with a 80 feet company so i would work 80 feet in the air with the rope taking the trees down and i got hurt. it is a dangerous job and i got hurt if i was recovering and i thought maybe i shouldsh write about dangerous jobs. i was about to turn 30 and i have to do something i have to figure this out. one of the dangerous jobs was commercial fishing i was and living in boston massachusetts a huge storm hit the town plan that set me on a trajectory to my first book the perfect storm but another dangerous job by wanted to write about in
case i couldn't sell my book i thought i would go to sarajevo there is a civil war i will learn to be a war reporter i will learn about and/or i will be one. it was like a lottery ticket dug i knew well up in sarajevo this summer of 1993 and 1894. >> host: how did you survive day to day? and did you have a back obsess -- a system? sleeping it was the same as me height -- backpacking across the country with a couple thousand dollars i fell in with other free-lance reporters and we were living we were to one room in their review television building sharing all expenses and t everything. they had been over there a lot longer i just emulated that analysts and doing
reports i spent more money than i made but it was a kind of journalism school i learned how to be a journalist is unable or environment and i had to come home to write my book by some miracle i had an agent i never made it time that he believed in me somehow and he would fax me and say i sold your book you have to come home to write it i was disappointed because i was really liking the reporting but i was also a first-time author so i went home and spend a couple of years writing "the perfect storm" as soon as i delivered the manuscript inpt 1996 back then when youuyou turned it did you did not hit send you put it in a box eagle on the subway in take
it to your publisher in you handed to your editor. the next day i was on afghanistn plane to the afghanistan the summer of '96 to watch the taliban offensive eventually take over afghanistan. five years before 9/11 iou went right back to reporting as fast as i could literally the next day. r >> host: is it addicting? >> technically it is a chemical issues don't think it is on that level but yes. you develop what i would say your identity develops a dependence on the drama and the importance of the job. when you say addiction in some ways it sounds
misleading i really think it is an identity problem. >> host: from your mostar recent book "tribe" they don't mind hardship they thrive on it they don't mind stealing necessary modern n society perfecting the art not to feel necessary it is time for that to end. >> is a steady the anthropology in college, i believe in evolution we are a primate species we are social. we clearly evolved through for your 60 individuals our psychology reflects that our wiring reflects that our behavior during a crisis reflects that. and if the platoon of the modern military force modeects that. so what we have is we are
walking around in our bodies that have been seibald physically and 25,000 years we're walking around in an amazing society we haveand the created of of blessings and benefits but there is a cost grs that we're no longer living in small communal groupssi there is no individual survival the group in the individual complete the share interests so you get your sense of security in the world to be necessary if you were not necessary you are a danger and they will not sacrifice for you you are alone in the jungle. that is wired into our brains so when you
volunteered to do something and you realize a group of people are counting on you, it feels good becausese it means you have physical and emotional security andve of modern society has allowed individuals to live individualistic lives. your neighborhood doesn'tem need you to help them gather food you need your neighbors to help defend you. put there is a great freedom in that but the downside is you don't feel necessary think with any group bigger thanan your immediate family and we w are wired to think that is i bad news. soldiers to be in the insecure dangerous place when soldiers come back from combat they come back from up platoon were each person
is necessary that reproduces our evolutionary path quite closely with that group dynamic they come back fromet that from a marvelous sticknt society to print your musicw and do what every want. it is wonderful when you lose that sense of safety from coming from a group even those that are in combat, back from thatment to environment and encounter pretty significant this 25 percent of peace corps volunteers when they come back sinking into a realalcomba. depression is seems to be a transition problem. >> what i learned from your r book is two things.
the suicide rate of communal organizations or communal living arrangements with the suicide rate is very low or almost nonexistent or when, the indians were pushed west to go to the indian side of life? >> the proportion of people on the front -- frontier that absconded it was quite low but what was significant was remember when the of their way around. have so why is it we have a superior christian society? off why is it that white people were running off to join the tribes? that is their words. why is that happening?
and the tribal people were never running off. people go native the togo'ste civilized. there was concern they lilled the indians savages. and i had known that fact most of my life and wondered if it was true. c when then when i was inf afghanistan there was a lot of combat and human guys -- connection and we are on thecomt ridge top there was no internet or communicationg. there was no women except combat in each other.you can ima
and then to have a good time. but then finding out where they are based a real depression set in they t wanted to go back to afghanistan they did not want to return, and it made me think of the phenomenon of the giant among the american frontier what is the problem? we have cars and the air-conditioning where is the problem? basically that is what my book is about what is it about modern society? >> did you have that i reaction?as >> i had a lot of psychological problems i was not even a soldier but just
i said physical safety comes directly out of the thoug experience if you are in ae prer group that you have to be prepared to risk your own life as well. so that experience you end up having it is odd the tissue feel safer in a situation because you identify a willingness to risk your life for other people. with the altruism that you don't need to feel back home. along with that altruism as
by one of the guys had said all those who stray of hate each other but we will all die for each other so experiencing that is very profound even as a civilian that when i came home i felt and wannabe dislocated your my marriage didn't last i felt completely disconnected from my wife is a strange experience but i was thinking about them and. >> host: but this is from your previous book "war" men can remake themselves you can be anything back home, a shy, rich, unpopular and it won't matter because it isis
of no consequence in the firefight therefore of no consequence his direct. >> is one of the unconscious appealing things of the military and combat or any extreme environment you have teams that climb mountirefighte everest but all theseother situations where people depend on their lives and it really doesn't matter.sort of ho that means if you do your job well your past history, what you look like what your father did did not
do none of that matters. you, and it is a completely fresh start. and who would risk their life for that? the reason why high-school is so miserable is you are l judged for think of no control over. you don't bring any of thatyo with p.o. >> host: this is from "tribe" the sheer predictability of the american suburb left me hoping for a hurricane or a tornado or something that would require us to band together to survive something to make us feel like a tribe.ll >> guest: again we have where
evolved to small groups were completely dependent on one another for survival. m i felt that very strongly the the and we ran a very safe suburb and i was aware that as you demonstrated the't personal value to my community they did not need reaper if i was a strong 18 year-old but completely not used by my community that is new in human history. and that is vital.tually that we are wealthy are stable enough. >> host: when you got your draft card at 18 why didn't
you sign up? >> i grew up in 1952 i grew up during the vietnam. ha up every adult i knew was outraged. then they ended the draft so i got a card in the mail in 1980 i got the selective don't n service card and boys still get if you are male and turn 18 you'll get a card from the government saying wewe want to know where you live so we can draft you if we i thought t what is this? the draft is over. so i showed it to my father. jeh his father was jewish they grew up in france when the germans went to france but left a wound up in the united states. no, he said i am not signing this he said you are citing
the card there are thousands of graves of young americans thy in france that died to free the world from fascism. he said you don't owe your country nothing you all yourr country something you might owe it to your life but if protestes along that is unnecessary then it is your moral duty to protest but if it is necessary like world war ii as a moral duty to fight it and you will sign the card for all the sudden it was my chance to be part of something bigger toi was wilg demonstrate that i was of willing to be of service it completely turned around.really it is really intoxicating to people for that great evolutionary reason. jun
>> host: you live kidney york city had you found that platoon sized unity to be f part of something bigger? >> communal structures have almost completely disappeared in modern life.orts larry reason white sports teams or into rocky or though work group the way they feel good because they mimic the tribal connections that characterize our living rooms for hundreds of thousands of years.tan. it's so i live in the lower east side in manhattan it is a
neighborhood that is quite for and as a result quite a familial. another street crossing guard and the meter maid everybody kind of knows eachan other and it feels human and connected in a way that i sandy like but but the building that i and in organized that community defense as they guard the front door with a machete a change that every two hours because there is a lot of break-ins with there was no lights or no water so people with children got out they are poor people. not wealthy so one lady organize guard ships at the front door with a machete in day to upturns keeping the
building safe so when i wasav a kid in belmont i would've loved to have been part of the situation to stand guardn an you mean that my building needs to meet? in that the of valley is in afghanistan that the platoon that was with was stationed for more than a year i was there often on there was a lots of combat with the connecticut activity that was military calls it was happening in and around the immediate area i and my colleagues is about the
second platoon other journalists wound up there as well so that becamemecertai emblematic that we were having afghanistan as a whole. >> they were deployed 13 did months and we each didso five, one month trips so we would bounce back and forth so we covered a fair amount. >> how much technology was used? military technology to iraqg it depends what you mean if you mean electronics in eavesdropping devices they had eavesdroping drones over us, as some type of motion
detector system but not of what part of the struggle we were really 20 guys on a inf guns.op it was infantry on the ground a wouldn't say technology tipped the balance would america left the valley was theen pulled controversial? >> they fought hard then they pulled out the controversy fail to understand what the point was to be there in the first so the and then eventually did pull out of afghanistan those
valley was beig up resources as part of that it was used as a staging area for insurgent attacks those they put u.s. troops there is a blocked that capability for the taliban. then they pulled out as well. a but the controversy was political and it was emblematic of something and that is where the controversy took place and that is what it stood for. >> host: sebastian junger when you look at your body of work with your books, is there a common thread or seem?
>> guest: i have written about small groups mostly men that relies on one another to survive my book at the belmont has nothing to do with that that is a murder case from the early '60s into work at the margins of society as anng t anthropologist i feel that you can see human behavior in the revolutionary capacity in a very stark way with those situations and i've endlessly fascinated by that. >> host: good afternoon. welcome to booktv "in-depth". our guest this month is
our facebook page or join us on twitter or send an e-mail to booktv there are ways for you to connect this afternoon. read a i have a quotation from anie interview that you did about how you write and what you fo look for. >> readers are just not that wh interested they don't really care that much i really tried to avoid the detailsfor t, to be not necessary and ultimately not that interested. are? you don't think that background effects who you are? >> in with that situation
was reported down and as our newspaper reporting there is a perfunctory and did you write long form from evanston or boston or chicago it may be important but if it is not you don't need to say a.because it and had no idea where they are from. what interested me was one guy, of bobby wilson had a strong southern accent and what they would have thought of as a classic red neck. but the southern aegean it
-- identity and they talk about that. >> inside the platoon it is the main character we are extremely good friends and that the first one to get out of the army in the first of these psychological consequence. only 10 percent of u.s. military we were definitely in the temper some. with those most severe psychological consequences
and ended just crash.and that and that is what got me thinking about so he was the first to get out and he crashed i did everything i could to help him he is almost three years sober ino write about this in my booke his dad shot him twicece during an argument when he was a kid he went to a juvenile detention because of that and he told the went police his dad shot him in self-defense so from there he went to the army. january then we went to this godforsaken place he said without any irony he said it's all good everythingat i
happens for reason because without that i would not be here right now. he meant that the early heol felt that was something that was essential to his well-being. >> he is in college. well. and doing really well this struggle was of the medic who was killed almost two months into deployment when i was with them we got into a pretty serious firefighto'wasa event he was killed and they named the outpost after him. a d
we emigrated to america and he died fighting for thist: youa country to tease out seven you made a documentary? >> we did. it is named for the al post of which he is named. like and it is about what it feels like to be at war the platoon was all men by the arg way if the soldiers had argued the merits of the work in their bunkers and having that conversation the way the rest of the country has been it would have been in the film but they weren't they were fighting and surviving in trying to do their job. very i am politically liberal but the fact that the film was
not political was occasionally criticized by people of the al left that somehow i abdicated my duty as a journalist which is press ironic because the press is not supposed to pass judgment so when fox news does it the left gets upset it is so funny to watch them on their own hot-button issue.t: >> host: you have made a couple of documentary's you enjoy the process? >> yes. i do. living it is a labor of love but it complement's writing books very well that engaged in a certain part of your brain diffe
in filming gauges a different part of your brains of your reading a book about war and a fire fight breaks out in you read the machine-gun fire were there is an explosion youex don't john bin your armchair through the pages of a book your brain doesn't thank you are over there your brave knows you were reading about it if you are in a dark movie theater watching the film and the explosion goes off like a humvee i was riding in was hit by a roadside bomb everyone in that theater jumps because the brain doesn't know they're not there and with the documentary you can do these two things that affect different parts of the brain that complement each other
to give a complete suppose, mari experience of war or marriage. >> host: how did the country of libya gets intoto your story? >> we did very well we won the grand jury prize and we both shot the video we were code directors and co-producer is everyone the grand jury then we had the nomination for the oscar we were in hollywood together but we had a great time it was amazing we are brothers and beyond friends andoject colleagues end we were going to resume our careers tend
to we are on the red carpet. we cannot wait to get back out in the field with this extraordinary time. we had an assignment with "vanity fair" in for personal reasons i could not go so he went on his own and on april 20th, five years ago he was on the front grou lines he and his group were hit by the 81 mm mortar on the front line and he bled out in the back of rabil pickup truck on the way to the hospital for i got thehis phone call in new york within one hour and a whole
life changed in the moment. it was the first time i lost a brother, up your -- a pier in so i decided i would not report on wars anymore my wife said you cannot keep doing it even if you survive every time that the phone do rings i will don't binge you can do that i realize there is a certain point it goes to be potentially noble and courageous because you are not really gambling with your own life but the emotional well-being of play ane around you. i didn't want to be that guy anymore. part
>> officer still seem to play as big a part. >> not for any particular reason they have a job to do the very difficult job to retain a certain professional distance and what is so hard on the officers to make decisions to get people killed.l is a real psychological but burden in deal with it the best that they can but it is not as easy to write about m and they don't have this type of awful decisions.
>> host: what did you determine would be a focus?ut >> i wasn't thinking about how to write about what was as i out there i was just shooting as much video was i could. he was just the guy that i got closest to.ing b and not until i was writing the book with the extraordinary story would make an interesting line. >> dedicated to my brothers. >> he was my best friend he
was the blood brother andour ofu and from his early years. and then with a man named alice and was half a patchy half lakota born 1929. from the greek sun up there was a great figure to me very important and he said it is lighted people run off to join the indians. th [laughter] if you have that perspective on modern society that is
crucial if your journalist and that went back in some ways to him. >> host: from an interview that you did i tried to edit my work and then read those 2,000 words if i am upset or sleepy then i will read it if you are sleeping find yourself skipping over a paragraph because you just >>nt to get to thehe interesting part spirit put yourself on a different side it is an interesting screening mechanism when you find yourself skipping over a section of what you wrote
the checks your hot ord your sweaty maybe you shouldn't.or in the you could survive a couple of drinks after dinner. with solid writing and you do it yourself. just st realized one year ago i don't want to anymore. i had a health problem that drinking can affect that i had a arrhythmia so i had surgery get absolutely no effect on my heart but i like the way that i felt there was only one version of me walking around and there is something about
that that is exciting and is intoxicating i just reallynt a p liked it. >> a big part of your life? >> no.ou, which is but that changes you.e v and then i just want one version. and just to keep track of one person's problems. >> yes me and a couple of friends started and we wanted up place to welcome the neighborhood in the hall for people professionals it
what is interesting? >> i hate to put it this way but i'm not sure. with a lifetime of thinking about who we are in what people respond to combat the way they do as people constantly running off to find indians. and i cleaned that out of the world we all live then now i don't know what i will play in the refrigerator.
>> i have been a reporter 10 i years in the attempt into one coherent theory about what makes us feel good and bad. rate >> host: you write about the suicide rate in veterans >> the statistics is really misleading that wasn't really accurate or representative. combat or even having a hard time of determining so that if
you deploy your actually less likely there is a great psychologist who has done a lot of studies with student veterans that it was to the general students with that relationship is a slight connection but it seems to be exposure to atrocity.it's a with the violent killing. it is not combat per se syria field get theme statistics as it comes to the agreement and there is a
risk of suicide. >> host: because of what you write about, sebastian junger have you had veterans come up to you and say that is what i was feeling? because the studies have come a long way so it is a bizarre thing it almost seems rude but they are not civw psychopath's they are the civilians to put on the uniform. so what is going on witho detere that? and with that human bond by danger and hardship to
collapse modern society in ways it was terribly traumatic event yet many civilians said as they sleep shoulder to shoulder on the subway platform and that is the revolutionary past and to be incredibly powerful and moving and so i talk about that i once gave a ted talks if you look at the a comments a significant number of the comments with those proportions are
vietnam veterans saying how much we miss the and on. that someone came up to me and said things read everything you said i now understand why i feel the way i do about the war in korea. this man earlier. he started to cry then he left. a businessman bottling this up for half a century. week i talked to a gentleman a couple weeks ago in massachusetts was that you achieve the -- you were jima in world war ii out of his company, seven survived out of 300 and he said don'tro miss the war but i do miss my brothers i think about
them every day. the trauma of four includes a nostalgic and longing forll something that existed priorandd to that is complicated for people to sort out. >> as the country have we ever share that?i >> i think we have more than a modern society is tortmentali, individualized or compartmentalized with the group experience with the modern city like new york and interestingly that suicide rate went down afterdo
9/11 the rate of violence with that social behavior that happens when down butn no. we subcontract out the things that we need to survive. m it's at know any oil workers dangeroave a card and ii understand that i have an emotional connection and i grew up in a house made of wood for all of the thingsto that keep us alive most of the people doing most of the stuff and that is evidence of some good things that
didn't know what ptsd was so i didn't know that but there were real consequences. >> i have a classic shortf term ptsd from the evolutionary perspective the response to be vigilant and avoid situations where you are not in control. to react to strange noises and wake easily in sleep lightly with the nightmares the agreement you have specific parts of your life and you want to be adrian we're depressed. >> and if the life has been in danger you'll probably be in danger tomorrow also.o
and you want to do change your behavior. helps survive. and that helps the survival and the adaptation. but what is not adaptive is long term ptsd if it has survival value of over weeks or months that is what happened to me when i came back i would be long-term traumatffected. but when you were stuck in the long term dramatically action that is not adaptive then that seems to happen to one out of five people.t . .
>> we were absolutely part of the societal reaction to the crisis that was going on in greater society. i spoke along those lines i was in syria during the civil war and i recently had the great fortune to go back to that beautiful city after it had been reconstructed last summer. i met a woman who is almost killed during the shelling incident
early in the war that age 17. now in her 40s she told me and was a most embarrassed. she said it's funny, we all kind of miss the war. these are not macho guys like combats. these are civilians who paid a huge price for that awful tragedy. and even they kind of miss the work week cousin she said, everyone was together, the we all needed each other. that act it for this force this communal existence on people that actually people really liked. in the u.s. military, military, thl unit that i was with his combat infantry. so by definition and it was all males, there is no woman out there.e i have not been around women in combat, i'm sure they're excellent about it, women have a different physical and psychological makeup the men and i'm sure they react lightly differently. but when the chips are down, we humans are wired to survive.thae
women obviously are excellent at that as well, just like men. >> dave in tennessee, will technology destroy what it means to be human? >> guest: well i'm being asked to look into the future, i don't know, what it means to be human i don't think it's going to change. what it means to be human is connected to other humans. that is a basic group all truism is at the core of our human experience. it's what separates us from a lot of other species.ou our survival, our survival is predicated on group interaction. and sacrifice of the individual for the group.makes people i do not think technology is going to change that. i think technology during peacetime leads to an individualization
which makes people anxious andwc depressed. as well goes up in a society the suicide rate tends to go up, the depression rate tends to go up. but i think at our core we are humans and the reason those rates are going up is because we are human even though we are surrounded by all this crazy technology which is so new and so challenging. >> cheryl is calling in from wyoming. >> caller: hello.. yes, i was to say i read all ofm your books and i am very impressed with them. i remember about one month ago i was reading an interview that you did in the new york times book review and a book that you gave a great deal of attention to any been recommended the president read is one that i recently ordered and i wondered why you are so impressed with this book, it is sapiens, brief history of humankind.
>> yes, sapiens by an is just ah brilliant book. it starts around 2 million yearc ago when the first societies were forming and take this up t the internet. it talks about humans as a species and as a social species, as a very exceptional primate species and the way he takes that body of knowledge and understands modern society withd it, understands capitalism, industrialization, the great religions, to me it was justw incredibly exciting to read about. i am recommending it to people because people like to think about things and that book made me think for months. the best books do that and i was so excited by. next i hope a lot of people read it. >> host: you also recommended the next president read thomas paine. >> guest: yes, thomas paine is a
devilish writer, he has -- he has a book called "the age of reason" he looked at this terms the logical fallacies of established religion. religion. and that use of rationality, that use of logic i feel is where our cell patient come from as a species. i think we get ourselves intoe n trouble when we are taken over by our passion and thomas paine clearly believe that. he was one of the architects of ther american revolution americanend. independence. the entire idea of the inalienable rights of man, of individual rights, no one is born inherently superior over any other person. you cannot be born into powerher
over others, you have to earn it. not power, but authority, you're born into authority what does that mean? your three month old baby will have authority over other people, how do you know? maybe they are an idiot in theo divine right of kings, obviousla it's incredibly questionable idea that what european society has been based on for centuriesk and thomas paine took all of ase that on as he helped construct the ideology of american independence and individual rights. it's interesting that he took those ideas and i'm no pain expert right, i, i just fell in love with the guy. but he took, the framers took as one example of individual rights in this sort of like very profound in gallatin that they are aspiring to in america, they took as one of their sources for
that the american indians and travel society is profoundly egalitarian. nobody is is born into an inherited privilege andc authority.rted and they were intoxicated by that and wrote it into the american constitution. >> i'm so. >> host: gym in washington, did you like the hollywood film of your book the perfect storm, do" you prefer doing documentaries? thank you for that, i enjoyed the film enormously. it was a big, representation of the book i wrote which was a journalistic interpretation of something that really happen, i felt that will gain peterson dib a great job turning it into a hollywood movie. documentaries
are very different thing. i had i had nothing to do with the making of the perfect storm and i have been very involved with other documentaries. i have to say it is kind of apple and oranges. but. but the perfect storm is greats. >> host: cap from illinois asked , as the tribal benefits of inclusion and meeting so powerful, why why has the arc of history apparently curved in an opposite directing direction? >> benefit does not always come from meaning. the engine the engine of capitalism and modernization is extremely powerful. another evolutionarily programmed response that we have is towards individualization and individual benefit and human society is this balance of the interests and concerns of the individual and the interests and concerns of the group.
you sorta need both. what happened in modern societies that technology in capitalism,ul accumulation of capital started years ago and i'll read for you to harare.ng he says we domesticated us rather than the other way around.e those processes are very recent in human evolution, we are 2,000,000 years million years old and that started 10000 years ago. those processes have resulted in the feedback of capital and technological development and more capitalization and i think are very ancient wiring those humans cannot quite keep up with it. it works, we have landed men on the moon, were working on a cure for cancer, we have a polio vaccine, it works it works in a lot of ways that a pollution that is evolutionarily adapted with consequences that are not
that happy at least judge by mental health. >> may is calling in from columbus. >> caller: you have been around a lot, how can we have thehe foreigners respect us more? >> that's a very simple, hard to answer question, thank you youa know i have worked all over the world, i think we are very respected and a lot of the world. i think we have also done a lot of damage, my father grew up during world war ii and america was seen to have save the world from fascism. by a lot of people are saying kosovo and bosnia, we stopped american when nato interventions stop those genocides in thosetha wars, there are a lot of very
grateful people in those countries and of course all of the world people want to immigrate to this country, they emulate our culture, our society, they want to emigrate here and work your, i think we are very respected around thea world, but that does not mean that we do not make terrible, terrible mistakes and we have also make as much as we are respected and desired in some ways, we are also deeply resented. i think that is the complicated balancing act that a superpower has to navigate, is how do you keep from being resented for the very things that you are also admired for?s i don't think there's a simple answer. >> host: what is your connection to the state of idaho? >> guest: i hitchhiked through idaho when i was 23, and then i went back there in the early
90s and wrote about forest fires in the hotshot cruise that fought fires north of boise in the summer of 1992. spee1 how. >> host: how did that compare to world reporting? foreuest: had never been in the wars covering but i rememberer turning to my buddy john we are out there together and we are in a lifting off from some ridgeline to fly over and i can remember something dramatic was going on and i yelled at him over the sound of the rotors and engines and was like i said something like if forest fires are this exciting, imagine what wars lie, like, that's the thought that i was like, i thought oh my gosh it must be off the scale,. >> host: our next call is from stephen idaho.
>> host: thank you and we appreciate that i we certainlyat deal with fires out here, that that is part of living in the west. hi i wanted to ask, eckstein's historically that our wars are more episodic, they have a beginning, the objectives offica often seem when we look back very clear, you just reference world war ii, the war over fascism. and fascism. and even though i would argue their submission, today's war seems to be very decentralized, very open-ended. i'm just wondering, is it more difficult for the veteran to reconnect to society because in a sense they don't have a clean ending? they don't feel, i mean i have the cold war cycle look at the berlin wall and make some connection to an event. but in a sense, is it harder for the veteran today? thanks for your question, i'm
not a psychologist but i'm doing my best to figure all this out. i think it probably is harder. world war ii was way more traumatic than the current warst but it had a finite ending. i think america is engaged in struggles that don't end. the war on crime, the war on aft drugs, these are efforts that cost a lot of money, the cost a lot of blood, people people die when they been going on for decades. i do not know if there is like medical research psychological research for the psychological consequences of fighting an ongoing effort that will never end that we are better off fighting or not fighting. that compared to finite things. i don't know if anybody has studied that. it is certainly possible. it's an interesting idea
actually. >> host: robert in washington,n, go ahead. >> caller: yes, thank you very much for all your work and i am a survivor of l company the third battalion and third marine division, 1969. i have nine. i have been 100% physically and mentally disabled since then. i'm one of two survivors of twon groups of that got into the d and c1969 we still have not gotten our records. is basically an unknown event. i just think you for doing what you do for the veterans. i lost everybody, everybody, all my friends were killed. everyone. excepteryon for one. we still are in the unknown, were still in the twilight zone. but we are we are doing okay, so thank you very much. >> guest: thank you for callingy
honestly i cannot imagine, i really cannot cannot imagine what that must feel like. to lose all of your friends come all of your brothers but one. and decades later to have it never really be acknowledged by your country. one of the things i was looking at a my book "tribe" is that is that our traditional warriors, are they better off coming back to the battlefield to their community than soldiers in a modern mechanized industrialized mass society.as and as as i could tell they are. the community, the civilian community and the warriors are deeply intertwined. they come back to society that is very cognizant not only of the importance of the fight but what one on out there.ide and that divide between thee warriors in the society, it's basically nonexistent.logous
the analogous situation is inconceivable and that society. it's all too conceivable. i really cannot imagine how that is augmented your suffering and i really hope you find some peace. >> host: from your book "tribe ", they often find that although they're willing to die for their country, they are not sure how to live for it. unfortunately for the past decade, american american soldiers have returned to aha country that did displays many indicators of nonsocial resilience is. resources are not not shared equally.li a quarter of the children live in poverty. memorandum wages impossible to live on. instead of being able to work and contribute to society, a highly therapeutic thing to do, a large percentage of veterans are offered lifelong disability payments. they except of course, why shouldn't they. a society. a society that does not distinguish between degrees of trauma cannot expect theen
warriors to either.coming back >> guest: today's veterans are coming back to very fractured society. just think about it. they risk their lives to fight for us. then they come back to find that we are fighting with ourselves. i mean that on every level. there is a particle going on which is which political fights are contentious, they don't have to be ugly. this one is ugly. there is a disparaging of the president. there is a mocking of the government, there is contempt for segments of the population. i cannot imagine how dispiriting that is to soldiers who fought for this. tryi the issue of ptsd is complicated because the nation is trying to do the right thing by people who fought for harper us. but it is also something where
soldiers are able to self diagnose where they say if you say you have ptsd the doctors have to consent that you do. they believe, psychologist believe that leads to an error rate of around 50% in the diagnosis. then you get disability and thed thing about disability payments is that yes, they allow you to get by but they also marginalize people. people return to to society by among other things,, working. when you have disability payments you can live off of you don't have to work and don't rejoin society and it winds up get a wising their own subculture. there are real psychologicalr consequences for the better known to be negative. i think that is a problem going on withn this generation of that's not
transitioning. i found an amazing painting by-i winslow homer. it was painted in the fall of5, 1865. so a few months after the civil war ended. it is the harvest season after the civil war ended.ma shows a young man beside a wheat field and it title is a veteran in new field. you realize, this is a civil war veteran. this is a young man who months earlier was carrying a rifle in combat in the civil war and he came home to wherever he left and was immediately put to work. sure i'm sure his community and family was like look, well done on the battlefields but we still need you. we have to get the wheat in.as there is something enormously psychologically healthy about asking someone who is returning to society, asking them toin
continue serving and continue engaging, we need you, don't go don't go away, we can get by without you.e. here's the shovel, work with us. >> host: next call comes to jeff and maryland, go ahead. >> caller: how are you? >> guest: i'm pretty good, how are you? >> caller: him to good. i'm i'm your english teacher and i that you put the perfect storm and iu was very inspiring to listen to earlier i heard you talking about during the war reporting watching the suffering that was going on in those countries and with our own soldiers. it help me brought to mind james baldwin the creative process when he talks about trying to help people are alone and he states perhaps the primary distention of the rds which you are
obviously that you must actively cultivate that state which most men necessarily must avoid the state of being alone. that all men when the chips are down, alone is a finalityeq because it is frequently statede but rarely on the evidence believe. just just an hearing that i heard a lot of that. so is wondering really quick as an aspiring writer, what type of advice would you give. i have been struggling between writing under my own experience in trying to put it in perspective so that it can help in a global perspective, but i did did not want it to be one-sided. i'm seen where your work is -- so thanks. >> host: jeff, before we get an answer, tell us quickly what it was like to teach the perfect storm, why you chose that book, what was what was the reaction from the students?
>> caller: i chose to teach it because it was an actual event that occurred and this is that the author's interpretation of what happened. and they responded well, most students today like to see theif real deal. it's like they want to know did this really happen, since real, as is not real, so they were inspired by that just how life can change on a moment, i think one of the biggest challenges as a teacher in high school is trying to convince kids that there is a world outside of where you are and it moves really fast and things can change. and they responded well, i join the book, have not really watch the movie but the book was very good and i thought they responded well. >> host: thank you. >> guest: think every question. the writing process is a mystery, even to people who have done at their whole lives like
myself. fiction particular way. i'm a nonfiction writer and igh gather my information about the world and i sit down with it and if i have what people call writers block what that means to me is that i've come to a section where i don't have enough research and information and that's what i'm having trouble writing. if you have enough information the words, they can't come out to be fast enough basically, that's my experience with it the things that will affect the world are the things that affect you. if you're writing about something that is producing an emotionally experience for you, it's it's going to affect other people emotionally.somethi and that is gonna change the world. if if writing about something that is just notio eliciting much of a reaction and you other people have the same response to.to your own relationship to your work is a pretty good, if your objective about it, you have you have to be really honest and open.
but if you're it's a good indicator of what other people are going to want to be. spee1 where you earlier with that quote from james baldwin? >> guest: know i was not. >> host: this is an email from robert. you see the extension of privatization in the military through contractors as a sign of private power consuming public power, what you think about the use of contractors in theontraco military?more >> guest: i'm not an expert in this. my guess is that the army military is using private contractors because it's cheaper even though the people, the actual contractors are paid more than a soldier would be. there are lifelong health benefits, g.i. bill, although sorts of things, their financial burdens the country carries foru the rest of the life of the soldier. of course i don't have that obligation contractors. so in
the long run, think what the military is doing is trying toto save money by hiring out some of these jobs. is that a good idea idea or not, i don't know. that's a national conversation. >> host: from san francisco, this text. mr.. mr. younger, do you think theane suburban autonomy that you grew up contributes to the throw away culture that pope francis described? spee2 i'm guessing guessing here, think they're all part of the same to phenomenon. there's a feeling in this society that is my father protested, you don't know you you don't your country nothing.e there's a feeling that maybe you don't know anything, maybe youai can litter and it doesn't matter, maybe nothing nothing matters except on personal concerns. if you live in a travel society
it's quite clear that your life is not entirely your own. you probably own your life to your community because your survival would be impossible without that community. in an affluent suburban modern society is possible to actually think that you do not own your survival to anybody else. was a complete illusion and once that leaves us feeling alienated, alone, depressed, and anxious. so, does that connect you to the throw eight culture because you throw candy wrappers on the ground because it's not your world that you're walking around in, yeah that's connected. >> host: , jonah salem, massachusetts.dberg did murder in belmont was incredible, why do you think that relatives of betsy goldberg did not, do not acknowledge the possibility that albert committed this crime?pect
>> guest: obviously he is an incredibly an agonizing, personal painful thing. i don't expect the family of any murder victim to be open-minded and objective about otheribilitie possibilities. there's a conviction in the case, there's a conviction that had a lot of doubts at the time. the. the more i look at the board of the doubt seem legitimate. i wasn't capable of proving one thing one way or the other. i was careful not to come to conclusions. only dna would prove one way or the other who killed betsy goldberg. and that was in 1963 in massachusetts. in massachusetts. that is not available so i refrain from making a judgment. >> host: for people who do not know, were talking about the boston strangler. >> guest: the man who laterelmo.
confessed to be in the boston strangler work for my parents as a carpenter. betsy goldberg was sexually assaulted, raped and strangled. the man was alone in our house all day that day. after he he was caught a few years later it occurred to my mother when sheuo found out that he had been in our home for six months and in c our home on that day alone andit he could have gone across town and killed betsy. it occurred that he had this itinerant black handyman who had been cleaning that they may be he was it innocent. he had been convicted. totally circumstantial case though. so the promise, that premise of vesicle burgers is that valid? i? i cannot prove it one way the other. i understand the heated emotions and absolute certainty that the goldberg family had about that conviction, for sure. >> host: howard in illinois, go
ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: i have a lot to say but here's what i want to say t you. i was listening to all they people that have been talking t' and i cannot tell you enough that you are a very strong person. now i am 86 years old, i have been doing psychotherapy on my own, in my own practice for 55 years. practice for 55 years. i have understood some of the neurological issues that confront you. i was a veteran of the korean war, do not serve in combat. here's what i saw the 55 years. the diagnosis of ptsd is a 100% correct. but what they have found in their research that i have heard and read is that at the same time there's aa diagnosis of ptsd, there is another brain issue that is similar just like the doctors have to decide whether or not
the person has a kidney infection or vaginally infection. i want to say something to you about why my researches. i see 1,000,357 hours of psychotherapy. i've worked with people for 40 years, some of them have what's called emi, environmental mental issue which is often called the immune dispute disorder. i respect you highly. but here's what the research ha. shown. when they do a scan while you are alive, they they do not find all of the brain issues that are in you. that are in you. ptsd. when they do case studies whicho is when they do scans for people who they have scandalized and they do studies they find theree is another issue.
which would resolve around the lack of connection early in childhood. there is a man called john who went. apologize. we g . . junger and see if he has a response. >> thank you. i'm not a psychologist. i'm a journalist. i assembled as much data as i could. one of the things that you said really resonated. statistically, one of the predictors of long-term ptsd ans have short-term ptsd from a traumatic incident.ti a completely natural attap disto go. long-term ptsd is not. who one predictors of who while get ptsd is trauma in childhood. particularly lack of human connection in childhood, sexual abuse, violent abuse in childhood.
what you were saying at the end resonates with me in terms of predicting trauma. >> host: this a text message from allen in fort pierce, florida. new jung junger are you film with the work of robert putnam?o what you are talking about reminds me about what putnam says about the decline of the sense of community.se >> guest: i haven't read that book. i've heard about it from a number of people. and i'm really looking forward to reading it. probably talking about verypl related things. >> host: larry, kansas city, >> gueri, hi, larry. >> caller: hi. great program.m. let me just start out with, i'm a decorated combat vietnam veteran, two purple hearts, bronze star with a v. one of the comments that mr. junger made, the woman her interviewed said she missed the war. i didn't understand that. if you have to have a war to feel a closeness or any kind ofk
nourishment or whatever, it puzzles me. looking at the world today with all these wars going on and as vicious as they are, depressingh particularly in syria, just unbelievable to hear that somebody misses a war. and makes no sense to me. it's crazy. it's insane. would you explain that to me? >> guest: yeah. i agree with you. that's what my book is about, trying to understand that. this woman was not insane. the people in london who lived throw the blitz were not insane. they didn't miss the carnage, and in sarajevo, the modern army encircled a modern city and used the people for target practice for three years. and they killed one-fifth of the population of the city. but my friend was talking about
was that it was exactly that horror show that forced people to stop leading individualized lives and to band together. the slept shoulder to shoulder in the basement. they planted gardens together. on median strip of the highways. the lived for one another. and she said the war ended and thank god, now we lead our individual lives, and we're nots as selfless, we don't participate in the community in the group, and she pointed to some graffiti that she had seen -- she told me in graffiti she had seen in boss any ya said things were better when they were bad. at the end she said for people to miss something as awful as war means that the society we have must be very, very messed up. and i think she has a pointin there. >> host: from -- irish
psychologist, when people are actively engaged in a cause that has purpose with the resulting improvement in mental health. you wrote, this is the 1979. it ill wi would be irresponsible to suggest vie license is the way of improving mental health but people will feel better psychologically if they have more involvement with their their community. >> guest: he studied mental health in northern ireland during 1969 and 1970. during a time of great turmoil and trouble and riots and violence. in northern ireland, and he found that the districts that had the most violence, saw the most improvement in mental health across the population. he found the most violent correlate with the lowest levels of depression, both men and women, and that the only
district that saw depression go up, at least in the men, was a countyderry that saw no violence at all. and you just read the quote. basically saying is, of course no one is going to recommend war for treating mental health issues in a population but does say something interesting about the wiring we have at humans, that a crisis generates a feeling, the sense in people that they're necessary. that their community needs them. it's a call to action. they're living for a greater purpose. they're serving a common good. and that actually buffers people against some of their psychological demons. as one official said in london during the blitz, that we have chronic noor rottic -- noor
rottics driving ambulances. b >> bobby write in. aim a veteran of desert store.. still he very vivid dreams of my service. names, fays, are so clear to mes but i have problems recalling what i did yesterday. the memories will never let me forget the significance of belonging i felt during my service. huge fan of you. >> guest: i mean, he was in navy. might not have even directly in combat. but the the experience of being in a group, in an urgent situation, is really intoxicating. again, only 10 percent of the u.s. military actually fires their gunner at an enemy they can see. only 10% are getting shot at. but a much higher percentage have real difficulty transitioning home. it's maybe not a trauma problem. might be the difficulty of going
from a close group to an individualized society where everyone is in their own airt conditioned room, wondering if they're happen and safe. >> host: this is laura in oklahoma city, texting in: as a nurse who worked in the critical care setting for many years, i believe i experienced a moderate depression and loss of sense of self and purpose when i left my job for an easier, less acute setting, even though i still am in nursing, what i do now seems lame. what is the difference in the tripe situation and what i've gone through with the job change? >> guest: i think this woman -- i can't remember her name. >> host: laura. >> guest: expressing something that pretty typical. i've heard that -- since i wrote my book and have been engaging with the public, i heard this over and over, people were coulh go jobs that required collective
action, the jobs were very hard to lead. even patients. talked to a young woman who had cancer and said during the terrible die days when she was fighting her cancer, family, community, friends, basically her tribe, gathered around her and supported her and loved her, and said, you know, she said i survived and got a ready sad look on her face, and said, now i miss being sick. if you're missing war, missing cancer, there's something missing. in everyday life, and i've heard that in many different forms, many different kinds of people. all kinds of different jobs. it's very hard to give up that endeavor and go back to our individual lives, as great as independence is, it's also very hard to give that up. >> host: you're watching booktv on c-span2. this is-under monthly present --
>> host: we have talked a little bit about some of your documentaries. we want to show arrive viewers the trailer. ♪ >> four of five -- doesn't help. i cannot sleep. see the fish in my head. >> arrived at the top. [explosion] >> i feel sorry for you. >> we're not ready for this. >> i'm thinking about how we are doing. >> first round was -- in the middle of the night we put up a fire base and we had the upper
hand. >> it takes a little bit out of you every time you see one of your boys get hurt. it's like a big family. >> i want you guys to get over and it do your jobs. >> two months and counting down. >> i just don't like the way it is. don't like how i feets right now. >> i feel much for the bad guys in the same instance we killed five. i need to know better so i'm not -- [inaudible] >> we want to help you. [inaudible] >> can't see what's coming at you. >> going back to the same world. >> i have no idea.
>> host: sebastian junger, you e-mailed book tv and toll us you're currently reading "letters of seneca" what is that? >> guest: seneca was a writer and philosopher in ancient greece and he was one of the -- i was just sort of intrigued by -- just started it. i was intrigued by philosophy and stokism in general.
my understanding is that the stoics had a belief in removing your personal needs from your decisionmaking, and absolute belief in rationality, and that they felt that the past was through the use of human reason and that someone who is -- that the path to god was through the use of human reason and someone using their emotions was compared to a person who was running downhill and couldn't control their limbs and you cont don't want to sprint out off control ifure omeres you want to come to rational conclusions mitchell father was a physicist and i was raised -- my mother is an artist. i was raised in -- i'm an athiest.
didn't go to church when i was . kid itch was race net a very rational household, and when my father, as a physicist explained to me the power of rational thought, and i just grew up thinking that way. >> host: you had a physicist and an artist. there's a little-in and yanking there. >> ese. my father seemed to win all the arguments so it was clear to me which way i was going to go. >> host: whyor an athiest? >> guest: i mean issue suppose you could say as a sort ofe historical matter because i was brought up in a nonreligious family, but the reason i think i'm an athiest is because i don't -- i haven't encountered a tangible reason to believe in god. i mean, i would love it if there was a god. i just haven't encountered a reason to believe in god. >> host: what do you think of the phrase "there are no athiests in foxholes"?
>> guest: i know that's not true. also makes me wonder, as an athiest, what a religious person would imagine god having to do with any situation where his creations are trying to killll each other. if there were a god, exactly the kind of situation where he would say, you know, you guys can figure it out yourselves. >> host: the actual e-mail that you wrote to us says: i am currently reading the letter-of-seneca as part of a sudden infatuation with the greek stoics. what did that come from. >> guest: i think what i read about them -- again, it hasn't been much, i'm at the beginning of my quest -- it reminded me of myself when i was a kid. was a long distance runner, very enational youred of the america. indians.
-- innational you'red of the american needs wanted to reduce my physical comfort, my physical needs. i wanted to be able to fall asleep when i was cold and continue on when i was hungry and run all day and all night. wanted to be able to do anything.. and i worked very hard, and i got -- >> host: in your book "tribe" you talk about children's bedtime. why? >> guest: well, we're -- >> host: sleep habits. >> guest: we're a socialal species, and throughout most of human history and still today throughout most of the world, people sleep in groups, extended families, co-sleeping, and that kind of situation with children, young children, infants, sleep among the adults and that's the way they get their sense of safety from. their protection. the primate infant is very, very vulnerable, and in a lot of
danger alone in the wild. it's a predator's lunch immediately. so children, young children do not like to be alone. they're terrified. and those in european society -- i include america in that -- really the only society ever in human history to force young children to sleep by themselves in a dark room and all of our primate wiring is alarmed by that and that's one of the roaches children have a hardan time falling asleep. >> host: sebastian junger is her guest, and james, go ahead. >> caller: yes. can you hear me? >> host: we're listening. go ahead. >> sure. i recently traveled to balkans on a mission to help bring about a better understanding betweenb americans and people in the
balkan region related to the war over there, and one of the things that our hosts talked to us about was they did not miss the war. we went and traveled to sites that had been bombed out, such as the defense building in belgrade, yugoslavia, left there as a memorial to the people who died but they did not feel any nice feelings related to the war. in fact there was some animosity toward this u.s. being involved in the nato bombings, but we were there to help bring about better relations, and we did do that. they embraced us. we embraced them.. we studied history and culture of what had gone on in the balkans. the periodic incursions from tha roman empire the ball balkans or
the ottomans, an area that had been really divided and had a lot of wars. so i don't think everybody over there feels that way. but yet people are coming aboutg and they're building a new way of life for themselves despite the wars, and they still have problems with the fact that places like bosnia no longer belong to yugoslavia because they can trace back they had been there long before other people had come into that region.b so, it's still a divided area, and we as a people in the united states need to embrace those people and help them through this situation. >> host: thank you, james. >> guest: yeah. i mean, look, a very complicated history. the serbian state perpetrated a genocide against the bosnian muslims for years and ran 150,000 people were killed. belgrade experienced a very short targeted bombing campaign
by nato forces when they refuse to withdraw their arm forcesdr from coast "ovo" who were commit -- kosovo who were committing atrocities but belgrade -- the people in belgrade were not forced into a seeming mentality where civilians had to band together to survive. that happened in sarajevo. i'm absolutely sure the people in belgrade do not miss nato forces but it's a very different situation from what my friend was talking not bosnia. >> host: when you pictured sayreoffow you experienced, what do you see. >> guest: a modern city hammered with mortar, artillery, for a
year by the time i got there. sharp nell scars on the buildings. looked like a futuristic post apocalyptic city. at night i was completely dark and it was strange to walk through a modern city at night and not have any light. just hear dogs barking, occasionally popping of gunfire. very, very strange feeling. and at one point i was -- you would see men in sites driving firewood down the street. see odd things like that. people growing vegetables in median strips of the highways. you see someone carrying jugs of water because there was no water. there's nothing. at one point i saw -- i was in a courtyard of a modern highrise, what passes for a highrise over there, and there was a man in a
suit, who worked in the highrise, even though the war had sort of affected a lot of things, people were still trying to work. he was in a suit, and he was crouched on the ground building a twig fire. once he got in the fire in the courtyard of this modern building, man in a suit, and building a fire in the courtyard and it was coffee break, and he got the fire going, and he put a coffee pot on top of the fire and boiled some coffee for himself. thought, my god, an image of the apocalypse, a post apocalyptic world, man in a suit cookingu coffee on a small fear in courtyard of a modern building. a profound moment. >> host: have you been back? >> guest: i was back last summer when i melt my friend who talked about her -- again, it's a 17-year-old girl, almost killed. she got a hunk of metal in her
leg from a serb tank round. her father carried her through the shelling at night to the hospital. the doctor managed to save her leg but had to operate on her without sunniesa. everyone suffered. everybody. even she. 17-year-old girl, most terrible. even she was like, we all miss it. that's he weird thing, we all miss it because we were better people back then. we lived for others. >> host: what did the city look. like? >> guest: you can still see what are called sarajevo roses which is when a mortar hits pavement,m leaves a particular signature on the ground, and indeed it looks like a rose. everywhere you see that sort of splatter pattern of shrapnel hitting the pavement and from the detonation, someone probably died there. every time you see one, that's someone's gravestone. >> host: go back to what steve
had to say about resolution of war. you look at our history, and, yes, we had a tentative resolution at world war ii, but otherwise, have we really had definitive resolutions and do they make a difference? >> guest: the revolution, the war of 1812, civil war, et cetera, on up -- pulled out of vietnam, i don't know. likewise we pulled out of iraq and pulled out of afghanistan. i didn't cover iraq because i didn't feel like i could be effective because i was completely -- i wasn't a post afghanistan. i was in new york and this sort of strategic and moral political rationale for getting the guys that did that. i understood it. i understood the rational. the war was horribly handled,
and i -- huge mistakes were made by the bush administration, and when we marched off to an unnecessary war in iraq, we pretty much sealed the fate of afghanistan. we couldn't fight two wars like that simultaneously and win them both. but i did cover afghanistan, and we killed bin laden. we designated al qaeda. and we -- decimated al qaeda. i was in afghanistan in the '90s and saw what was going on in afghanistan post-the withdrawal, the terrible civil war happening there. talk about postapocalyptic war. we brought enormous amount of good to afghanistan when we were there mortality went down, childhood oiled education rates went up. cities got rebuilt. it was extraordinary transform make of that society. civilian casualties plummeted once we got there. the civil war really caused a lot of civilian casualties and went down when we got there, and
they've gone back up since then. we couldn't not have killed and captured the al qaeda leadership the way we did from northern virginia. we had to be in afghanistan to do that. if that it worth it or not for in the innings in, that's not for me to decide but my opinion as a journalist we couldn't do anything from here. >> host: you remember your reaction september 9, 2001,. >> guest: i was in northern afghanistan in 2001 when ma sued was the leader of the northern alliance, was the last post remaining fighting the taliban, started taking over in '94, '95 in afghanistan, and the was very courageous, brilliant military strategist, i think quite a principled leader, and he was killed two days before 9/11, as part of the 9/11 attacks. and i'd spent two months with
him, and i was very devastated when i found out he was killed. didn't realize what it was -- and then 9/11 happened and then i really understood. my god, things are bad. bad. that are happening. i was on assignment when that happened itch was in the country -- i was in eastern europe. and i got back as soon as i could. took about a week. got back to america. people were still walking around in shock. >> host: next call is from dag mar in new york. go ahead. >> caller: what a surprise. i'm a fan of "the perfect storm" and i quote it's lot to people. i love the part about the s cleaned up the seas, took the oil off and therefore we'ree having worse hurricanes.
you said something like the water, yes, water just races across. on the other hand, the new book sounds wonderful, "tribe." i work for 30 years for a local newspaper, and that was my tribe. we all worked together with common goals, and now retired, i am creating a new tribe for myself, joining local groups and working for them.ps i do have a question, though. one thing. puerto rican said in real estate to americans being criticized, there's the spanish way ofof saying that sounds nicer but it means is people only throw stones at trees that bear fruit. and then to answer -- then to my question, it appears to me thate the candidates who are saying disreputable things about what we have been doing, i think it's really a reaction from -- to be
so politically correct. that's something you might enjoy talking about. how we're responding to the neet to be politically correct inn everything we do. and thank you for speaking to me. my pleasure. >> guest: well, like -- thank you. i think your instinct to join other groups and serve your community is not only noble but it will make you happier.s is oe political correctness is one of those phrases that is not very helpful. it started out as an attempt to rhetorically respect the dignity and rights of all people, and like all good things it's gone to excess. and it's wound up being a kind of tyrannical tool for s
suppressing open and honest debate. in society. and so you say politically correct, you're talking about the second part of it? what you don't want to do is get rid of the first part of it, which is a respect for all people, and to make sure that the way you talk about people doesn't denigrate them and dismiss their concerns and their rights. so, we just have to be careful when we talk specifically aboutp being politically correct. get it. it annoys me, took but god forebuilt we lose the initial impulse to rise to this. >> host: e-mail from send past yap junger to book tv. never study english and creative writing in college but i read an enormous amount. read a lot hofflight andh anthropology and then adult fiction. die vowed peter -- i learned
about journalism and nonfiction by reading john mcphee, as well as joan didion.l john later in any life i was must effected by the prose style ofpot ted hughes and novelist mccarthy. that's we next. >> guest: they're all amazing writer. that's the many connection. >> host: what dot that mean to be an amazing writer? >> guest: well, they have a profound understanding of the musical quality of english and how to put rhythm into a sentence. how to use vocabulary in original ways. how to be clean and efficient of and direct. how to get out of their own way to not use writing to draw attention to themselves to be a transparent lens through in the reading can see the world.
ether mathissen, this incredible novel that takes place in brazil among the indians which are basically a fictional name forer the -- both in the caribbean. just amazing asian amazing books -- amazing books. mathisen just died. a real loss to the nation. >> host: been 20 years since you turned the n the manuscript of "perfect storm." when is the last time you raved it? it's been 20 years almost to the day. oh, my god. when was the last time i read it.. 19 years night don't know. i maybe i raved it after it was published. i probably did. can't remember. >> host: why? >> gueven't you picked it back up? >> guest: once in a while i thumb through some of my past work to see if i still feel like
it's any good.no i don't know. it doesn't interest me. i was very interested when i was writing it and i was delighted that other people were interested in it, and then it c came out and i moved on, and now i'm in the middle of thinking about "tribe" and that's my sort of central intellectual pursuit. but a time is going to come when that is behind me, we all hope -- authors all hope theirld books, like their children, will continue on in the world andha affect people or whatever. but if you're not moving forward, we're like sharks. if we're not moving forward, wem die, and i'm going to move forward into something else. >> host: how many drafts did you write? >> guest: oh -- >> host: what is a draft. >> guest: what is a draft. as i write i continually reedit as a write.
and then a draft is when you decide to use 100 pages worth of what used to be trees on then floor, you print out your manuscript in your printer and then you sit and read it with a red pen, mark all the the self-indulgence and wordiness and faulty logic and whatever.nd you go back to work on it and i probably did that twice, and then there's the revisions after copy editing. >> host: do you save the drafts? or are they gone?ne sunny think i saved the draft i turned into my editor. i'm not a very sentimentalti person.rland >> host: hi, don, from kansas. >> caller: hi, peter, great to talk to you.
sebastian, i'm a tremendous fan of yours, i think your work is really profoundly insightful.'m i'm really interested in a couple books i've been reading recently, and -- the works by samuel huntington on the clash of civilizations and making world order, and also, another book "who are we" which deals with america's national identity. after your explanations of the tribe and your perspectives, having been in so many parts off the world where these friction points have been i-interested in hearing your -- comments like that. >> guest: thank you very much. i haven't read those books. i've heard about them. my book "tribe" really is aboutl modern postindustrial societyst
broadly, not just america. and it's about why -- about ourr sort of human preference for community and what thehe consequences are when we lose that. so it really isn't just americac i think the clash of civilizations was referring to america. may be wrong.e, i haven't read it. at humans we now very recentlyur in our history organize ourselves not so much in neighborhoods, not so much in tribes, but in nations, and the trick is how do you keep 320 million people, which is i think the population of this country -- how do you keep that many people sort of -- even though they're in politically in conflict, economically stratified, socially stratified. how do you keep them sort of unified by a shared -- a commona goal, common sense of purpose?e? the bigger the group, the harder it is to do that, and doing that
with 320 million people has never been attempted before in human history, and we're inventing -- we are going by sheet of our pants and inventing it as we go. that's sort of microend we don't really live in neighborhoods where we depend on one another anymore. we all live in communities where be are not dependent on one another for basic needs like food, shelter, safety. at the macro end there seems to be a kind of fracturing of our nation along ideological lines, economic lines, social lines. that doesn't need to happen. we're not going to dismantle society and all live in communes in lean-toes. but at the macro level don't think we need to be fractured the way way are who when politics -- when very powerful people speak with real contempt and derision about, for examplef a president, a government, a
segment of the population, you're really undermining the idea that we're all part of have a something shared, we all have a common investment in our country. it's a very dangerous thing to do. we should argue. democracy thrives on argue. it's great. i'm talking about -- when i was with soldiers in afghanistan, as much as they might have had problems with each other, no one talked with contempt about someone inside the wire.on they might depend on for their own survival, and is what ist' happening is in country i'm extremely dangerous and i'm not just talking about you know who. i'm talking about both mitt cal party.l >> host: from your book "tribe," you write: politics occasionally accuse rivals of deliberately trying to harmna their own country, a charge so destructive group unity that most past societies would probably have just fun issued it as a form -- that >> guest: yeah issue understand
it's galvanizes your base.th demonizing opposing political party and its leaders. i get it. but what you're doing is you're trading support among your base for -- you're trading the unity of the country for increasing support in your base. you're basically creating a tribe within our nation that does not see its interests as -- with the interests of the nation. it in my opinion -- that kind of rhetoric extremely dangerousl when couples counselors tell married couples who are struggling, have all the fights you want, just do not talk about the wars. do not use the war. fight fairly. and i feel like right now, when you start accuse thing president of not actually being an
american citizen, or of some -- being like -- you're throwing"d around the world "divorce" andem it's a deeply undemocratic thing to do and more of a threat to our society that isis and al qaeda will ever be. >> a text message from 303, reminder to put your city and first name. i think it's detroit. just finishing your audio book "tribe." i'm hoping you have or will send a copy of your book to hillary clinton and bernie sanders.. i believe have tried their bestk -- keep the discussions of our differences civil and have actually nailed the way we should disagree but without denigrating those with which we disagree. next call from doc, great false. -- great falls.
>> caller: my wife and i are parents of three young men, one only who was a marine infranty officer. thank you for your insights ask illuminating work. it's been helpful to us and other combat veterans as well two quick questions. one, in the document, one of the combat -- if i remember correctly was rates by hippie parents in california, reflectsb on the things he had to do to others in combat to the effect, people say you just did your job, and he says, when i meet my god am i going to say, i was just doing my job any don't think so. there's a word between don't and think, but used a noun, verb, and adverb and every other part of speech, but -- almost precisely the same thing to us, my son said. do you find a lot vets saying something similar to that?
and we view your work in the historical -- seneca, warriors, what it's like to go to war. at the risk of making you laugh too hard, do you view your work in a historical context or just -- you're doing an incredibly passionate and wonderful way. >> guest: thank you, sir. i really appreciate that, and i would never put myself in thatth company.ny i mean, those are amazing writers, and if -- i'm honored. i'm really trying to do my best to understand something that is confusing, to the nation and confusing to me and confusing the young men and women who are participating in it and i hope i'm making sense. i'm glad your sons are back safely. the time in hellen -- i'm glad
he is company and thank you for seeing some help in my work, that it informs you in some helpful way. ail radiale glad to hear josh allen in topeka kansas. did crowd meet in your travels any vets that were wired for the opposite of being in a tribe. like mountain men, wanting to be away from tribe, combat vet in iraq, felt like a prisonur experience. >> guest: well, humans are weird. right? there's all kinds.ant to and there are absolutelyp. individuals who do not want to be part of a group. have a very good, dear friend, who grew up in a family of 14 siblings, and he just can't get far enough away from groups.s, f so, it's -- of course everything happens. what i was trying to understand is the very common humano reaction to modern society,
which is elevated rates of suicide and depression and all of that. why is senate we obviously have such bounty. all the thing that humans supposedly want. why is it people remember the bad times -- why they remember the blizzards, the hurricanes, the whatever? it's because we're enlisted by our community to help and we like helping. modern society has reduced the occasions where we have to pitch in and there's a real loss there. >> host: ever get that feeling, ever get that isolated feeling being here in new york city. >> guest: new york is its own freak show. you sort of are surrounds byby millions of people in this incredible human experiment, in congestion and population density and yet you're in an anonymous person walking around.
i think you could feel terribly, terribly alone in this city. i also had the experience of real communal sentiment in the neighborhood i live in. so, it's sort of both. jung inext call from sharon in virginia beach, virginia. hi, sharon, go ahead. >> caller: hi. my question is, if you had run into vets from vietnam or otherwise who had self-destruct mode, i guess you'd say -- i'm a widow of a vietnam vet. he was a ranger. 0 on long range reconnaissance. the told me stories of people -- so horrible. made [inaudible] -- involved a buddy. he always said he did what he had to do. and i'm just wondering, i think he was suffering from ptsd for
years. i think he had a self-destruct mode. he got sicker and sicker until he passed away. so, i'm just wondering if you had run across that. [inaudible] -- i'll definitely read your books. that's my question. thank you. >> guest: ma'am, thank you for calling in and -- i am really sorry for the loss of your husband. what you call a self-destruct mode, people that have been all traumatized, by all kinds of trauma -- doesn't have to be combat. could be sexual abuse as a child, violence, exposed to violence as a child. people often turn -- traumatized in turn traumatize themselves. that's something -- i'm no a psychologist but i understand is
that's a pretty common human reaction, and i have not studied it, but i think i can see that kind of behavior in some of the vets i know. particularly with substance abuse, and violence. was a lot of the guys i was with, what days the do when the got back? they drank a lot and got in a lot of fights. a form of self-punishment, working something out.apomo, >> host: elie.'s holly. california. >> caller: hi. hi, sebastian. i have following your stuff over the years, and enjoyed a lot of it, and since you wrote "the perfect storm" i was wondering if you would ever investigate -n [inaudible] -- in october of
2015, and your comment on that. >> host: thank you, holy. >> guest: i think a container ship that sank during the hurricane in 2013. i think it broke in half and sank. i'm not sure. it sank very suddenly. no, i probably won't write about that. i tend not to go back to the same topic. >> host: william tweets in: doesn't isis fit the definitiont of -- >> guest: well, let's be careful here. a sense that i mean it in the anthropological sense. a tribe is a group of people that are depend tent on each other for sustenance, safety, the web of symbolic meetings that identify them as a group apart from others. so, it's easy word to throw around..
i think there are -- i think there probably is a tribal appeal for people to join isis. they want to be part of something bigger. want to transcend themselves. they see a kind of unity in what isis is trying to do for sure. humans haven't not changed much, and if isis is appealing in sort of unexpected weird ways to middle class european kids, running off to join isis, if that's true we have to wonder what they're offeringering and t middle class european society is not providing. but i isis is also a political group. it's part of a mon -- a lot of other things and you have to understand it in all those : rms. >> host: because you write about what you write about, do people
miss conceive or -- misconceive or misinterpret your opinion about war, about the purpose of war? >> guest: i think sometimes people misconceive what journalism is. as a journalist i don't have public opinions. i don't say, i think we should do this or i think soldiers are that. i'm studying something and transferring what i feel like i've understood about another world, like during the civil war or american soldiers in come boot or what have you, ptsd, i'm studying it in a neutral way, without an agenda, and transferring what i think i -- a digesting and it transferring that to my readers, and so if there's something in my book, it's not me saying it. it's me repeating the opinions or conclusions of other people that i've tried to assemble in a coherent fashion, and so if i'm
pointing out -- this hass happened a few times. always interesting to watch it happen.. i'm pointing out that people respond in positive ways to hardship and distress and danger, in war or on a fishing boat for that matter, it's not me saying war is good. it's me pointing out that humans are complex and we react in surprising ways to difficult circumstances, and it has to be that way or evolution -- we're the product of evolution etch didn't react way to bad situation wes wouldn't exist.ed we wouldn't have survived. so as an anthropologist -- the s worst the situation, the better we reacted. but it is not -- understand what journalism it. it is not me offering an opinion. >> your back, "war" you talk
about spiders-scorpions and thed malaria medications we have sent and what that looked like to deal with. >> guest: the one thing i most terrified of is -- i have had a phobia of spiders my entire life, since i was also kid. i blame it on being put to sleep alone in a dark bedroom. just kidding. a terrible phobia of spiders.ia one of the very, very honestlyry one of the psychological challenges for me wasn't the gunfire.he i'd been in combat for years. it was thinking about dealing with to tarantulas. that as a real psychological issue. the malaria medication -- it made -- gave everyone a kind of psychosis. you had terrible-terrible night marries.
ironically the malaria medication you took every monday, ironically it -- the side effects are similar to symptoms of ptsd and trauma, an i think the military's phasings out -- i hope they are because it makes you crazy. spokane >> host: dave in spokane valley, washington can you're on booktv with sebastian junger. >> caller: hi. thanks, peter. great show. i love c-span. just want to thank as soon as for all you guys do.an helps further my education and helps me use my thinking brain, which leads me to sebastian and what you do. on your work. rigor, love >> intellectual rigor, you talk and how honest you are about what you don't know and what you do know. i really would like to see a guy like you hope our leader -- help
our leaders be better leaders and get us to a place where we can care for each other in a better way, and do our society more good than divisiveness, and -- get to the issues can the nut of the matter. so hopefully your goals will be more about politics or something later and you can become a politician. don't know.it i really respect what you do and love listening to you. >> host: dave, thank you very much.r let's hear from sebastian junger. >> guest: thank you. i'm very honored by what you said. i'm a journalist, and if i can dissect a political lead are -- if i can affect anybody it's going to be through my books, and i hope they do. that's why i write to make my living but i also write to a affect the society i live in positive ways. if it does that.
if hillary reads my book, donald reads in book, i hope they seeee some good in it. the central message at the end of my book -- i start with the american indians and move on to the blitz in london and talk about ptsd and then i wind up talking about the current staten of affairs and the political discourse at the moment in this country, and the divided nature of our really wonderful society. it's quite divide.politically a ... scaring ourselves by the divisiveness of the political rhetoric recently. if my book somehow urges people towards seeing us all as part of a common goal even though we have arguments, nothing could thrill me more. and i hope something like that happens. >> host: why do you close "tribe" with the phrase, "i'm dead inside"?
>> guest: well, i start "tribe" with this story about hitchhiking across the country and this incredible act that this homeless man in gillette, wyoming, did for me of giving me his lunch and sort of taking responsibility for me. and at the end of the book, i talk about a story that i read in a book by an anthropologist named christopher, and he was referring to yet another anthropologist who had done field work with the cree indians in canada. and this woman, this anthropologist was out with an november minute, can't remember his name, and they were out in the bush, the wilderness on a hunting and trapping expedition. and they ran across two people that they didn't know, two other cree. they didn't know them, and these two men were out of food. and this anthropologist said her companion gave them almost everything that they had, that he had. and she asked him about it afterwards. and she said, you know, you don't know these guys, it means you're going to have to cut your
hunting trip short. why would you give them most of your food? and he said to not give them food, dead inside, it means you're dead inside. and i suddenly realized like that homeless guy in gillette, i mean, he was living down in a broken down car in gillette, wyoming, walking out three miles to a coal mine every day to see if they could use him for a shift. there was very little in his life that he had control over, but he could control whether he was dead inside or not. and in my mind, the one thing he refused to be was dead inside. and he saw a young man out on the highway, and he gave him his lunch because he was alive inside. it was one of the things he had control over, and he wasn't going to give that up. it was a very, very moving thing for me, and that's why in my book was that story about being dead inside. >> peaceful
>> host: how text message in indiana had we find a peaceful projects to restore or maintain human solidarity in communities? hi. >> guest: that is a great question humans are all in the environment of great hockey injure and her chip house and that included more. e in the violence and the right? hardship with social solidarity clearly we are t the descendants have of ancestors that figured out how to be and together to survive in we're wired to that because those ancestors survive. so how do we have been both ways? how do we retain the benefits of a peaceful modern society but not lose a social connectedness 97
version gendered from our past half? >> i know how i thinkg mandatory national service would go a long way do i not talking about the draft that is a wartime measure i am understand the arguments either way national service w is a different thing. as my father said we were talking earlier you don't owe your country nothing then what do your country?io because there is no ready answer our nation does not provide an answer to the fundamental question we know
that when his sacrifice for or o something, when you put a year or two into your nation you value that more.ndividuals. it is good for us as individuals and could go a long way., and to make this country feel like we have a common goal. >> host: did your kids consider joining the military? >> not really. discredi him or leave your unfairly discredited. that was the environment and i grew up didn't end with the central thrust in the '80s and '90s some briefnt
military engagements and it lasted 100 years end at 9/11 happened on my watch the the but i probably would have faja rejoined. i don't know for sure but there were no good wars to fight when i wish young. thank god i was very lucky that way. so it is hard to imagine life otherwise. >> host: go ahead with your question from texas. >> caller: i am from oklahoma we know a thing or two about terrorist attacks from 1995. i will confirm that with
that attack occurred oklahoma in my lifetime has never been closer.omed of very republican state welcome to president bill clinton and he did an amazing thing but many people disbanded together that attacked for very thing that happens but my question is to your guest such does the group getting together the with the habitat he for humanity in building a whole for the port. athletic i even saw some with of -- athletic teams went they
show up for the athletic team i will take the answer of the year -- off the air. >> guest: thanks for that. we livid new york you are an oklahoma city they are united in this tragic way of catastrophic attacks. the to kill innocent people. that it does create an incredible unity can you get that in aui positive way? i don't think quite in the same way. stuff humans are wired to survive really bad stuff when good things happen real kick in don' to that that doesn't mean we
don't get good things a lot of positive efforts you can produce some type of group p unity it just isn't quite as profound as during the tornado or the hurricane that is just how we are wired that is important to our knowledge and i should, ande say that 9/11 happened during the republican administration in new york is very democratic and we welcomed president bush we welcomed him with open arms i think that is a common and wonderful human reaction in a crisis to transcend those boundaries i did bin earthquake in italy one survivor wrote 96 percent of
up population was killed in those survivors huddled around an for a few days it was the post apocalyptic utopia no rich no pork totally egalitarian and one survivor wrote the earthquake produced what the law promises but cannot deliver which is thet equality of all men. york. there is a little bit ofos that what we experienced and what you experienced. >> host: a text message people don't live in platoon sized groups do you see thedu ideal number for archrival to maintain?i write a >> this is a very well-informed questioner i have written down the number
it is an interesting phenomenon but those groups sizes of people to rush history are likely to live in and are likely to function are not randomly distributed if you plot them the ones by for a human group is 10 or 12 individuals so squad or platoon so they discover these common schuman groupings and we seem to be wired to respond well emotionally to groups of
that size.h was, i don't but the battalion they didn't have much of identification with the battalion they were in it but companies and platoons absolutely. they were incredibly strong bonds. >> washington go-ahead. >> caller: i was too young to serve in world war ii but evy it was the existential war and with the goldstar and today we have 1% most people
don't even know a veteran. and with those psychiatric t wards and then in the marine corps of the tennesseere's no ma combat and if there is no meaning to what you we're m doing that without reading you did not live.ee them but also to address the manufacturers of war materials we never see them coming down the production line but thousands are in the battlefield they have to come from somewhere so who profits from more? because we didn't have a war worth fighting since rolled
or to but we bought a lot of there.al. >> there is a lot of complex ideas. i of nine expert and my a during understanding then what happens during peacetime. so with the actual manufacturing add-on of that is true but that is what i much heard that it doesn't cost that much there is not that much of a profit margin is san interesting perspective that is less than 1% it is a poignant number and underscores the fact thatig the country is not connected to the war so we're fighting.hem
and that might connect people to engage them politically iraq and afghan wars were put on a huge credit card by anderson and why they might want to do that but the problem with the '01% number is if you change that, if you want to have 5% of the population, a massive army and probably one we cannot afford. or what they were fighting during the year or two but there are gi benefits to continue for the life of the service man or service women and they simply cannot afford to have a standing army. public enga
we have to find other ways to make the public to engage with the experience of the 1% we can't afford to do that otherwise. wri >>. >> host: here is one thing you write each round cost $80,000 with the idea that is fired by a guy who does not make that in a year or a lifetime that is so regis it almost makes it seem winnable. >> that is particularly cynical. antiwar but that wasn't me being anti-war activists but pointing out that irony of the military with the firepower very accurately but with a very specific area time
but inevitably has a hard time to affect a broad society. you're never and insurgency takes place you will never win it withac javelins missiles.hot i was in afghanistan 1996 and shot at by talibannd took a gunners read before they swept in and took a couple and i remember one of the people i was with but we a hate the taliban but we will let them in because you're so tired of the corruption they and the promise to clean up in,t corruption without much of a
fight in their dear friend has risen an amazing about the role of corruption and for which you found an with boko haram and isis and thatov is why they appeal to a society but the irony with the u.s. went into afghanistan is repaid our way we paid off the war lords.in the eyes of we would pay them money so we didn't have to fight them now we just looked like
another corrupt empire and that is what i mean if you make that you will not do with the javelin the sole. >> host: we have covered that book if you go to lou - booktv.org you can watch that presentation online you can watch that. when we were >> we used to go camping together when we were kids. that is amazing. >> host: houston please go to lung dash please go ahead. >> caller: i have a problem with this discussion has a history teacher or any other that is centered around isn't more horrible?
-- war for bulk you see that man is a war making creature it is over limited resourceshere we but when net was by itself go to ruth war of one to end all wars and then it was even allied internationally. our as part of the dna but can we get past isn't war portable and go beyond that? one more thing and concerning york city, i really believe 9/11 was horrible but it did make yorkers more humane into the
united states. that silver lining and none of that is the expression but fighting over resources 2 mere 5% of the world population we consume 25 percent of the resources are we ready to share with the world the resources of the world? >> host: a lot on the table. >> guest: there wass nothing in this conversation cov that was counter to your original assertion. war is horrible.nsequences but it is a strangely positive emotion of being in a wartime situation or natural disaster or crisis.
as far as humanizing people in new york city if i could defend my city for a moment this suicide rate went downk after 9/11 the violent crime rate went down it was very bette noticeable. people treated each other better. is a common reaction to "war," hardship. >> host: in the book "war" you write it is so obviouslyg evil and wrong the idea there could be anything good to it almost feels like ahe profanity but yet dry history to find themselves desperately missing of what should of been the worst experience of their lives. were you surprised? >> i was surprised that the
death. when they clearly it was the boys who played war and they were young they clearly grew up wanting to be soldiers wanting to experience, that.nd h and to a generalized but what i was not prepared for is the effect that human connection and i started to each realize afterwards they really miss each other or to be necessary to reach other c to be a part of the group that video-game component i get it but that was shallow the surface part.
tha with his intense connectiont between each other. >> it is easy for people in a modern society ton romanticize and that impulse should be guarded against as neighbors wage war with the sickening forms of torture. spot cou those that were not tomahawk on the spot could be expected to be disemboweled or roasted over a slow fire were hacked to pieces and then alive to the dogs. what is about human beings that war is part of our in that lives? >> i go one to point to the
spanish ship was -- in position was doing the exact same thing and the governments of europe was practicing just as horrific forms of torture just to be even-handed. even as widespread as war as a widespread human behavior. and to have a survival of value or the aggression or competing for resources. that or and it reveals those harsh conditions and as the quiet past the best -- pacifist society is pushed out in the
proverbial bull lea that takes your lunch money that is the evolution you can see that behavior. but my friend who was a'm not well-known private colleges has documented as males will go off on a raid literally tiptoe through the jungle to beat them to pieces to death one by one once they have gotten rid of all of the males they take over the food resources than the females and killed the young and they have doubled their size it is the adaptive the behavior. chimpanzees have done that for hundreds of thousands ofds years. ma
>> host: from manchester connecticut was moved by a the movie made that was sealed in an occupationalple dyg hazard can you console us?ife, >> is one of the unanswerable things that good people die young and he was a good person and his death and we all go through some version of that.better, beo wish to have something to say to make them feel better because it would make me mr. junger, to. >> host: we of will andti minute. >> caller: i have a question in the past five have asked with jimmy carter
and others i wonder what your comment would be. what would have been the geopolitical fallout? 1990. >> i was born in 1962 i am not an expert of vietnam. i don't know. my good friend wrote what it is like to go to war. the very proud marine and withal the mistakes made in vietnam. not, it was a dangerous time and had we not had some presence in asia but that's is my
memory he is pretty smart so i would have you read other people that know more than i do. >> host: sebastian junger writing process gather all the information that is possible then read it through the notes underline what is interesting then assemble a structure to the story and say you do yourlock, s best writing if you have writer's block then you're not collected enough information not they cannot find the words you don't try to fill in gaps. >> sebastian junger has been our guest for the last three hours "a death in belmont" then "the perfect storm" then fire, a "war" in thent most recent "tribe". booktv on c-span2.