Freedom

Sebastian Junger. Simon & Schuster, $25.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-9821-5341-0
Junger follows Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging with a rambling reflection on the nature of freedom, grounded in a 400-mile hike he made “in segments over the course of a year” from Washington, D.C., to western Pennsylvania. To Junger and his unidentified companions (all told, eight people joined him at different parts of the hike), walking alongside railroad tracks, sleeping under bridges and in abandoned buildings, and dodging cops and security guards felt like something “ancient and hard.” His account of their travails (blisters, exhaustion, freezing cold weather) is interspersed with philosophical musings (“the inside joke about freedom... is that you’re always trading obedience to one thing with obedience to another”), lyrical nature writing (the water in one Pennsylvania creek “tasted as though civilization was something in the future”), and observations about war, human endurance, and the settling of the American frontier. It’s a mixed bag—insights into how the Apaches and the Taliban overcame numerically superior forces brush up against random facts and statistics (people can predict, with 70% accuracy, the outcome of a U.S. senate race “based on a one-second glimpse of the candidates’ faces as they campaign”). Ultimately, the journey’s lack of purpose (only near the end of the book does Junger acknowledge that he was going through a divorce at the time) mirrors the book’s lack of focus. The result feels more self-indulgent than illuminating. Agent: Stuart Krichevsky, Stuart Krichevsky Literary. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/12/2021
Release date: 05/18/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-9821-5343-4
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-2226-7
Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-4434-6198-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-7971-2225-0
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