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caption: Sebastian Junger and friend 
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Sebastian Junger and friend
Credit: Courtesy of Guillermo Cervera and Sebastian Junger

It takes (escaping) a village: Sebastian Junger on the search for freedom, and community

Author Sebastian Junger was in an in-between time, and he knew it. Before stepping into whatever else his future might hold, he decided to meander for a year — “a temporary injunction against whatever was coming.”

He and a group of war vet friends set out on a trek along a northeast rail corridor. The path they took was a kind of no-man’s land, an Appalachian track of sorts, not frequented by other hikers. They called it “the last patrol.”

That experience led Junger to reflect on the seemingly constant, often paradoxical tension many humans experience between the desire for autonomy on one hand, and community on the other. He interweaves his reflections from that trip with research and wonderings about human development, societal mores, and American history in his new book Freedom.

Sebastian Junger’s previous books include The Perfect Storm, War, and Tribe. He is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a special correspondent at ABC News. Author and Army veteran Matt Gallagher interviews him here. Gallagher’s books include the novel Youngblood and the memoir Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War.

Town Hall Seattle presented their conversation on May 28, 2021.