TRIBE

ON HOMECOMING AND BELONGING

The themes implicit in the author’s bestsellers are explicit in this slim yet illuminating volume.

A short book with a solid argument about the downside of civilization’s progress.

The latest from Vanity Fair contributing editor Junger (War, 2010, etc.) mixes memoir, reportage, and historical research into a case for the advantages of the tribe and how connective, communal benefits are lost as society moves toward competition and individuality. The author begins with the early settlement of America, examining how colonists introduced to tribal life, or captured into it, might convert to it, but the process rarely worked the other way. “Indians almost never ran away to join white society,” writes Junger. “Emigration always seemed to go from the civilized to the tribal, and it left Western thinkers flummoxed about how to explain such an apparent rejection of their society.” The author then makes a leap in his argument that is as provocative as some will find it counterintuitive: how war and catastrophe seem to instill that tribal spirit that individuals have otherwise lost and how the stress of such times serves to improve mental health rather than threaten it. As jarring as conjecture about “the positive effects of war on mental health” might seem, Junger amasses plenty of academic and anecdotal support. From there, he makes another leap, to PTSD, asserting that its prevalence stems less from the traumas of battle than from the difficulties of rejoining a disjointed, divided society after collective tribal bonding. “The problem doesn’t seem to be the trauma on the battlefield so much as reentry into society,” he writes, showing how PTSD can affect returnees who have never experienced combat. The author resists the temptation to glorify war as the solution to a nation’s mental ills and warns against the tendency “to romanticize Indian life,” but he does succeed in showing “the complicated blessings of ‘civilization,’ ” while issuing warnings about divisiveness and selfishness that should resonate in an election year.

The themes implicit in the author’s bestsellers are explicit in this slim yet illuminating volume.

Pub Date: May 24, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4555-6638-9

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Twelve

Review Posted Online: March 7, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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