Thursday, Jul. 01, 2010

Sebastian Junger

Author of War suggests:
Recently I have been rereading Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation by Jonathan Lear. Don't be alarmed by its grimly academic title; it is one of the most profound and elegantly written books to come out in decades. The book discusses a Crow Indian leader named Plenty Coups, who led his people through their brutal transition from a nomadic hunting culture to confinement on a government reservation. This is not a work of history or anthropology, however, but an inquiry into how an entire society can radically transform itself in order to survive. Lear's book is visionary and — if you take its message to heart — transformative. He has done one of those rare things: produced a work that applies to literally every person on the planet.