Author Sebastian Junger next to a cover of his book.
Credit: Peter Foley

Friday on Political Rewind: As the July 4 holiday approaches, New York Times bestselling author Sebastian Junger joined us to reflect on the basic tenets of freedom in society.

In his new book, Freedom, Junger writes that throughout history, humans have always been drawn to two competing ideals: community and freedom. The author writes that the two have never coexisted easily. After all, we value individuality and self-reliance yet are dependent on community to meet our most basic material and emotional needs.

His insights are relevant to how we view our own roles and responsibilities in modern society.

“What you have is freedom from oppression, not freedom from obligation," Junger said. "Your society has the right to ask things from you.”

Junger explores that tension in his book while recounting his travels, on foot and off-the-radar, along the railroad tracks crisscrossing the American countryside.

The award-winning author, documentarian and winner of the 2015 International Press Academy's Humanitarian Award is known for his previous works such as Restrepo (2010), Trible and A Death In Belmont.