PositiveThe Pittsburgh Post-GazetteThe book paints a picture of a college-age generation less prepared and less resilient than ever to take on a complex, rough and tumble adult world. Sometimes technical and intricate, Coddling lays out an exhaustive argument that may tax some but will persuade many ... The individual social factors the book identifies as culprits in our current dysfunction will not be unfamiliar. But the holistic interconnectedness the book perceives between rising suicide rates, violent protest, and the absence of a more constructive framework for controversy and debate will be new. Given short shrift, perhaps, are the various economic and political interests that, like Burroughs’ Nova Mob, strive to maintain this self-destructive status quo of civility. The remedies the book outlines should be considered on college campuses, among parents of current and future students, and by anyone longing for a more sane society.
MixedThe Pittsburgh Post-GazetteMr. Junger’s critique of modernity is refreshingly free of ideology, and the complaints cited are those any thoughtful person might point out as aspects of civilization we could do without. But Tribe is also free of any practical guidance on instituting these changes. Assuming we are persuaded of the auspiciousness of swapping the worst attributes of modern life for the most obvious advantages of tribal cultures, there is no suggestion on how such fundamental social relations could be implemented.
MixedPittsburgh Post-GazetteThroughout the volume, the most colorful recurring character is the current art world. Unfortunately, without a precise timeline, the reader is left to guess exactly when Mr. Hughes is wryly noting the inflated art prices, kickbacks of paintings fresh from the studio to supposedly neutral critical colleagues, and other absurdities surveyed here. Many of the events described could have taken place between 1980 to the present, and perhaps that is the point.