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Author profiles contributed by Chris Bacon, Mason County District Library

 

Sebastian Junger was born in Belmont, Massachusetts in January 1962. His father was a painter and his mother a physicist. His father was born in Germany and migrated to the United States during World War II because his own father had been Jewish. As a child Junger grew up in the neighborhood of the Boston Strangler, which later in life influenced him into writing one of his books specifically about the Boston Strangler and suggest it's possible the wrong man was convicted of the crimes. Also as a child Junger was interested in dangerous situations where people lived and worked. Later in life this led Junger to pursue the profession as a high-climber for tree removal companies. But after a chainsaw injury he thought better of it and instead decided to focus on journalism and telling stories about people with dangerous jobs.

 

Junger graduated from Concord Academy in 1980 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University in cultural anthropology in 1984. He soon went to work as a journalist and film producer and through the years he has been many things including author, film producer, contributing editor to Vanity Fair, a reporter, and radio correspondent covering stories around the world.

 

Today Junger is divorced and lives in New York City and Cape Cod. He is a strong advocate for veterans, the military and other professions that put people in harm’s way as they help others. In 1998, he established The Perfect Storm Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides educational opportunities for children of people in the maritime professions.

 

Junger's first book “A Death in Belmont” was published in 2006 and focuses on the rape-murder of Bessie Goldberg in Junger's hometown in the spring of 1963. Although a different man was convicted, Junger raises the possibility that the real killer was Albert DeSalvo, who eventually confessed to committing several Strangler murders, but not Goldberg's. In his book Junger raised the possibility that the man that was convicted was founded on circumstantial evidence, and in part on racism.

 

His second book, “The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea,” was published in 1997, and it recounts the tale of a “perfect storm” and the loss of the fishing boat Andrea Gail off the coast of Nova Scotia and its six crew members. In 2000, the book was made into a film of the same name starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg. Junger's other books include “Fire,” which is a collection of articles about dangerous regions and jobs throughout the world and “War,” an account of Junger's time in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008. Junger has also produced several films about the military personal and conflicts throughout the world including the documentaries about the Afghan war, “Restrepo,” “Korengal,” and “The Last Patrol.”

 

Junger has been called the new “Hemingway” as he books focus on non-fiction adventure stories.   With his writing Junger is able to take you to the places he is writing about and to make the readers feel what the men and women in his stories must have been feeling at the time. His descriptions are intense and his story telling inspired and adventurous. Author similar to Junger include Seth G. Jones, Dick Lehr, Doug Stanton, Dakota Meyer, and Linda Greenlaw.

 

So if you are looking to read about real life people in deadly real life situations risking it all to try to make a living or trying to save lives, you should give Junger a try and be sucked into the lives of people who are not afraid to risk their lives to live their lives and to save lives.