Image - Sebastian Junger

Live Stream

Sebastian Junger: Freedom

Ticket sales end 2 hours before program starts.

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Sebastian Junger returns, in person, to The Commonwealth Club to discuss the ideas in his latest book, Freedom. Throughout history, he says, humans have been driven by the quest for two cherished ideals: community and freedom. The two don’t coexist easily. We value individuality and self-reliance, yet are utterly dependent on community for our most basic needs. Junger examines that tension—which lies at the heart of what it means to be human.

For much of a year, Junger and three friends—a conflict photographer and two Afghan War vets—walked the railroad lines of the East Coast. It was an experiment in personal autonomy, but also in interdependence. Dodging railroad cops, sleeping under bridges, cooking over fires, and drinking from creeks and rivers, the four men forged a unique reliance on one another.

Junger weaves his account of this journey together with related digressions on primatology and boxing strategy, the history of labor strikes and Apache raiders, the role of women in resistance movements, and the brutal reality of life on the Pennsylvania frontier. Written in exquisite, razor-sharp prose, Freedom is a nuanced examination of the primary desire that defines us.

MLF Organizer
George Hammond

This is a free-for-members program. Members: Click on the "Buy Tickets" button above to order your tickets, and select the members link on the left side of the page. Your username is the email you used to sign up as a member. You can also request a password reset if needed. Discount will automatically be applied at checkout.

This program has 2 types of tickets available: In-person and online-only. Please pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream event.

Safety Protocols

• In-person capacity is limited.
• Masks are required.
• We follow best practices laid out by the CDC and state and local guidelines.
• All guests, staff and volunteers must be vaccinated and show proof of vaccination.
• Elevators are limited to a maximum of four (4) people at a time.

Our LEED Gold-certified building is designed to cool with outside air, using digitally controlled moveable windows and large ceiling fans. We are deploying additional HEPA filters inside to scrub the air. This is all in addition to increased cleaning of surfaces throughout the building.

We welcome donations made during registration to support the production of our online programming.

Photo by Peter Foley.

MLF: Humanities

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

Mon, Nov 1 / 12:00 pm PDT

United States

Image - Sebastian Junger
Sebastian Junger
Author; Co-Director, Restrepo; Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair; Author, Freedom
Image - George Hammond
In Conversation with George Hammond
Author, Conversations With Socrates

11:30 a.m. doors open & check-in
noon–1 p.m. program
1 p.m. book signing
(all times PDT)