In a departure from his first book dealing with a personal search for meaning, and his second book dealing with the journey into manhood for other boys and men, Anthony T. Cluff offers in this his third book, The Tribal Instinct and the Yearning to Belong, an eye-opening examination of an obscure and unseen force that affects us all. Its beginnings, Cluff says, can be traced back to our primitive ancestors who relied on it to survive. They did so by joining with others to get what they wanted but couldn't get on their own. With keen insight and sometimes biting humor, Cluff argues that we do the same today. We don't always recognize it for what it is.
Signs of this obscure and unseen force are all around us, Cluff says. We just need to know where to look. It's in the choices we make in politics, religion, the media, and sports. But it can also be found in less obvious places, such as witch hunts, outbreaks of mass hysteria, the uncertainties of postmodern thinking, our hierarchy of needs, modern consumerism, and the role that power plays in prognostications about our future well-being. It's on display in the behavior of crowds, the unfolding of mass movements, and the strong appeal of collectivism. The outcomes here have not always been to our liking, Cluff says, and he warns us against blindly going along with the crowd to fulfill the urgings of this powerful force. Cluff points to mistakes we've made in the past when we did. He says we now need to recognize and manage the demands of this powerful force if we are to survive as a species.