Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit

Daniel Quinn

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status Copy #1 (545): in
genre Philosophy » General Philosophy
publisher Bantam
publish date May 1, 1995
popularity checked out 10 time(s)


  • By Alexander Chadsey -

    This book changed my life in the most profound of ways. After finishing a degree in environmental science and becoming increasingly disenchanted with the seeming futility of “environmental activism,” I found the insights of this story incredibly timely and relevant. It’s told in the form of a Socratic dialogue between a telepathic gorilla (just get past that) and a cynical, but well-intentioned, man who discuss the hubris of human dominance, and how the stories we tell about our superiority are destroying ourselves and the biosphere we depend upon.

    Daniel Quinn could be regarded as more of a philosopher than a fiction writer (though he has a few non-fiction books ‘Providence’ and ‘Beyond Cicilization’ which detail his journey and more succinctly lay down his core beliefs). While none of his writings will give you plain, easy answers to our problems of civilization (I wouldn’t trust him if he did), it does provide one with the tools and foundation of thought to create something that works for us wherever and however we might live.

    If you have never read about post-civilization theory, but have thought about the seeming hopelessness of saving the biosphere that we are (not so) slowly killing, then this book is for you.

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