This site exists to aid in the exploration of issues central to the novel Ishmael and the ideas of Daniel Quinn. Here you can learn more about Quinn's ideas and come to a deeper understanding of our culture and why things are the way they are.

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The Ishmael Companion
Beyond Civilization
 Study Guide


  • August 25, 2015

    The anthropologists who imagined that pre-agricultural peoples lived "brutal, hand-to-mouth" lives haven't kept up with their reading. I don't expect them to have read my own books, but they should by now have read Marshall Sahlins' STONE AGE ECONOMICS (1972), in which he called theirs "the original Affluent Society," pointing out that OURS is "the era of hunger, unprecedented. Now, in the time of the greatest technological power, is starvation an institution."

    This British study that confirms Sahlins' assertions is most welcome. Thanks to Blair Brown and Ariel Appel for the link. First Britons.

  • Is civilization unsurpassable?
    August 25, 2015

    Does it represent the one right way to live? For an exploration of this topic, please tune in this Sunday, August 30 at 9:30 a.m. PST, to The Living Earth Connection on KMUD. Host Amy Gustin will present selected readings from Daniel Quinn's Beyond Civilization. Amy says: " Daniel unearths the cultural myths that prevent us from living more satisfying and sustainable lives, and offers a vision for improving our lives right now, rather than in some utopian future." KMUD-Living Earth Connection.

  • DQ to be guest 8/11/15 on Nature Bats Last
    August 11, 2015

    Tune in at 3 p.m. today (EDT) to hear Daniel on Progressive Radio Network's program Nature Bats Last. If you miss the live show, it's archived at NBA podcast.

  • Kid's book? Grown-up's book? You decide.
    August 5, 2015

    Documentary filmmaker Burt Kempner swims into new territory with the publication of LARRY THE LAZY BLUE WHALE, the first of a series of children's books aimed at teaching life lessons via the funny bone. An anti-war story, with charming illustrations and plenty of fussing and fuming, it will make for good chat when read together by parents and kids. This first book in The Mild, Wild Animals series is available now as an ebook on Amazon: LARRY THE LAZY BLUE WHALE.

    The second book in the series, MONTY THE MOVIE STAR MOOSE, which satirizes celebrity worship, will be out in the fall, and ESHE THE EDUCATED ELEPHANT, a more serious work touching on the ivory trade is expected to be published in early 2016.

  • Inside the Mind of Daniel Quinn: Podcast Interview
    June 10, 2015

    This week Daniel had a terrific phone conversation with Daniel Vitalis of ReWild Yourself! Click here to listen.

The Teachings front cover


  • Pan Earth: a site dedicated to a scientific, holistic approach to world problems (and population in particular).

  • Read Ishmael: a site created by Quinn readers to reach out to other prospective readers.

  • Friends of Ishmael Society: find local groups (and more).

  • Cultural Survival: partnering with indigenous peoples to defend their lands, languages, and cultures.

  • Sacred Land Film Project: dedicated to protecting the Earth's sacred places through education and action.

  • Ishmael's Annex: your source for shirts, bumper stickers, and other Ishmael-related artifacts (featuring DQ designs). It provides much of the funding that keeps this website going.

  • Here are some new Facebook pages established by people who want to share and discuss Daniel's work and related subjects. They're all somewhat different, depending on the focus of the creator, so check them out and interact with them as you see fit.

  "Someone inevitably asks why I speak of gods rather than one God, as if I simply hadn't been informed on this matter and was speaking in error, and I ask them how they happen to know the number of the gods. Sometimes I'm told this is just something >everyone' knows, the way everyone knows there are twenty-four hours in a day. Sometimes I'm told God must be one, because this seems to us the most >enlightened' number for God to be--as if the facts don't count in this particular case. This is like reasoning that the earth must be the center of the universe, because no other place makes as much sense. Most often, of course, I'm told this is an undoubtable number, since it's the number given in monotheistic scriptures. Needless to say, I have a rather different take on the whole matter. The number of the gods is written nowhere in the universe, Jared, so there's really no way to decide whether that number is zero (as atheists believe) or one (as monotheists believe) or many (as polytheists believe). The matter is one of complete indifference to me. I don't care whether the number of the gods is one, zero, or nine billion. If it turned out that the number of the gods is zero, this wouldn't cause me to alter a single syllable of what I've said to you."

The Story of B


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