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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 693)...

    Mr.Quinn I recently read Ishmael for a program on Civilization and History I am currently enrolled in and thoroughly enjoyed it; however I am aware that others are very critical of it. Some critics claim that the kind and gentle warning delivered in Ishmael is actually a wolf in sheep's clothing. In fact, some go as far as claiming it to be subversive Nazi propaganda. What would you say to these critics if given the chance?

    ...and the response:

    After I got through laughing, I'd have to ask them to develop their case a bit more fully. Exactly where do they find traces of "subversive Nazi propaganda" in Ishmael? Simply pointing a finger at something and calling it a bad name is easy but not very persuasive. I should add that Ishmael has also been charged with spreading subversive Communist propaganda--the polar opposite of subversive Nazi propaganda. This process of giving something a bad name (any bad name will do) is called "demonizing," and the people of our society often demonize things that make them uncomfortable (which Ishmael is certainly calculated to do). I wouldn't take it too seriously if I were you.


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