Ishmael's Community: Welcome!

A personal welcome message from Daniel Quinn

How to Help!

New Welcome Page

Newest News... (Below item added on September 4, 2014)

Entire Food Production and Population Growth video now on YouTube!

Click on the headline to get all the information and links to the videos at YouTube.

Newest News... (Below item added on December 13, 2014)

Going Beyond Civilization

Daniel often is asked if he sees any change that gives hope for the future. Or if he knows of an example or trace of the New Tribal Revolution. So far he hasn't been aware of any besides those mentioned in Beyond Civilization. But we recently learned about Transition Lab, a venture that is teaching people to live and work in a different way. Click on the headline to see what Russell Evans, Director of the Montrose, CO, Lab has to say about it and how you can become involved.

Newest News... (Below item added on January 4, 2015)

Making Connections

Harvey Hyman quit being a big city attorney and now focuses on trying to inform people about the need for connectedness in the community of life–if that life is to continue. (He names Daniel as "one of a handful of visionaries with the capacity to imagine a new future for human beings....") His website is filled with material on such subjects as Climate Change, Eco-History, Inter-species Communication, A New Vision. Though Daniel has never considered "nature" and "humans" as separate entities, we think you might find some interesting things on Harvey's website Humansintegratingnature.

Newest News... (Below item added on May 15, 2015)

What's It About???

Daniel says, "Whenever I mention Ishmael to people, they always ask 'What's it about'?" Here's the answer.

Ishmael YouTube review.

This YouTube review simply does an AMAZING job of answering that question – in under two minutes! Daniel says, "I couldn't have done better (or even as well)." It will remind you of all the things you love and admire about this book, but that's not really the point. It's tailor-made for you to give to people who ask that dreaded question, "What's it about?" It's simply a terrific tool that needs to be made available to all the millions who have said to their friends, "You've GOT to read this book!"

Let's make this YouTube video go VIRAL!

Newest News... (Below item added on June 10, 2015)

The Sea Gypsy Philosopher, Sailing Into New Waters

From time to time we've pointed you to Ray Jason's blog, where he describes his life as a free-wheeling sailor and philosophizes about this and that. Now some of his essays have been published in a book at Club Orlov Press. Check it out at S G P Book Announcement. While you're at Ray's blog, have a look at his latest essay, which delves into some Ishmael-related themes. Life-The Wonder and the Sadness.

Newest News... (Below item added on August 5, 2015)

Kid's book? Grown-up's book? You decide.

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.

Newest News... (Below item added on August 25, 2015)

Is civilization unsurpassable?

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.

Newest News... (Below item added on 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.

Newest News... (Below item added on January 22, 2015)

Bye, Bye, Life

Thanks to Michael Shillace for alerting us to this new research report Life on Earth at Risk.

Newest News... (Below item added on June 10, 2015)

Inside the Mind of Daniel Quinn: Podcast Interview

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

Newest News... (Below item added on March 28, 2016)

Daniel Writes About 500 Writings About the Meaning of Life

I was recently invited by Nicolae Tanase, founder of the Excellence Reporter, to write what amounts to an essay about the meaning of life. I would be joining 500 others who have done so, writing either about the meaning of life in general or about the meaning of their own lives. The 500 are all of a piece, all very idealistic, all very spiritual (and all written by members of our culture exclusively). Assuming he knew only my name or reputation (rather than my actual writings), I told him that what I had to say would be decidedly contrary to the other offerings on the site, that he would most likely dislike it intensely, and that if he thought there was any chance at all that he might just bury it, I would prefer to skip the whole thing rather than spend eight or ten hours writing it.

To my astonishment, he said he definitely wanted my essay and was looking forward to it. So I gritted my teeth, spent the predicted eight to ten hours grinding it out, and sent it off, half expecting to hear no more about it ever again and to see it nowhere on the Excellence Reporter website should I ever care to look for it (or perhaps to see it there slashed to ribbons). To my amazement, none of those cynical expectations were fulfilled. In just two days my offering was posted, complete and just as I wrote it. Mr. Tanase proved to be an open-minded and trustworthy person. See it here.

Newest News... (Below item added on July 24, 2016)

A message about Daniel

Last Monday about 2 p.m., during a torrential rain in Houston, Daniel suffered an accident that resulted in a hip fracture. He has had surgery, and tomorrow morning begins physical therapy to restore the use of his right leg. It's very likely, therefore, that messages regarding telephone conference calls and other special requests may not be dealt with immediately.

Though therapy will be grueling and painful, he's cheerful and eager to get back to normal as quickly as possible!


Newest News... (Below item added on September 26, 2016)

An update from Daniel

Many thanks to all of you who’ve commiserated, offered good wishes, and sent hopes for a speedy recovery from the misstep that resulted in my hip fracture in July. I’m back home now, still getting regular visits from a physical therapist and working toward walking on my own. But the X-rays assure us that all is well, and I’m at least part-time back at my computer and regular routine.

Seventeen years ago, when I finished writing Beyond Civilization, I would've agreed that my major work was done, that in Ishmael and the books that followed it I’d said what I principally have to say and was free to resume a career as a fiction writer, with novels like After Dachau and The Holy. Happily, I was mistaken.

Therefore, the major part of the routine to which I must now return is getting back to work on the new book that I've been embroiled in for the better part of a year. This is my most important book by far, and it's almost as difficult to get down on paper as Ishmael was. I'd like to think another year will see it finished. Or maybe two. Oddly enough, or perhaps one could say "providentially," this accident and forced hiatus made me realize that I was moving in the wrong direction with the book. Being forced to stop the writing, I was able to rethink what I'd been doing, and so about two months worth of work that I would have done and then had to scrap has been avoided. All because I unwittingly stepped into that hole in the street in the midst of a rainstorm. I vividly remember, while lying there in the rain and howling for help: "I'll bet you think this is just a coincidence!"

Anyhow, I know that for the foreseeable future I’m going to be busy with this book virtually every hour that I’m awake. This means that, as much as I enjoy hearing from my readers, I’m going to be less generally available than I have been and that every form of social media is going to find me even less responsive now than I have been in the past. I appreciate the way you've communicated with each other through the Guestbook here and on my Facebook page and trust you'll continue that practice, even though my own participation will be limited. (I will, of course, always be available to teachers and classes for telephone conferences.)

Newest News... (Below item added on January 26, 2014)

Climate change is no joke

This short animation from NASA is an easy way to find out how things have been heating up since the 1880s. Watch the Earth warm up.

Newest News... (Below item added on August 11, 2015)

DQ to be guest 8/11/15 on Nature Bats Last

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.

Newest News... (Below item added on October 12, 2014)


The Teachings is a big book, almost exactly twice as long as Ishmael, offering generous selections from eight different books -- two that were written before Ishmael and six that were written after it.

The excerpts from the selections are quite short, being on average about two pages long. You can get to them here.

Excerpts - Book Covers

Click here for more information
about The Teachings


How to Help!

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