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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Beyond Civilization
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  • Tatiana's Gift
    Friday, October 2, 2015

    A few weeks ago, through a Special Request Inquiry made here, a mother told me that her fifteen-year-old daughter, Tatiana, had recently rapturously devoured Ishmael and was disappointed to find no copy of the sequel, My Ishmael, at their local bookstore. She asked if she should could order a copy from me (to be delivered to Tatiana on her upcoming sixteenth birthday). I said certainly and sent it along (together with a copy of The Book of the Damned).

    Here's an unforgettable video of her astonishment on opening her birthday present, then being doubly astonished to find that the author's personal birthday wishes were to be found on the title page.

    --Daniel Quinn

  • 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.

  Ordinary businesses don't burden themselves with tribal obligations. Most obviously, they don't "take care" of their workers; to do so would introduce them to a whole suite of problems in which there's no profit whatever. Instead, they pay salaries and expect workers to take care of themselves. One worker may thrive on a given salary, while another languishes on it. From the company's point of view, there's no injustice in this if the salary is fair in the first place. It's not the company's fault that the second worker has a large family to support or an ailing parent to take care of--or is just a bad manager of money. The company can afford to be hard-nosed about this; it doesn't risk losing this second worker to a competitor, because its competitors are equally hard-nosed about it.

Beyond Civilization


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