Ishmael here comes mighty close to, but does not mention how American biologist Ernst Mayr, hypothesized that human intelligence is a lethal mutation which is likely to lead to the extinction of the human species, as well as most other species on the planet Earth. He explains that this is different from the Taker concept of law because since "tribal peoples didn't waste time with laws they knew would be disobeyed, disobedience was not a problem for them. I dropped out of High School as a Junior, precisely due to the critiques offered by Ishmael (Quinn). Arty tells her not to publish the book until the corrupt dictator of Zaire falls. He takes on the education system, the economic system, cults, gangs, and religions. Another irresistible rant from Quinn, a sequel to his Turner Tomorrow Fellowship winner, Ishmael (1992), concerning a great, telepathic ape who dispenses ecological wisdom about the possible doom of humankind. If you don't get that analogy, suffice it to say that this story is the "real" Ishmael. Ishmael is a sentient gorilla with telepathic powers and a deep knowledge of human history and culture. [4] Quinn regarded Lee as "a fanatic" who warped his ideas. I believe this makes many who read it uncomfortable. We moved away from a society where everyone looked out for everyone else because they knew they needed each other to a society of accumulate as much as you can because you don't know how much you're going to need and nobody has. My Ishmael is a 1997 novel by Daniel Quinn: a followup to Ishmael. Starts out really good but gets a bit tedious towards the end :). This book follows as the next part and surpasses the first one for me because it provided closure which the first one lacked in a way. Owens is a friend of Ishmael who has connections to his African homeland and intends to help Ishmael return to the West African jungle. Rocked my world. Ishmael is a character in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, which opens with the line, "Call me Ishmael." Firstly, the whole message Ishmael gives is something I love and agree with completely. Being very careful not to wantonly dismiss a twelve-year-old's capability for such powerful and culturally dissident ideas, I honestly do not think, based on my own experience as a twelve-year-old girl not THAT long ago, that she could proce. The narrator, Julie is far more likeable than Alan from Ishmael and the conversations between her and Ishmael are much less stunted. It was alright. Instead of using the oppressive force of government to change everyone to act according to how I'd like people to act, I now understand it is up to me to find my tribe and help create the world in which I live. Many either confused Ishmael with the author himself or overlooked him. Others find it hard to read. For most of the narrator's early life, he had searched for such a teacher, and he's angry that only now is one looking for … This may be a complete waste of time as there are many that see modern civilization as the apex of human development. She closely observes the gorilla. It isn't so much that it's a fun read, or even that it's a well written book. I didn't think I could love a book more than Ishmael, but then I read My Ishmael. Julie arrives at Room 105 of the Fairfield Building to discover a gorilla, Ishmael, whom she is able to communicate with telepathically. Ishmael maintains both pupils, though his teachings are not necessarily the same for each. She hears also about Alan Lomax, who was becoming too attached to Ishmael as a pupil and not seeming to understand his own need to become a teacher. Once you get past the fact that it's a telepathic gorilla, which is easy to do at the beginning (near the end it's not as easy but you're too into the story to care), it's one of those books that really makes you think about our society. After dropping out of High School I spent the next few years reading everything from Crowley to Nietzsche to Locke to Yeats. Julie presents herself as leader and representative of Ishmael's vast following. Julie feels an odd distaste for Alan though she never meets him face-to-face. This, he claims, creates hierarchical social structures in which the cooperative ethos is lost, resulting in distress and conflict within the society, such as crime, suicide, poverty, famine, and senseless violence. Holy cow, this book makes me think I'm a hippie. They decided for themselves to conquer the world without care of the consequences to all other life. My Ishmael is presented as the final copy of a book published by Julie Gerchak, who has herself read Ishmael. The humans don't really sound like actual people, they sound like college lectures almost. Depending on the study guide provider (SparkNotes, Shmoop, etc. I had to put the book aside because, honestly, it started to irritate me. My Ishmael is to Ishmael as Wicked is to The Wizard of Oz. We had it right at one point and then we abandoned all that worked to reinvent the wheel. I loved Ishmael and I would highly recommend that book to anyone and everyone, but My Ishmael turned out highly disappointing. When she asks Ishmael if he will teach her, he is initially ambivalent due to her very young age, though this frustrates Julie and her arguments convince Ishmael that she may indeed be open to his maieutic teaching style. Ishmael explains to Julie that her youth makes ineligible. Our current education system serves no other purpose than to produce complacent, docile, and obedient employees. Finally, however, in 1997 (when Julie is eighteen years old) Owens contacts Julie, telling her that Mobutu's days are numbered and she may finally publish My Ishmael. It is a book I give as a gift to every student I know when they graduate. Ishmael praises the utter strength of human innovation, citing positive examples from the Industrial Revolution, and claims that this will lead and has already led to a diversity of models, including the Sudbury school, the Gesundheit! Years later, after the corrupt dictator of Zaire falls, Julie publishes her book. Ishmael is released safely into the wild, reunited with his own clan and family. Ishmael here comes mighty close to, but does not mention how American biologist Ernst Mayr, hypothesized that human intelligence is a lethal mutation which is likely to lead to the extinction of the human species, as well as most other species on the planet Earth. Ishmael's pupil in My Ishmael, however, is a twelve-year-old female protagonist, Julie Gerchak, and the plot details not only her visits to Ishmael but also her journey to Africa in order to prepare Ishmael's return to the wilds of his homeland. Should word of his specific teachings reach the Zaire head of state, Ishmael may be targeted as an enemy of the state. Ishmael informs Julie of his intention to return to his homeland. A telepathic gorilla and precocious young girl become unlikely friends. Another fantastic book by Daniel Quinn. However, the dialogue is very very very very stiff a lot of the time. Rarely have I read a book that sheds light on my own existence the way this book did. Next, Ishmael launches into a discussion of "Mother Culture" (the personified notion of the influence of our cultural mythology), our civilization's delusion that our intelligence is a curse inherently propelling us toward making terrible decisions, and our culture's fallacy that all human societies (or, at least, all the "civilized" ones) developed out of a state of foraging to a superior state of farming, neglecting the tribes all over the world who continue the foraging lifestyle. Although Julie wishes to publish her own book—this very story—Owens forbids her from doing so until Mobutu's regime (and with it, Nkemi's) is on the verge of collapse. It isn't so much that it's a fun read, or even that it's a well written book. Firstly, the whole message Ishmael gives is something I love and agree with completely. Owens's role as minister of the interior lasted only a few months before he realized Nkemi's corrupt dealings with Zaire's President Mobutu in order to keep his fledgling nation alive. The author comes back time and again to the idea that the species that are still around adapted and survived. Part 1: Sections 1-4. Wow. The novel begins with a description of a newspaper ad. This would be a great book club read! Did you set an extremely ambitious Reading Challenge goal back in January? Ishmael shares with her a number of stories and parables explaining the nature of human culture. They decided for themselves to conquer the world without care of the consequences to all other life. In particular, he introduces the idea of "takers" (totalitarian agriculturalist cultures that deplete all resources in a non-sustainable way), and "leavers" (nomadic cultures or farming cultures whose agriculture is sustainable rather than totalitarian). This is a story that will change the way you view our educational system and view society as a whole. October 6th 1998 We had it right at one point and then we abandoned all that worked to reinvent the wheel. Quinn tries to convey many similar ideas as in Ishmael, but in this book, Ishmael's lessons are targeted to a twelve-year-old girl. Really makes you think about what you can do personally to cultivate more of a modern day tribal society rather than the every-man-for-himself society we live in now.

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