Books on:Animal Rights
Food and Nutrition
Peace and Nonviolence
Trees and Forests
by Daniel Quinn
272 pages, paperback, Bantam, 1995
Ismael is an impassioned dialogue on our human future from a unique and illuminating perspective.
Praise for Ishmael
"A thoughtful, fearlessly low-key novel about the role of our species on the planet . . . The state of the planet and what is probably the only way to its salvation are laid out for us with an originality and a clarity that few would deny."--Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, The New York Times Book Review
Winner of the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship
" 'Man's destiny was to conquer and rule the world, and this is what he's done--almost. He hasn't quite made it, and it looks as though this may be his undoing. The problem is that man's conquest of the world has itself devastated the world. And in spite of all the mastery we've attained, we don't have enough mastery to stop devastating the world--or to repair the devastation we've already wrought. We've poured our poisons into the world as though it were a bottomless pit--and we go on gobbling them up. It's hard to imaging how the world could survive another century of this abuse, but nobody's really doing anything about it. It's a problem our children will have to solve, or their children.
" 'Only one thing can save us. We have to increase our mastery of the world. All this damage has come about through our conquest of the world, but we have to go on conquering it until our rule is absolute. Then, when we're in complete control, everything will be fine. We'll have fusion power. No pollution. We'll turn the rain on and off. We'll grow a bushel of wheat in a square centimeter. We'll turn the oceans into farms. We'll control the weather--no more hurricanes, no more tornadoes, no more droughts, no more untimely frosts. We'll make the clouds release their water over the land instead of dumping it uselessly into the oceans. All the life processes of this planet will be where they belong-- where the gods meant them to be--in our hands. And we'll manipulate them the way a programmer manipulates a computer.
" 'And that's where it stands right now. We have to carry the conquest forward. And carrying it forward is either going to destroy the world or turn it into a paradise--into the paradise it was meant to be under human rule.' "
Eco Books note: The ideas expressed in the above quote are ironic. Some of our readers are concerned that people may not understand this quote is ironic, and that the message of Ishmael is the opposite of the quote. Please note the irony.
Ishmael does not have a Table of Contents
Michael L. Kerr, Mon, 29 Jun 1998
I am rather disgusted with the description of the book Ishmael on your webpage. The quote that is used was the character being sarcastic and is not, I repeat, not the message of that book. It is also not the underlying theme of the book and gives a false impression of what the book's author intended the message to be. It is about how to save the world not how to conquer it! Those are just my feelings on the matter and I do wish you would consider putting some different passages on the page.