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Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Mai 1995

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“A thoughtful, fearlessly low-key novel about the role of our species on the planet . . . laid out for us with an originality and a clarity that few would deny.”—The New York Times Book Review

“[Quinn entraps] us in the dialogue itself, in the sweet and terrible lucidity of Ishmael’s analysis of the human condition. . . . It was surely for this deep, clear persuasiveness of argument that Ishmael was given its huge prize.”—The Washington Post

“It is as suspenseful, inventive, and socially urgent as any fiction or nonfiction book you are likely to read this or any other year.”—The Austin Chronicle

“Deserves high marks as a serious—and all too rare—effort that is unflinchingly engaged with fundamental life-and-death concerns.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


A man and a great ape conduct a series of philosophical conversations in a work that presents a new vision of evolution and humankind and asks the question: does the Earth belong to humans, or do humans belong to the Earth?.

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Format: Taschenbuch
If every person on this planet would read this book, our planet would actually be a pleasant place to live in. In this well-written piece of "fiction", Daniel Quinn explains his theory of the emergence of civilization and its logical consequences.
Ishmael, a gorilla who lives in a flat and is offering seminar lessons, expresses his view on humans. From this humorous perspective, Daniel Quinn goes back to the roots of civilization. He examines the early chapters of the Bible, offers alternative meanings and explanations. He explains the differences between tribalism and modern civilization, but does not tell the reader how to life (he attempts that in one of his later works, "Beyond Civilization").
If you read this book you will understand why you are the way society has made you. If everybody reads this book and uses the knowledge gained (subconsciously) to teach the next generation, humanity may still have the hope not to destroy itself. A must-read for every human being who might raise kids.
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Von Ein Kunde am 25. März 1999
Format: Taschenbuch
While reading the reviews of this book, I was overwhelmed with the number of responses as well as the extremes in the ratings of Ishmael. The fact that a book can generate such extremes in opinions says quite a bit about the power of the book. I read this book for a philosophy class in college-- and am forever grateful that I did. It completely changed the way I viewed the world- and brought further understanding to a favorite bumper sticker of mine: 'if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention'. The point is, I am paying attention, and I am outraged. However, I am left to wonder, what now? I feel like now, I KNOW something I didn't know before, yet the point Quinn made in the beginning remains true. Even with this new found knowledge, I won't be saving the world from itself tomorrow. Instead I will get out of bed and go to a mundane job, like far too many other people out there. I will continue on in this Taker culture, because there is not the option to drop out of society and live the way of the Leavers. This book opened my eyes to so much I had never seen, yet when all was said and done, I am frustrated and left without a thing to do with my outrage. I wonder if the people who gave this book one star read the same book I did. It seems to me as if they completely missed the point.
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Von Ein Kunde am 13. Mai 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
Daniel Quinn's "Ishmael" is one of the most important and thought provoking books on the market today. It begins "Teacher seeks pupil, must have an earnest desire to save the world, apply in person." A man goes to find the teacher and finds he is not an ordinary teacher in any sense of the term. The book is the man's account of his days as a student with Ishmael. This book challenges many of the beliefs that are so built into our culture that they're rarely thought about. Ishmael is fundamentally about two stories... one lived for the past 10,000 years by people called "Takers" which have conquered nearly the whole world. The Taker's is a story about rule and conquest, a story that considers man flawed and unable to live in the world without destroying it. But there is another story to be in... one that man lived for millions of years and that made him no more harm to the world than any other animal. This is the story of the Leavers, one that was lived for millions of years and is still lived in some places in the world where the Takers haven't wiped it out. This is a story that enables humans to live in the world without causing it's destruction. It also works extremely well for those living it. These people don't have nearly the problems that we do... and it's not because they're noble... but because they have another story to be in-- one that works! (Imagine THAT!)
This book explains the whole concept of what it means to be living a story and describes the two stories that have been enacted on earth by humans. It's an amazing book of hope. It doesn't say that man doesn't belong here or that humans are bad. No, this isn't a book like that at all. This book offers hope! It's a must read.
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Format: Taschenbuch
Ishmael is one of the best, if not the best book I have ever read. I know that I will fail to describe the great impact it had on me, but I know one thing for sure, It's a must read. Quinn does an excellent job of both challenging and stimulating the intellect. This is one book you truly get something out of. From Quinn's views of Genesis, the Agricultural Revolution, the environmental destruction all the "Taker" are causing, and the human cultural myth, they tell a story of how only the "Leavers" truly know how to live.
Ishmael describes how things came to be this way and by doing so contradicts every thing Mother Culture has told the Takers. "Mother Culture, whose voice has been in your ear since the day of your birth, has given you an explanation of how things came to be this way, and it is terribly wrong." This is what Ishmael describes and uses to explain how the Takers can justify taking over the world and destroying everything in its path. By doing this the Takers have lead evolution into a dead end.
I know that this is a fictitious work of literature but all the points Ishmael makes throughout are very valid ones. The ideas brought forth by Quinn challenge us to rethink everything we've ever held dear, but most importantly, they are ideas that could save us. Quinn's views are almost prophetic. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an open mind and an "earnest desire to save the world." Remember, "Any species that exempts itself from the rules of competition ends up destroying the community in order to support its own expansion." Don't let it happen to us.
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