Friday, August 2, 2013

Ishmael, Five Years Later

In 2008, I was becoming ever more involved in the life of the Unitarian Universalist church I had joined. I traveled to Ft. Lauderdale for General Assembly and heard Van Jones deliver a stirring lecture that presaged the presidency of Barack Obama. I read a book by George Lakoff that did a marvelous job of explaining how the American political climate had come to assume its shape during the previous 25-30 years. And I read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.

                                                     

This week I have picked it up again for a re-read. While I still agree wholeheartedly with the message, the medium is no more impressive now than the last time. In fact, I have come to the reluctant conclusion that Ishmael is like Atlas Shrugged for liberals (mercifully, though, only about a tenth as many pages!). And a glance at Amazon confirms that many other readers feel the same way.

But if you've never encountered this novel, it's still well worth your time if population growth and climate change concern you. Why did the author feel the need for a telepathic gorilla? Who knows? Just ponder the discourse between Ishmael and the narrator...take a few notes...think about it and consider spreading the word in your favorite social-media venue.