Synopses & Reviews
If a team of Martian anthropologists were to study our culture, their initial findings might read something like this: These people have the strange idea that the thing they call civilization is some sort of final, unsurpassable invention. Even though vast numbers of them suffer in this oppressively hierarchical system, and even though it appears to be plunging them toward a global catastrophe, they cling to it as if it were the most wonderful thing (as they quaintly say) since sliced bread. That a more agreeable (and less catastrophic) system exists BEYOND civilization, seems to be entirely unthinkable to them.
In Beyond Civilization, Daniel Quinn has made it his task to think the unthinkable. We all know there's no one right way to build a bicycle, no one right way to design an automobile, no one right way to construct a pair of shoes, but we're convinced there must be only one right way for people to live--and the one we have is it, no matter what. Even if we hate it, we must cling to it. Even if it drags us to the brink of extinction, we must not let it go.
Many other peoples have built civilizations--and then walked away from them. Quinn examines the Maya, the Olmec, the people of Teotihuacán, and others, who did just that. But they all walked away moving backward--to an earlier lifestyle. Quinn's goal in this book is to show how we can walk away moving forward, to a new lifestyle, one which encourages diversity instead of suppressing it. Not a "New World Order," but rather a New Personal Order. Not legislative change at the governmental level, but rather incremental change at the human level.
This is a guidebook for people who want to assert control over their destiny and recover the freedom to live at a scale and in a style of their own choosing--and starting now, today, not in some distant utopian future.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 191-194) and index.
About the Author
DANIEL QUINN is the award-winning author of Ishmael, The Story of B, and My Ishmael. He lives in Houston, Texas.