Synopses & Reviews
A provocative look at the extraordinary annual Burning Man festival--held each year before Labor Day, and drawing thousands of people from all walks of life to the forbidding Black Rock Desert in Nevada--spotlights the radically self-reliant and vibrantly creative community that gathers for a week-long stay that culminates in the burning of a symbolic wooden man. The glamorous and anarchic aspects of the makeshift city--ideas that are at once ingenious and unimaginable in normal society--include a three-story temple composed of discarded dinosaur puzzle pieces, a giant flame-spewing metal-lotus flower, and a glowing white whale sailing over the starry desert sky. The magnificent spirit of a festival where money and spectators are not allowed is captured here, bringing a piece of the whimsical, strange, and enlightened energy to those who've never participated as well as to veterans wishing to reminisce.
This Is Burning Man tells the story of how the simple burning of a wooden man came to attract more than thirty thousand anarchists, Internet millionaires, ravers, academics, hippies, gearheads, punks, and suburban parents who travel to the Black Rock Desert each year to create an entirely alternate dimension. Brian Doherty captures the extraordinary spirit of the festival its whimsy, its danger, and its absurdity as well as the outrageous genius and folly of its artists and players. Whether you are a Burning Man veteran or couldn't imagine coping with the festivals often brutal desert setting and mad behavior, this book is an invitation to explore the radical creativity and exhilaration of being a Black Rock citizen. Welcome to the incendiary vision that is Burning Man. Welcome home.
About the Author
is the senior editor of Reason magazine. His articles have been published in Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, Spin, and Washington Post. He lives in Los Angeles.