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Ishmael School & Library Binding – 1 May 1995
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Although it's possible to take issue with the author for creating paper tigers which he then knocks down, or for not having his characters mount the strongest possible arguments against his thesis, I found it almost impossible not to be carried along by the flow of his argument, and to reach the same conclusions.
My criticisms are only two (and I'm not sure the second really counts as a criticism, more a comment). My first criticism is that I found the book took a while to get going. So if you are reading it then I encourage you to stick with it - it really is worth it!
The second criticism/comment is that it's not clear what to comes next! Now I know more or less in precisely what way we're broken as a culture, but it's not clear what I personally can do about it. It's been a few days since I finished, and I desperately don't want to drift back into my "taker" cultural view of the world, but given how embedded everything around me is in it, I struggle with how to improve things. To quote the marvelous Anne Lamott, I need to take it one bird at a time, I guess...
In fact, everyone should read this.
The other type of person is ready to hear the message, and allows the book to explain why despite all of human advances in civilisation, there is still something fundamentally wrong with modern human culture. These people can see the bigger picture than what is written in mere words, and are ready to help others see the message of the book too. These people like myself, don't want the world destroyed and don't want the human race to end soon.
On the cover there is a quote from Jim Britell, Whole Earth Review. He says "From now on I will divide the books I have read into two categories - the ones I read before Ishmael and those read after". Nail on the head Mr Britell!
I have just ordered The Story of B and then I'll go on to My Ismael.
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