4. My Ishmael: A Sequel

ishmael-sequelDaniel Quinn, 1998

Number 4 on my book list to read in 2014. (may or may not be read as numbered)

Last year I read Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit. The book started out a little weird, but I kept reading intrigued by where it might be heading. The book’s themes gave me a whole new way to look at myself and humanity. Quinn ask us to question the narratives we take as being fact and to examine how we see ourselves as human and our place in the universe. Quinn’s main character Ishmael claims the world is divide into takers and leavers, with the dominant global culture being that of takers. That’s our culture folks. Takers believe humanity is at the center of the universe. Do you believe everything of importance revolves around us humans? Is it OK for humans to knowingly alter the earth to the point of climate change or nuclear disasters to serve our way of life? What of the other species on the plant? Are we the center of the universe?

While I can’t say Ishmael changed my life, I do think it provides clues to how we humans can save ourselves from ourselves and not be the first species to document our own extinction.

I am reading his book, My Ishmael: A Sequel, hoping to find more clues for how to create a narrative to contribute to a dialogue about the future of humanity. I don’t know much about this book. I’m just hoping it is as good as the first one I read. I appreciate the profound ideas Quinn is pushing us to think about so much, I have started to send Ishmael to friends.

1. Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 1968

2. Ali’s Greatest Fight – Finished last week of February
Bingham, Howard L., Wallace, Max and Ali, Muhammad, 2012

3. The Sixth Extinction
Elizabeth Kolbert, 2014

4. My Ishmael: A Sequel
Daniel Quinn, 1998

5. Their Eyes Were Watching God
Zora Neale Hurston, 1937

6. Blues People: Negro Music in White America
Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones), 1963

7. 12 Years a Slave
Solomon Northup

8. The Art of Waging Peace: A Strategic Approach to Improving Our Lives and the World
Paul K. Chappell, 2014

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About Michael T. McPhearson

Currently Michael is executive director of Veterans For Peace and co-chair of the Don't Shoot Coalition, A Saint Louis based coalition that formed in the aftermath of Michael Brown's police killing death in Ferguson, MO. From August 2010 to September 2013, Michael worked as the National Coordinator with United For Peace and Justice. He is a former board member of Veterans For Peace and as well as Executive Director from 2005 to 2010. He works closely with the Newark based People’s Organization for Progress and the Saint Louis centered Organization for Black Struggle. Michel also publishes the Mcphearsonreport.org expressing his views on war and peace, politics, human rights, race and other things. Michael also launched Reclaimthedream.org website as an effort to change the discourse and ignite a new conversation about Dr. Martin Luther King’s message and what it means to live in just and peaceful communities.