4. Historical Model (Ishmael)


In the novels "Ishmael" & "The Story of B", Daniel Quinn gives a very different view of history than the one that is universally taught us in schools & accepted in our culture.

The Agricultural Revolution

Daniel Quinn proposes that the modern environmental crisis has its origins in the agricultural revolution that began about ten thousand years ago. 

At that time, humans developed a vision of themselves as the pinnacle of creation--a species for whom the entire earth was intended. salvation depends upon our reclaiming our ability to live in harmony with the natural world. 





The "Cradle of Civilization"



What is "Our Culture"?


Quinn proposes that our culture is the global culture of East & West that has embraced "totalitarian agriculture" & which expanded to take over most of the planet, by its dramatically growing its population (which he argues is a direct result of producing more food).

The Leavers

What are most commonly referred to as "the native people" are termed 'The Leavers' in the Ishmael book.    These are the people who "live in the hands of the Gods": who leave to the deities the decisions about who should live & who should die.

The Takers

& the other branch of humanity which adopted totalitarian agriculture he calls 'The Takers' - those who take on to themselves the godlike power of deciding what should live & what should die. 

A fundamental difference between the two very different paradigms (or mind-sets, assumptions, models, etc.) on which the quite distinct cultures are based is that Takers assume that land (& everything on, in & under it) can belong to us, Leavers assume we belong to the land.

Cain & Abel

There are two stories in the Bible which make a lot more sense when read as stories that the Leavers told about the Takers (us) ... but that then we adopted as our own ...  


Two Trees in the Garden of Eden

see the presentations on the first page of this chapter, for these stories in full










The Garden of Eden

Daniel Quinn inspired story of the Garden of Eden. What the story of Eden really means. The story of the agricultural revolution.



Daniel Quinn talking about his novel Ishmael




On Saving the World

An excerpt from an interview in "Thinking Allowed with Jeffrey Mishlove



Daniel Quinn on Facts of World Hunger

Here Quinn talks about the difference between agriculture & totalitarian agriculture



Globalization Impact 

why are we 'devouring the world'



Quinn Lecture 2009

Part 1

YouTube Video


Part 2



Part 3

YouTube Video



Part 4

YouTube Video






Note that the fans of Quinn's books have put a few of them in you tube, in a great effort of creative collaboration which you can enjoy here (although reading the books is also recommended ...)

See Daniel Quinn Books in this e-book



Daniel Quinn


Daniel Quinn is the prize-winning author of the controversial best-seller Ishmael, The Story of B and Providence.

Quinn does not identify himself as an "environmentalist," pointing out that the term evokes the notion of something that is "out there," and somehow "not us."

 The typical conception of environmentalism, Quinn argues, is one of a false-dichotomy --- a false division that says there's "the environment," and then there's "us humans" living in the environment (and somehow not a part of it).

More about him in Wikipedia

Subpages (1): Daniel Quinn Books