Mr. Quinn was a philosopher and author based in Houston who wrote a number of fictional and factual books about the interrelationships among the human species and the rest of the community of life. Perhaps his best known books are those in the Ishmael trilogy, including Ishmael, My Ishmael, the Story of B, which involve a kind of parable of sustainability, a Socratic dialogue between a wise gorilla and a human student regarding humans’ place and responsibilities on the planet. One of the central insights described in these and Quinn’s other books is that agriculture’s excessive production and storage of food has allowed human population to grow beyond sustainable levels, and at the expense of the other organisms with whom we share Earth. Due to the popularity of his writings, a number of websites and groups have sprung up to discuss and further Mr. Quinn’s ideas, including www.ishmael.com and www.friendsofishmael.org.
Interview InformationOctober 20, 2003
Reels 2269 and 2270