“An all-in history of, and love letter to, this one-of-a-kind event. If you’ve been there, or want to go, you couldn’t possibly find better companions than Neil Shister and his engaging book.”–Daniel Okrent, author of Last Call and The Guarded Gate
To reserve your seat, please purchase a copy of Radical Ritual in advance by speaking to a bookseller or ordering from our website.
Through interviews with fabled Burning Man personages, Radical Ritual traces the festival’s evolution from the first scrap wood bonfire on a San Francisco beach to the week-long extravaganza in Black Rock City. Written from Neil Shister’s perspective as a five-time participant, journalist, and student of American culture, Radical Ritual presents Burning Man as vitally, historically important, a significant player in the avant-garde, forging new social paradigms as liberal democracy unravels. Burning Man’s contribution to this new order is post-post modern, a fusion of sixties humanism with state-of-the-art Silicon Valley wizardry. Shister is not alone in his opinion. Led by conservative activist Grover Norquist, the Cato Institute recently held an event on what libertarians can learn from Burning Man. The festival intertwines conservative and progressive ideas. On one hand it is a celebration of self-reliance, personal accountability, and individual freedom; on the other hand it is based on strong values of inclusion, consensual decision-making, and centered, collaborative endeavor.
Neil Shister has been a correspondent with Time, television critic for the Miami Herald, and editor of Atlanta magazine. He’s taught at Hampshire College, Boston University, and The George Washington University. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Côte d’Ivoire (1968-1970). He lives in Washington, D.C.
Harley Dubois is a founding board member and chief transition officer, Burning Man Project.