By Steven T. Jones aka Scribe, CCC Publishing, $17.95, 288 pages
“It isn’t the party, lights, music – or even the art – that had come to define Burning Man. It was its spirit, its ethos, that certain burner something.”
Did you know that each year, for the past 25 years, people have gathered in Nevada’s barren landscape to celebrate art, change, community, music and life? This giant party is called Burning Man and for one week in late August Black Rock Desert becomes home to over 50,000 people. The Tribes of Burning Man: How An Experimental City in the Desert is Shaping the New American Counterculture is journalist Steven T. Jones’ new book. In it he provides a never-before-seen look at the event. He also includes the historical background of Burning Man and discusses the people who have helped make it the most popular countercultural event in the world. Jones, aka Scribe (his playa name), reveals the social impact Burning Man has on American society. Jones is a burner himself who has been a member of several tribes and has participated in building different art pieces and theme camps. Readers will enjoy this inside look at Burning Man and all it has come to symbolize. Although one of the basic principles of Burning Man is to leave no trace behind, this book is sure to leave an imprint on your heart and mind.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin