For me, I stopped trying to “change peoples minds” a long time ago because I realized that by changing who I am I inspire the people around me. Rather then spend time handing out copies of Ishmael (which I did at one time, and still encourage those who feel inspired to, to do so), I changed the way I lived and others caught on. Even Daniel Quinn says it’s better to give his books to people who ask for it. When I write or run my events, I put up posters and hand out flyers and send out press releases. I’m not interesting in “converting” people to my ideology. I’m interested in putting up a beacon so others who already share my feelings can connect with me and each other, and build something from there. I would never try to convince someone they “needed” to rewild. (or course, the current title of my book is “rewild or die” haha) but you get the idea. I don’t try to change minds, but I do through changing my own life as much as I can. By changing your own life, it builds curiousity in others and that leads to an open conversation with them about what you do. If they never were curious about what you do, they won’t give a shit about talking to you about it.
If I were to actually give a book to someone (which I can’t remember the last time I did that) it would be Endgames Vol I and II, without question. I agree with you Brian, that Quinns books have a sort of mental framework, but the more time passes, the more I think that framework creates blocks rather than promotes real change. (as seen in my “Daniel Quinn is Dead to Me” thread. He himself doesn’t believe that civ is inherently unsustainable, so he would never “promote” such a thing as rewilding. In fact, he always makes a point to talk down to those people who feel they need to “go back” to living in a primitive culture. Though I should say that I would never tell someone to “not hand out books” as you just never know and any information spreading like that is a good thing to me.
As far as “what actions to take” indirect vs. direct… I don’t really see them as two different things personally. Action is action. Change is change. Make whatever change you can. Make the change that your heart tells you to make.
Generally when I hear someone say, “There is no way we could take down civ on a large scale” what they really mean is, “I’m not curious about taking down civ on a large scale” or “I’m too scared to think about this on a large scale”. Both of these responses are fine. I’m too scared personally. But I’m not against the idea or that it isn’t possible. Get some Derrick Jensen in the hands of a few dis-enheartened soldiers returning from Iraq. Some people already have this training. You know? Everyone plays a different part in cultures. I don’t think it’s as “black and white” as “direct vs. indirect.” And I think that seeing it that way will only create endless debate. I recommend reading my “Rewild Frontier” chapter. (here I am, recommending my own shit! I’m such a fucking hypocrite!)