The Scene That Became Cities

Get the news you want

The Scene That Became Cities

What Burning Man Philosophy Can Teach Us about Building Better Communities

Author: Caveat Magister

  • This title has not been released yet. Enter your email below to sign up for a release-date notification that will include an exclusive coupon to receive 30% off the book plus free shipping!

Buy from Our Retail Partners

A practical and hilarious guide to Burning Man, its philosophy, why people do this to themselves, and how it matters to the world.

Over 30 years Burning Man has gone from being two families on a San Francisco beach to a global movement in which hundreds of thousands of people around the world create events on every continent. It has been the subject of fawning media profiles, an exhibit in the Smithsonian, and is beloved by tech billionaires. But does it matter? What does Burning Man actually have to offer us? The answer, Caveat Magister writes, is simple: Burning Man’s philosophy can help us build better communities. Communities in which the individual’s freedom to follow their own unique, authentic passions also brings them together in common purpose. Burning Man is a prototype, and Burning Man philosophy is a how-to manual for better communities, that, somehow, has no instructions. Just principles. Including hilarious and impossible stories from “the playa,” interviews with Burning Man’s founders and staff, and personal recollections of Larry Harvey (Burning Man’s founder, “Chief Philosophical Officer,” and the author’s close friend and colleague), The Scene That Became Cities introduces readers to the experience of Burning Man, explains why it spread, how it could impact fields as diverse as art, economics, and politics, and makes the ideas behind it accessible, actionable, and useful.


Product Info

Trim Size:
6 x 9
Page Count:
Release Date:

About the Author

For the last ten years, Caveat Magister, aka Benjamin Wachs, has been actively writing about Burning Man culture and engaging with Burning Man at the cutting edge of its philosophy, composing over 250 articles about it for the Burning Man website. By 2015, this work had made him, outside of Larry Harvey and his fellow founders, one of the leading interpreters of Burning Man within its own culture. In 2015, Larry Harvey asked Caveat, along with Burning Man's Director of Education, Stuart Mangrum, to sit on a committee, officially called the "Philosophical Center" of the Burning Man nonprofit.

Have Questions?

If you have questions about downloading or accessing digital files, please refer to our Tech Support page.

For general inquiries, please see our Customer Service page.

To request a review copy, please contact Bevin Donahue at

Back to Top