Tricking Power into Performing Acts of Love SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR




From local author Shep Siegel, author of Disruptive Play: The Trickster in Politics and Culture.

People and cultures draw on a mix of archetypes, the attributes of personality that make them who they are—Warrior, Caretaker, Magician, Fool, Hero, Sage—and Trickster.

Tricking Power into Performing Acts of Love is about how people who have kept their child-like sense of play—Tricksters—view and behave in the world. And it’s about what could happen if society made more of that animating force.

Today, an infantilized infatuation with the Warrior archetype tears society apart. The best response comes out of a more peaceful and playful approach.

In a time of great political frustration and culture wars, Tricking Power into Performing Acts of Love which casts a clear eye on the dilemmas and proposes the pursuit of fun and the refusal to take power seriously as a timeless and potent political strategy.


“The author of this book has a unique but important message for society: namely, that the comedians and jesters (following the footsteps of Shakespeare’s “Fool”) are not merely to be tolerated by society but are in fact necessary for its health. And so. he describes in great detail the role of the Trickster, who tears down tropes, pokes holes in cliches, and makes us think.”

“Through riddles, pranks, gags, pratfalls, and stories, the Trickster infuses the spirit of disruptive play into the world, reveals the oppression that underpins power hierarchies, and in so doing frees human consciousness from the trance of the ordinary, allowing love and freedom to rule. Along the way Siegel gives many examples of Trickster energy in world culture, and it is in these deeply researched examples that this book really shines. There are riveting chapters on Slapstick, The Marx Brothers, the African trickster god Eshù Elégba, Lord Buckley, Yoko Ono, and much more.”

“…a delightful, entertaining and fascinating look at the mythological Trickster and those who channel(ed) the Trickster – people like Lord Buckley, Buster Keaton, Groucho Marx, Mae West, Muhammad Ali, and so on… Exploring topics such as artistic freedom, racism, morality, and power, the author’s thorough research and fresh takes on all avenues and targets of the Trickster leave you with a deep understanding of the essential role of the Trickster, not just historically, but also in the present day. A great read and a timely topic!”

“[Siegel] provides a deeply thoughtful, thorough and optimistic examination of how these creative tricksters cross boundaries and playfully challenge power. See the jesters and their josh join the pranksters, painters, performers and other artists who revel in historical riffs and illustrate an essence of being human that lives within a brighter more playful future.”

“The writing is dense and captivating, dancing between the extremes of scholarship and journalism, sobriety and gleefulness. I don’t agree with the author that Play will save the world, but it surely will do it no harm, and we could use more of it. This is an essential book for those who are concerned with the path that the world is on and are looking for options.”

“Siegel has not lost his faith in the power of prankish truth telling, to serve ultimately to make world a healthier, better place, even if one may not always like the jester, whatever his or her name. Siegel has helped me learn to distinguish between plain old humor, and tricking and the trickster, which always involves (I think) uncovering suppressed truth. A fascinating read.”