My 2017 part-poetry, part-graphic novel book Woke: A Field Guide For Utopia Preppers is now available in hardcover! And it is such a beautiful thing. The softcover is like a dog-eared, back-of-the-jeans pocket book that you take out in a quiet moment on the train. In hardback, it’s more like a full-color bedtime book for adults. So to celebrate, I’m also releasing it as a pay-as-you-feel PDF for the digital, the curious, the skeptical, and the empty of wallet.

Here are a few reviews from people who bought it:

From Daniel King:

Amazing body of work from an absolute genius! You can feel the life Caitlin breathes into her poetry coming off in waves as you read through this book. Great illustrations also – beautifully artistic and add to the world she’s creating in with her words! A real artistic achievement. Let’s hope this works…

From “Missing-Snowman”:

Seriously trippy. Caitlin is either extremely woke or rabidly well read. I suspect both. Most won’t get this book but if you’re reading this then don’t hesitate. This is one of the very few belongings I would grab when exiting my house if it were on fire. The artwork is inspired, the poetry is consensus conscious breaking, the end result is nothing short of magic.

From Stephen:

I love Caitlins usual writing, and was aware before purchase that this wasn’t her usual fare. It differs very much from the writing on her blog and on Medium, but it’s still very good. It’s a modern poem, to ‘waking up’, being self-aware, and desiring more than we’re getting from the world (not in a material sense obviously). If you’re expecting reams of studied prose, change your expectations. Be open to a different form of writing though, and you’ll love it. It’s definitely a poem for dreamers, and those who believe the world can be better.

From “The Amazing Morse”, author James Rozoff:

Somewhere within the bowels of an ivy-covered university building sits a professor engrossed in a book written by a long-dead master of language and thought and emotion, oblivious to the fact that there is one among us now who is every bit as worthy of such attention. Were he to become aware of Caitlin Johnstone, he would likely not appreciate her worth, so alienated from what the words he reads once meant as applied to what once was the here and now. His is the enjoyment of a pubescent boy reading articles in the Penthouse Forum who would flee in fear from a real live female in the flesh. His is the view of one who sits upon a hill to watch as armies battle for supremacy, quite certain of what side he is rooting for but far too comfortable to enter the fray. He would not appreciate this book, though his spiritual ancestors will someday read it from the safety of their libraries and recognize its brilliance.


This, this is the sort of book which led humanity to create printing presses. This is the kind of work which inspires, which illuminates, which transcends. This goes on the top of your bookshelf, sitting next to the elites which you have spent a lifetime searching out. And if you are fortunate to have spent a lifetime being introduced to the works of the great thinkers, great writers, and great souls, you will gaze at that top shelf and figure out which one will have to be bumped in order to fit Woke on that shelf.


Don’t worry, it is quite a small book. No need to demote War And Peace or Les Miserables to a lesser position. But surely there is something you read in your youth, something that once moved you but will appear not quite so worthy after you have read Woke. Or perhaps you need not worry about where to fit it on your shelf: despite its modest size, it is a possession you will want to keep near you, like a beloved pet or a copy of Waldon. It is a constant source of joy even though it is a reminder of the sorrow that exists and the impermanence of all things. Beauty and sorrow are inseparable, but there is more of the former than the latter to be found here.


You will cry often. Or rather, I cried often. I don’t want to project my reaction onto you, though I deeply hope and wish that you share a similar appreciation of this book. I cried tears of sadness, and joy, tears of rage, and amazement. Quite often I cried tears of laughter, though I wasn’t always certain what had caused it. More than anything, I cried the sort of tears you shed when staring at something too brilliant to behold for more than brief moments (But the blurring of my eyes allowed me time to reflect upon the revelations and savor their sweetness, so that worked out fine).


This is a book that looks unflinchingly at who we are as a species, the good and the bad, the hopes and the fears. Caitlin recognizes, more clearly than anyone else seems to recognize, the situation as it now stands, and appeals to our better angels to rise above the miasma in which we find ourselves.


Woke speaks to the entirety of a human being, speaks to the child within us as well as the more mature aspects of who we are. Perhaps if you have not allowed yourself to continue to learn and grow as you’ve aged, this might not appeal to you. Or perhaps those who have completely lost that wonder we are capable of as children might not appreciate the affinity for awe and miracles this book contains, despite the fact Caitlin sees the darkness and danger quite clearly. Woke is the work of a human being in touch with the myriad aspects of what it means to be human. It is sophisticated, mature, playful, profound.


I imagine a great round table in Heaven where the writers and thinkers of the ages gather round to discuss all the issues that absorbed them while on Earth. Jack London calls out for another drink and Oscar Wilde seconds the notion, wondering when that brew bottled by Socrates millennia ago and still sitting on the shelf is going to finally be opened. Chuang Tzu sits quietly, while Victor Hugo, newly arrived from purgatory, is sufficiently chastised so that he feels it is not his place to say anything. But Plato reminds him that it is reserved for the time that Caitlin arrives to join the discussion. Oscar’s eyes lose their familiar glint of irreverence and expose the soul behind the wit for a moment. Indeed, there is a bit of a hush about the table as they realize what is at stake for the humanity for which so many of them have struggled and sacrificed for. Although they long for the day when Caitlin can claim her seat among them, they realize the import of her work in this crucial moment of human history. And then Erasmus cracks open a copy of Woke and begins to read to the others. It is part of a far larger book written by countless authors who felt the need to observe and chronicle the human story. And everyone at the table knows they can turn to the last page at any time they want to see how the story ends. But they are storytellers, and they appreciate the beauty of a story well-told. They appreciate such notions as pacing and story arc, and they are acutely aware that they have arrived at a crucial part of the story.


They are the woke, and they are eagerly anticipating that the rest of humanity finally joins them in this chapter.

You can get this book in paperback or hardcover by clicking here, and you can get the PDF by clicking here.


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16 responses to “Hardcover And PDF Release Of “Woke: A Field Guide For Utopia Preppers””

  1. If you ever feel that some people aren’t really human then read this story about some ants and then decide;
    How to become ‘ant-i-social’


    Science Newsfrom research organizations
    How to become ‘ant-i-social’
    Study shows erosion of ant genome tied to loss of functional, behavioral and social traits in 3 inquiline species
    May 18, 2021
    Arizona State University
    In the insect world, there are rare instances of ants shrugging off their societal duties to become free-loading parasites amongst their free-living relatives. Now, in a new study, an international collaboration of researchers teamed up to discover and collect these rare ant social parasites. Together, they have obtained and analyzed the full DNA genome sequences of three rare ‘social parasite’ leaf-cutting ant species (called Acromyrmex inquilines) to better understand the differences between them and their respective host species.

    Ants are renowned in the insect world for their complex social structure and behaviors. Workers and foragers support the queen, faithfully carrying out their social roles for the overall health of the colony. This complex “superorganism” — as scientists have dubbed it — has become a prime model to explore the genetic and behavioral roots of social organisms.


    Remarkably, there are also rare instances of ants not playing well with others and shrugging off their societal duties to become free-loading parasites amongst their free-living relatives.

    Now, in a new study published in Nature Communications, an international collaboration of researchers from Europe (the Universities of Münster and Copenhagen), South America (University of the Republic in Montevideo, Uruguay), and the U.S., (led by Arizona State University), teamed up to discover and collect these rare ant social parasites. Together, they have obtained and analyzed the full DNA genome sequences of three rare “social parasite” leaf-cutting ant species (called Acromyrmex inquilines) to better understand the differences between them and their respective host species.

    It’s the first time several species of socially parasitic ants could have their genomes sequenced.

    “Our findings advance our understanding of the genomic consequences of transitioning to a novel, highly specialized life history and provide detailed insights into the molecular evolution of social parasitism in ants,” said Christian Rabeling, an associate professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences and a corresponding author of the study.

    From social to social parasite

    The unusual social parasite transition is important to understand because the genomes of ants have evolved for more than 100 million years. A single major transition occurred to introduce the novel “superorganism” level of social organizational structure with queen-worker caste segregation and unconditional altruism. This superorganism was so successful, it produced a biodiversity of 17 subfamilies, 338 genera and more than 13,900 living species.


    “It is therefore no surprise that parallel shifts to a highly specialized socially parasitic behavior and lifestyle abandoning this fundamental ancestral condition, usually based on outbreeding and larger effective populations, leave significant genomic footprints,” said Rabeling. “The results of our analyses of just three of these species confirm that ant social parasites offer important study systems for identifying hallmarks of cooperative social colony life.

    And in doing so, their analyses have confirmed that over a time span of about a million and a half years, these ant species have each found independent, separate ways to evolve and become social parasites. The signatures of genome-wide and trait-specific genetic erosion were found to be most extreme in social parasite ants.

    Think of how it would start. A group of queen ants wants to just live in a colony without doing the work. And not work on the nest anymore. Next, the queen ants focus on solely producing new queens and males, and this small population size of social parasites would start frequent inbreeding to survive. This immediately reduces their genomic diversity over time. Then, over a blink in evolutionary time, due to natural selection and an increase in the prevalence of genetic drift, it would enhance the rates by which ancestral traits were lost while also slowing down the rates by which new, more adaptive traits could emerge.

    It’s almost like a ‘snooze and lose it’ phenomena occurred within the parasitic ant DNA to trigger the genome erosion.

    To prove this effect within the ant genome, the research team investigated the overall genomic structure and the individual genes that may be affected by this genomic decay. First, they found widespread evidence of genomic rearrangements and inversions that are hallmarks of instability and decay. Then, within gene networks, they identified 233 genes that showed evidence of relaxed selection in at least one of the social parasite branches and signatures of intensified selection in 102 genes. “Our analysis showed that gene family evolution at three of the four social parasite nodes is indeed largely characterized by gene losses,” said Rabeling.


    The genome losses and reductions most affected were in the social parasite ants’ sense of smell and to a lesser degree taste.

    Failing the sniff test

    Not only did some of the genes responsible for ant smell become lost over time, but as a result, the ants also showed a reduced size in the olfactory lobes in their brains when microCT scans were performed.

    “This is no surprise because ants predominantly communicate via chemical cues and have once been described as chemical factories,” explains Rabeling. “So, the loss of olfactory genes is correlated with an extreme transition of extensive morphological and behavioral changes.”

    This includes the reduction or complete loss of the worker caste system, simplified mouthparts, antennae and integuments, loss of certain hormonal glands, and a nervous system of reduced complexity likely associated with a drastically narrowed behavioral repertoire.

    From their comparative analysis, they could also put these changes into the larger perspective of evolutionary time. They were also able to date the origins of social parasitism within the leaf-cutting ant family tree.

    Two independent origins of social parasitism occurred in the ant genus Acromyrmex. Within this genus, A. heyeri, a social ant, is the host species of both A. charruanus and P. argentina parasitic species.

    First, a South American lineage of social ants (A. heyeri) separated from the last common (thought to be socially parasitic) ancestor of A. charruanus and P. argentina before the two social parasites diverged. Second, a Central American speciation event occurred when A. insinuator diverged from its host A. echinatior.

    Both origins of social parasitism are evolutionarily recent, estimated to be about 2.5 million years ago for the divergence between A. heyeri and the last common ancestor of A. charruanus and P. argentina, and about 1 million years ago for the divergence between A. insinuator and A. echinatior.

    “We infer that relaxed natural selection accelerated general genome erosion in social parasites and alleviated evolutionary constraints, which facilitated rapid adaptive evolution of specific traits associated with a socially parasitic lifestyle,” said Rabeling.

    Joy of discovery

    Why did it take so long to do the genome analysis? It turns out that the easiest part of the study may have been the comparative genome analysis. Finding the ants in the first place proved to be the greatest major hurdle. Why?

    Populations of ant social parasites are almost invariably small and patchily distributed. How patchy?

    Well, the last time that one of the species, P. argentina was seen in the wild was 1924, a time well before the discovery of DNA as the hereditary chemical unit of life.

    Rabeling remembers prior trips to South America that were in vain because they could not find P. argentina. Then, about a decade ago, a phone call from colleague Martin Bollazzi and study co-author changed his life.

    “Martin Bollazzi said his wife Leticia just re-discovered P. argentina!!!”

    Rabeling hopped on a plane as fast as he could. When he saw P. argentina up close, it was a moment of discovery he’ll never forget.

    “Leticia’s rediscovery of P. argentina was the find of a lifetime. What I especially love is to connect the ant field work and natural history observations with the new technologies like whole genome sequencing, and to have the opportunity to do so was such a joy.”

    Now, they could make their research dreams a reality by collecting P. argentina and put their field work-based hypotheses to the test by doing the first modern whole genome sequencing of social parasitic ants.

    Next steps

    Their results are not only important to understanding ants, but offer insights into the role of these genomic ‘loss-of-function’ study systems in other parasites and for identifying hallmarks of cooperative social colony life at both the phenotypic and the genomic levels.

    “Social parasites came to exploit the foraging efforts, nursing behavior and colony infrastructure of their hosts,” said Rabeling.

    Rabeling also points to other species, such as the Mexican blind cave-dwelling fish or other parasites such as tapeworms as examples of organisms that lost important traits over time. In each case, they have developed and exploited novel ecological niches. for their species survival.

    From these first 3 social parasite ant species, they have learned a lot. Next, they plan on future genomics studies of these ant social parasites to generate exciting further insights, particularly with long-read sequencing technologies allowing analyses in even greater detail.

    But Rabeling and his colleagues are now involved in another race against time — -as every year, more and more natural ant habitats are lost to deforestation and development. Now, our understanding of ant evolution depends on people to cooperate to save biodiversity — while we still can.

    “We hope such future studies can expand our knowledge on the signatures of the evolution of social behavior in ants, for which few other model systems can offer such species-level sample sizes of several dozens.”

    make a difference: sponsored opportunity

    Story Source:

    Materials provided by Arizona State University. Original written by Joe Caspermeyer. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

    Journal Reference:

    Lukas Schrader, Hailin Pan, Martin Bollazzi, Morten Schiøtt, Fredrick J. Larabee, Xupeng Bi, Yuan Deng, Guojie Zhang, Jacobus J. Boomsma, Christian Rabeling. Relaxed selection underlies genome erosion in socially parasitic ant species. Nature Communications, 2021; 12 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-23178-w
    Cite This Page:
    Arizona State University. “How to become ‘ant-i-social’: Study shows erosion of ant genome tied to loss of functional, behavioral and social traits in 3 inquiline species.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 May 2021. .

    Ant Societies’ Arms Race: Gene Activity in Defenders Depends on Invading Slavemaking Ants
    Feb. 28, 2019 — Temnothorax americanus is a slavemaking ant found in northeastern America. In a new study, biologists examined the special relationship between the parasites and their host and made an exciting …
    Why Rare Plants Are Rare
    Mar. 7, 2018 — Rare plant species suffer more from disease than commoner species. The fact that rare species are more susceptible to attack by micro-organisms living in the soil, such as fungi and bacteria, may in …
    In the Belly of the Devil: New Rare Ant Species Found in the Stomach of a Poison Frog
    Oct. 4, 2016 — While new ant species are usually discovered in surveys involving researchers searching through leaf litter, it turns out that sifting through the stomach contents of insect-eating frogs might prove …
    New Ant Species Paratopula Bauhinia (Golden Tree Ant) Discovered
    Aug. 3, 2016 — A research group has described and named a new species of ant from Hong Kong, Paratopula bauhinia, or the rare “Golden Tree …
    ScienceDaily shares links with sites in the TrendMD network and earns revenue from third-party advertisers, where indicated.
    The chemical ecology of protective microbiomes in plant roots and leafcutter ants
    Sarah Worsley et al., Access Microbiology, 2019
    Genome mining of ant-associated bacteria to identify novel secondary metabolites
    Jacob Hamilton et al., Access Microbiology, 2019
    High‐dimensional real‐parameter optimization using the differential ant‐stigmergy algorithm
    Peter Korošec et al., International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics, 2009
    Comparative pangenomics of Campylobacter species
    Evangelos Mourkas et al., Access Microbiology, 2019
    Discovery of novel highly divergent RNA viruses in European rodents and rabbits
    Theocharis Tsoleridis et al., Access Microbiology, 2019
    Efficient VLSI architecture for FIR filter design using modified differential evolution ant colony optimization algorithm
    Tintu Mary John et al., Circuit World, 2020
    Genomic and epidemiological insights into chlamydial epitheliocystis
    Alyce Taylor-Brown et al., Access Microbiology, 2019
    Deciphering adaptation through mobile element pangenome composition
    Nicholas Waters et al., Access Microbiology, 2019

  2. Former Pentagon chief Mark Esper joins Epirus board

    Former U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper is joining the board of directors at Epirus, the company announced, the latest move by the former Raytheon executive to reenter the world he left to join the Trump administration four years ago

  3. I bought the pdf version to avoid amazon. Love it.

  4. Thanks for sharing your being!

    Still in the preparatory stages of being…

    The physical body is but an observational reflection of a natural finite, biological aging process. As a reflection of the lapse of space time, it is of no significance whatsoever.

    The mind of man, perhaps one day, sooner rather than too late, may be capable of comprehending this fact. It is surely an entirely different story when it comes to the infinity of space. The ever-being spirit, as with the ever-expanding cosmos, is infinite, and therefore, unquantifiable – immeasurable.

    The human mind is limited by being contained within a physical structure. Brain and mind are NOT separate structures just as cosmic consciousness is NOT separate from the whole. Prove it – the immediate response is to the impossible – they say!
    Yet blind faith belief, in institutional religions origins as created in the minds of man, dare NOT ever even be questioned.

    In the seventeenth century Descartes was slightly off the mark. Being foremost a mathematician, he was mostly a lineal thinker. Contemporary science is NOT much further along!

    The root of addictions, says the spiritual philosopher, Eckart Tolle, is the “pseudo-needs of the egoic mind.” Addictive needs are NOT authentic needs! “The physical needs for food, water, shelter, clothing and ‘basic comforts’ could be easily met for all humans on the planet.”
    This statement is almost the verbatim of what the untrammeled conscious conscience of a privileged ‘white’ child in Africa, more than sixty years ago was telling himself; when total world population was way less – by more than half of what it was at the time the above cited quote was written. Yet all the actual need issues cited above have become even more profoundly dire for an ever-vaster majority of the global populace. Why?

    Because of this unconscious “insane and rapacious need for more” driven by the addictive “pseudo needs of the egoic minds” of those few, who through immemorial practices, by any and all means necessary, have been addictively attempting to usurp hegemonic global power, in all its forms.

    This is the overt expression of the insanity of the rapacity of the behavior of the egoic mind in action!
    The obvious in all this, at the present moment in historical time, is why, if they have the last say, Julian Assange will be incarcerated until death.

    Another ominous warning to add to the list of imminent threats to all of humanity: the plunderers see themselves as separate – exceptionals, definitely NOT willing even to recognize themselves as part of the whole.

    “If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.’ – Rene Descartes

  5. Dear Caitlin,
    From one author to another: Congrats on your latest creation! At the same, don’t get too hooked on kudos–as in Mr. Rozoff’s rambling exercise in pretense that includes Erasmus reading your book to other notables in heaven. Stay humble in spite of your greatness, for the greatest people are also the most humble!
    Horror/thriller author S.A. Hogan

  6. Want it but not Amazon.

  7. Laura Macdonald Avatar
    Laura Macdonald

    The link is for Amazon and I won’t use them. I’m in the UK, where can I buy a copy?

  8. It was pretty good. I’m gonna try that thing with whisky and gatorade some day.

  9. Will you be flogging this at any local markets in Melbourne Caitlin?
    C’mon, do a Jim Cairns.
    Amazon is anathema to Truth.

  10. I’ve had ‘Woke’ for awhile. Love the artwork; it’s one of the most re-readable books I own. I just got ‘Notes From the Edge…’ the other day. From Amazon, no less (ha ha). It’s the first book I’ve ever read that even the copyright notice totally rocks.

  11. Wow, Caitlin! Can’t wait to read it and love supporting your work!

  12. Caitlin: I took the PDF option. Thank-you. I have just read it – a work of tender genius. Of it all – Julian (2017-2021 – the torture continues way beyond human reasoning) – and the start and finish – particularly moved me. The illustrations have a dreamlike Shaun Tan quality.

  13. If this book describes and advocates practical, collaborative, revolutionary actions which will effectively precipitate the downfall of this evil empire AND create the conditions for producing a new and better civilization, then I will buy and read the book. All previous efforts to create a near-perfect world have failed, such as mass civil disobedience and democratic reform, civil wars and uprising, Marxist revolutions, technocratic rule and imperialism. What action does Caitlin advocate?

  14. Can I get it at my local independent book store? Not Amazon please!

      1. We live behind enemy lines. The internet is their most sophisticated tracking system and yet here we are.

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