Books about Burning Man

Since the 1997 release of “Burning Man” by John Plunkett and Brad Wieners, dozens of titles have been published about the event and the culture. There is also a rich body of academic writing about Burning Man.



WBP-cover4x4 squareBurning Man – The World’s Biggest Playground by Peter Armenia

Worldview Publishing, 2015. ISBN978-0-692-49808-8

A New York photographer presents the Burning Man experience to children via colorful photographs and simple explanatory captions; interesting to adults as well.



Jewelry of Burning Man by Karen Christians, Christine Kristen (LadyBee) and George Post

Global Interprint, Inc., 2015  ISBN 978-0-9855284-1-6

This comprehensive book includes a 20-year collection of playa jewelry, the story of Oasis 47, a jewelry-making workshop and camp, and the stories of 52 makers who create and gift jewelry on the playa, with photos of the makers and their work. In addition to presenting the history of playa jewelry, this book gets to the heart of the Gift Economy.



Art of Burning Man by NK Guy

Taschen, 2015. ISBN 978-3-8365-5007-9

NKGuy, writer and photographer, presents 16 years of art on the playa, from 1998 through 2014, in this oversize book; his breadth of on-site experience lends much depth to this book. Introduction by David Best.


IMG_4839Playa Dust – Collected Stories from Burning Man, edited by Samantha Krukowski

Black Dog Publishing, UK 2014.  ISBN 978-1-908966-64-3

This compilation of essays by authors who are part of the universe of Burning Man engages the many ideas and landscapes on its periphery, revealing the complex nature and range of this annual pilgrimage to the Black Rock Desert.


Art on FireBurning Man: Art on Fire, by Jennifer Raiser

Race Point Publishing, 2014. ISBN 978-1937994372.

Well-curated survey of Burning Man art with beautiful photography by Sidney Erthal and Scott London, with and introduction by Larry Harvey.



Dancing with the Playa MessiahDancing with the Playa Messiah: A 21-Year Burning Man Photo Album, by George P. Post

Dragon Fotografix, 2012. ISBN 978-0985528409

A unique historical chronicle, featuring nearly 1,000 of George’s photographs from 1991-2011.
Available in our Marketplace.


Desert to DreamDesert to Dream: A Dozen Years of Burning Man Photography, by Barbara Traub

Immedium, 2011. ISBN 978-1597020268.

Barb’s photos from 1994-2003, with an introduction by Les Blank and an epilogue by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
Available in our Marketplace.


architectureBlack Rock City, NV: The Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man, by Phillipe Glade

Real Paper Books, 2011. ISBN 978-0983742807.

A compendium of the various innovative architectural styles of Black Rock City through the years.


People of Burning ManThe People of Burning Man, by Julian Cash and Jackie Cash

Self-published, 2011. ISBN: 978-0615469546

A decade of Julian’s playful, inventive portraits taken in a white tent on the playa.


Tribes of Burning ManThe Tribes of Burning Man: How an Experimental City in the Desert Is Shaping the New American Counterculture, by Steven T. Jones

Consciousness, 2011. ISBN 978-1888729290.

The author’s journey through Burning Man’s culture from 2004 through 2011.


Radical Burning DesertRadical Burning Desert – Seven Years of Burning Man Photography 2004-2010, by Tomas Loewy and Peter Ruprecht

Cool.pool.books, 2011. ISBN 978-0982792766.

Over 200 pages of photos spanning seven years in the desert.


Theater in a Crowded FireTheater in a Crowded Fire: Ritual and Spirituality at Burning Man, by Lee Gilmore

University of California Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0520260887.

“A model of academic writing – intelligent, concise and readable.” (Reno News and Review)


On the Edge of UtopiaOn the Edge of Utopia, by Rachel Bowditch

Seagull Books, 2010. ISBN 978-190649725.

A study of burning Man’s new types of performance, installation art, community and invented rituals that bridge ancient traditions to the 21st century.


Enabling Creative ChaosEnabling Creative Chaos: The Organization Behind the Burning Man Event, by Katherine K. Chen

University of Chicago Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0226102382.

“Chen has succeeded in writing an engaging ethnography of Burning Man and skillfully developed its implications for organizational theory and managerial practice.”(Rakesh Khurana, Harvard Business School)


Burning Man LiveBurning Man Live: 13 Years of Piss Clear, Black Rock City’s Alternative Newspaper, by Adrian Roberts

RE/Search Publications, 2009. ISBN 78-1889307183.

All 34 issues of Piss Clear, BRC’s alternative newspaper, from 1995 to 2007, with an essay by Malderor and introduction by Brian Doherty.


Burning BookBurning Book: A Visual History of Burning Man, by Jessica Bruder

Gallery Books, 2007. ISBN 978-1416928249.

“This is pretty much like the best Burning Man scrapbook, ever…” (Piss Clear)


Art in the DesertBurning Man: Art in the Desert, by A. Leo Nash and Daniel Pinchbeck

Harry N. Abrams, 2007. ISBN 978-0810992900.

Black and white photographs and text by Leo Nash, introduction by Daniel Pinchbeck. ”A loving tribute to the art of Burning Man.”


Inspired MadnessInspired Madness: The Gifts of Burning Man, by Dale Pendell

Frog Books, 2006. ISBN 978-1583941720.

“In part a nonfiction discussion of the Burning Man festival, in part a poetic romp through Nevada’s Black Rock desert.”


This is Burning ManThis Is Burning Man: The Rise of a New American Underground, by Brian Doherty

Benbella Books, 2006. ISBN 978-1932100860.

“Doherty captures the extraordinary spirit of the festival – its whimsy, its danger, its strangeness, its absurdity – as well as the  outrageous genius of its artists and players.”


61OkqqzxdyLAfterBurn: Reflections on Burning Man, by Lee Gilmore and Mark Van Proyen

University of New Mexico Press, 2005. ISBN 978-0826333995.

Essays by the editors and Erik Davis, Robert V. Kozinets and John F. Sherry, Jr., Katherine Chen, JoAnne Northrup, Jeremy Hockett, Allegra Fortunati and Sarah M. Pike.


Drama in the DesertDrama in the Desert: The Sights and Sounds of Burning Man, by Holly Kreuter

Raised Barn Press, 2002. ISBN 978-0972178907.

Holly’s photographs, with essays and poems by Dave Eggers, Larry Harvey, Daniel Terdiman, Rob Brezny, Mark Van Proyen, and others. CD of photos included.
Available in our Marketplace.


41KS9NM3MNLBurning Man, by John Plunkett and Brad Wieners

Hardwired, 1997. ISBN 978-1888869132.

The first book about Burning Man, with essays by Janelle Brown, Erik Davis, Larry Harvey, Kevin Kelly and Bruce Sterling; images by Barbara Traub, Stewart Harvey, Geoffrey Clifford, Gerry Gropp, Kevin Kelly and others.


Books that Include Burning Man:


in-real-life-279x418In Real Life: Searching for Connection in High-Tech Times by Jon Mitchell

Parallax Press, 2015. ISBN: 978-1-937006-90-7

Written by Burning Man’s Managing Editor, chapter 6, “How to Disconnect” includes an in-depth essay about the author’s experience of the intersecting worlds of Burning Man and the technology industry and a discourse on the principle of Immediacy.


IMG_4838PLANET LED by Teddy Lo

ORO Editions, 2014. ISBN 978-1-935935-51-3

Chapter 6: ART includes a section on Burning Man by Louis Brill and Christine Kristen (LadyBee) featuring the authors’ essay on light art at the event, including the work of Jared Gallardo, Mark Lottor, Tim Black, Scott Gasparian, Jeremy Lutes, Chris Schardt, Michael Light and David Rattray. Also featured in Chapter 6 are Leo Villareal and Anakin Koenig.

From Bitcoin to Burning Man and Beyond: The Quest for Identity and Autonomy in a Digital Society, edited by John Clippinger and David Bollier

ID3, 2014. ASIN B00M7BMT04.
Features a thoughtful essay about Burning Man by Peter Hirshberg

Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism, by Daniel Pinchbeck

Broadway Books, August 2002.ISBN 0767907426.
Chapter 12: a Cybernetic Pulse Engine and chapter 13: Dr. Megavolt, take place at Burning Man 2000 and 2001.

Time, Space and the Market: Retroscapes Rising, by Steven Brown and John F. Sherry

ME Sharpe Inc., 2003. ISBN 978-0765610133.
Chapter 2: Bespectacled and Bespoken by John F. Sherry Jr.; Chapter 11: The Moment of Infinite Fire by Robert V. Kozinets,

Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It, by Geoff Dyer

Vintage Books, 2003. ASIN: B008AURBUO.
A witty travel book, including a chapter, The Zone, on Geoff’s trip to Burning Man in 1999.

Black Rock, By Peter Goin and Paul F. Starrs

University of Nevada Press, 2005. ISBN-13: 978-0874175912
A chapter on Burning Man and several photos throughout the book.

Spectacle, by David Rockwell with Bruce Mau

Phaidon, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-0714845746.
12 page chapter on Burning Man, with 8 photos, essays by the author and an interview with Larry Harvey.

The Visionary State – A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape, by Erik Davis, with photographs by Michael Rauner

Chronicle Books, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-0811848350
6 page chapter, Temple Burn, on David Best’s temples and their spiritual significance at the event.

Time – Great Places Of History: Civilization’s 100 Most Important Sites, an Illustrated Journey

Time, 2011. # 100. ISBN-13: 978-1603201964
Burning Man: Photo of Big Rig Jig, photo of Crude Awakening figures and short text.