“The Story of Your Ancestors: My Deepest Apologies takes a sardonic and personal scalpel to the past 30,000 years of human history, quickly revealing the catalyst for pretty much all human action and then shows how this thread of fear winds through the most significant events of the 20th and early 21st centuries.”
– Derek Jensen
The Story of Your Ancestors is arguably the first book ever written primarily for an audience living in the future. The author sincerely desired his work to be read by the not yet born so that they could try and understand how their totalitarian world was constructed by their twentieth and early twenty-first century progenitors. James Gangsan takes his readers on a frantic journey through time so that the men and women of the future could learn from past mistakes and in turn set about creating the sorts of societies his contemporaries continually claimed they wanted to build. Nero played the lyre and danced while watching Rome burn. While seeing his own world enter the first stages of the Dark Ages, Gangsan took a pen to paper and wrote a book for his descendants.
Gangsan’s work is written in the tradition of James De Mille’s Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder, or Edgar Allan Poe’s “Ms. Found in a Bottle”, but instead of a description of a sea adventure or a fantastic lost world of dinosaurs and death-worshippers, we are given a putative history of our own future.
The tale is told by a disembodied voice from the past that has taken the trouble to bury copies of his narrative in various parts of the world, translated into several languages, for the benefit of us, the living, who are the heirs presumptive of a totalitarian future. The voice is not a disembodied one. Rather, it is loving, personal, and above all, deeply apologetic– though mostly for follies not of its own making.
The narrator takes us on a whirlwind tour of 20th century civilization (if “civilization” is the right word for it) that is wilfully idiosyncratic. But after all, what history isn’t idiosyncratic? He offers some hind-sighted prescriptions for how our fate could have been avoided. But most of all, he does the only thing that one can really do when held up by a parade of monkeys and sleepwalkers: as God was wont to do, he laughs, and has them in derision (Psalms 2:4).
– James Pratt, Ph.D
about the author
James Gangsan, was born and raised in Montreal but after finishing his university studies he moved to Seoul, South Korea where he has lived and worked ever since.
While he was a graduate student, Gangsan became concerned about the dark aspects of globalization and in an attempt to understand the historical forces which gave birth to and nurtured the globalization movement he embarked on the writing of The Story of Your Ancestors. He is currently working on a comparative history of the country of his birth, Canada, and his adopted country, South Korea.