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The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: Revised and Updated: The Fate of the World and What We Can Do Before It's Too Late Paperback – April 27, 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 139 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"One of the most important books you will ever read in your life."
-- Neale Donald Walsch, author of "Conversations with God
"The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight shines like a beacon in the darkness, an education about reality, a needed wake-up call, and a guidebook through the swamps of denial and ignorance into a brighter, sustainable future."
-- Dan Millman, author of "Way of the Peaceful Warrior and "Everyday Enlightenment
"Thom Hartmann writes one of the most rousing, raging, and right-thinking works of our time."
-- Jean Houston, author of "Jump Time and "A Mythic Life
"Thom Hartmann is one of those people who puts it all together for us, explaining not only what has seriously gone wrong in the world but, even more important, all that can still go right. He is an awakener of the highest order."
-- Marianne Williamson, author of" Healing of America

From the Inside Flap

While everything appears to be collapsing around us -- ecodamage, genetic engineering, virulent diseases, the end of cheap oil, water shortages, global famine, wars -- we can still do something about it and create a world that will work for us and for our children's children. The inspiration for Leonardo DiCaprio's web movie Global Warning, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight details what is happening to our planet, the reasons for our culture's blind behavior, and how we can fix the problem. Thom Hartmann's comprehensive book, originally published in 1998, has become one of the fundamental handbooks of the environmental activist movement. Now, with fresh, updated material and a focus on political activism and its effect on corporate behavior, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight helps us understand--and heal--our relationship to the world, to each other, and to our natural resources.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Rev Upd Su edition (April 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400051576
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400051571
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nicholas Soucy on July 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a nearly flawless achievement of creative nonfiction. Hartmann addresses some of the most complex and important issues of human and worldly culture with crisp, enjoyable language.

Thom Hartmann deserves to be recognized as a philosopher because of his clarity of thought and the quality of his observations and arguments.

The various topics are diverse but interrelated. It's difficult to perfectly summarize the contents of thie book, but Hartmann addresses each aspect of life with a sad wisdom and a hopeful optimism.

He addresses anthropocentrism: the tendency humans have to view the rest of the world as valuable only if is can be used or appreciated by people. This type of thinking has been instrumental in our gradual and steady distance from nature in many ways. Hartmann explains why distance from nature is detrimental to the health of the planet, to our bodies and our psychological well-being.

Specifically, Hartmann opens up a relatively unnoticed world of history, in the tradition of Howard Zinn, Derrick Jensen (A Language Older Than Words) and Daniel Quinn (Ishmael). His candor is needed, and his analysis of history and contemporary culture is at once astonishing, necessary and intriguing. Chapter after chapter his words, ideas and citations challenge you to think, to wonder and reconsider human behavior and lies.

He has borrowed some ideas from the aforementioned authors and put them to good use. He is a better writer than Daniel Quinn, who delivers a choppy, amateurish prose in spite of his good intentions. Hartman better converys his ideas, so if you're one of the millions of fans of Ishmael, I guarantee you'll want to buy or rent this book.
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Format: Paperback
Thom Hartmann's "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight" is extremely important and cogent, and needs to be read and absorbed by many to ensure the possibility of a future for the human race and all other life on Earth. Divided into three main parts, this book explains in detail where we are, how and why we got here, and what we can do for a brighter future. Very practical, well-researched, comprehensive. I am not aware of a better book on the issues, especially since it not only sets out the realities of our situation (dependence on dwindling oil and clean-water supplies, destruction of forests and plant/animal species, unsustainable population growth, frequent wars, third-world and first-world impoverishment, etc.), but also explains why, fundamentally, human civilization has gotten us into this mess (tracing the causes back thousands of years to the basis of civilization and comparing the recent city-state or nation-state lifestyle to that of the much older tribe), and what we can possibly do to change our course and save our children and their children and the planet they will inherit.
I would give a more detailed or articulate description, but I lent my copy out the day I finished reading it, and several people are already waiting in line to borrow it. If there is a book to buy multiple copies of and give away, this is the best one I have found. Do not let it sit on the bookshelf indefinitely - after you read it, pass it around, from one person to another, making sure it never stays the same place, unread, for long. If you must keep a copy for your own reference, at least buy a second one to pass around to your friends.
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Format: Paperback
I was shocked, entertained, surprised, touched and extremely moved by the contents of this well written eye-opening book. Opposed to other peak-oil subject books this book is not concentrating on the numbers and technical solutions but on our cultural roots and our pathological and illogical behavior as a result. The spiritual part of this book did not bother me at all despite the fact that I don't consider myself as a very spiritual person. I can fully understand his strong arguments to dig into our roots and that we must learn from the point we strayed to the path of superior feeling, materialism, short-term profits, etc... Hartmann delivers his point very well and I recommend this book to all people who think that we can work our way out of this mess we are in by wishfull thinking or technological inventions and to all people who see no way out of it at all (so this are about all people in the industrialized world). We only have to reinvent ourselves and this book shows us the way. Without a doubt one of the top five most important books I have ever read in my life if not the number one. I even think that this book should be read by all children in every school in Europe and America!
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As I was researching global warming for my novel, The Remembering, A Novel of Karma and Global Peril, I read five books on the subject. By far, Harmann's was the most thoughtful and helpful, especially his discussion of how "ancient sunlight" -- oil and other fossil fuels -- engendered the industrial revolution and an unsustainable expansion of human population since the 1880's. Especially useful was his projection of how the human race will fare when oil supplies dwindle during this century along with mass population displacements. There are certain ignore-ant politicians who would benefit from this information and its visionary suggestions on how we might correct our shortsighted errors before it's too late.

John Nelson MD, author The Remembering, Healing the Split, Sacred Sorrows.
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