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The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: Waking Up to Personal and Global Transformation Paperback – October 10, 2000

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 1st edition (October 10, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609805290
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609805299
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,420,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Ecology and spirituality are deftly intertwined in this well-written discussion of how we can save and preserve life on earth. Vermont author Thom Hartman offers a highly persuasive argument for adopting the spiritual values of our ancient ancestors, which means living with a strong connection to the earth as well as the sun that nourishes us all. Nowadays, humans often perceive themselves as separate from nature and born to dominate it, says Hartman who lays out some frightening, albeit thorough, research on the destruction of the planet. But as the book progresses, he guides readers into a convincing and intelligent vision for reversing our destructive ways.

Mostly, we could all use an attitude adjustment. For example, he explains how native and tribal cultures often considered all forms of life to be as sacred as human life--an attitude that may be one of our best shots at planetary longevity. Hartman devotes his final section to "What the Average Person Can Do," including chapters titled, "Turn Off the TV," "The Modern-Day Tribe: Intentional Community," and "Reinventing Our Daily Lives and Rituals." --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In a well-intentioned but soggy New Age manifesto, Hartmann (The Prophet's Way) calls for a spiritual ecology to stave off impending ecological collapse. (The title refers not only to waning or forgotten ancient wisdom but also to dwindling fossil-fuel supplies.) In an informal, disjointed style, Hartmann surveys the crises we face: the decimation of the rain forests, mass extinctions of plant and animal species, global warming exacerbated by industrial emissions, famines and the threat of new epidemics. But his sweeping view of history veers into retrograde romantic fantasy. In his simplistic framework, "younger" cultures" (i.e., Sumer, classical Greece and Rome, the modern West) are hierarchical, claim resources through trade and conquest, wage genocidal warfare and foster domination and control over both nature and other peoples. "Older" cultures (i.e., such tribal peoples as Native Americans, the Ik of Uganda or the Kayapo of Brazil), he maintains, are sustainable, more egalitarian, live in intimate connection with the natural world and grant women and men roughly equal status. To prevent planetary doom, he argues, we should adopt some of the older cultures' lessons, such as practicing small acts of goodness, meditating or joining a small "tribal" community sharing land ownership and a common purpose. Bereft of original ideas, this tract (originally self-published in 1998 under the Mythical Books imprint) preaches to the converted and lacks either the political specifics or the spiritual focus its weighty scope demands. Author tour. (Aug.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Thom Hartmann is the four-time Project Censored Award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of 23 books currently in print in over a dozen languages on five continents.
Hartmann is also an internationally known speaker on culture and communications, an author, and an innovator in the fields of psychiatry, ecology, and economics.
The co-founder (with his wife, Louise) and former Executive Director of The New England Salem Children's Village (1978) and The Hunter School (1997), he has led national innovations in the areas of residential treatment for abused children and private/public education for learning-disabled children.
He has helped set up hospitals, famine relief programs, schools, and refugee centers in India, Uganda, Australia, Colombia, Russia, and the United States through the German-based Salem International program. Formerly rostered with the State of Vermont as a psychotherapist, founder of The Michigan Healing Arts Center, and licensed as an NLP Trainer by Richard Bandler (who wrote the foreword to one of Thom's books), he was the originator of the revolutionary "Hunter/Farmer Hypothesis" to understand the psychiatric condition known as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD).
A guest faculty member at Goddard College in Vermont, he also synthesized the "Younger/Older Culture model" for describing the underpinnings - and possible solutions - to the world's ecological and socio-political crises, suggesting that many of our problems are grounded in cultural "stories" which go back thousands of years.
Leonardo DiCaprio was inspired by Thom's book "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight" to make the movie "The 11th Hour" (in which Thom appears), and Warner Brothers is making a movie starring DiCaprio and Robert De Niro from the book Thom co-authored with Lamar Waldron, "Legacy of Secrecy."
Talkers Magazine named Thom Hartmann as the 8th most important talk show host in America in 2011, 2012, and 2013 (10th the two previous years), and for three of the past five years the #1 most important progressive host, in their "Heavy Hundred" ranking. His radio show is syndicated on for-profit radio stations nationwide by Dial-Global, on non-profit and community stations nationwide by Pacifica, across the entire North American continent on SiriusXM Satellite radio, on cable systems nationwide by Cable Radio Network (CRN), on its own YouTube channel, via Livestream on its own Livestream channel, via subscription podcasts, worldwide through the US Armed Forces Network, and through the Thom Hartmann App in the App Store. The radio show is also simulcast as TV in realtime into nearly 60 million US and Canadian homes by the Free Speech TV Network on Dish Network, DirectTV, and cable TV systems nationwide.
His evening TV program, The Big Picture, is wholly owned by his own production company, produced in the RT studios, and licensed to and carried by Free Speech TV in the US, and into over 600 million homes in 104 countries via broadcast and cable by the RT TV network, and distributed worldwide on the web on Hulu.
As an entrepreneur, he's founded several successful businesses which still are operating, and lived and worked with his wife, Louise, and their three (now adult) children on several continents.
He was born and grew up in Michigan, and retains strong ties to the Midwest, although he and Louise have lived in New Hampshire, Vermont, Georgia, Germany, and Oregon...and now live on a boat in Washington D.C. with their attack-cat, Higgins.

Customer Reviews

You just have your ignorant head in the sand!
Amazon Customer
They want Thom to tell us to put our cans into a yellow bin and everything will be fine.
This is a great book that should be read by every adult.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
"Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight" is the latest offering from best-selling author Thom Hartmann. It is one of the most intense and disturbing books I have ever read. Yes, the book is highly recommended and was selected from among many other worthy titles, along with "The Prophet's Way", as book of the month because of the potential for far reaching positive effects upon readers' lives. And as Thom Hartmann says in his introduction the " is ultimately about hope, and - once we understand how things are and how they got this way - offers concrete solutions for a brighter, and more meaningful future." It's true, the book provides, in the end, an optimistic message. I strongly urge you to read this book, but I'm not going to minimize its initial impact. The first two-thirds are tough going. There's no getting around it. Yet it is a journey of great Purpose, taking you, with your eyes and heart open, into the message of the final third of a book which may be the most important book you can read for our Now and our Future.
The book begins with a striking look at the conditions of our world today. Some of this is going to be familiar reading because of the increasing frequency of published reports of impending ecological disasters and environmental collapse. Yet Thom Hartmann is not simply sounding the alarm or preaching to the choir of environmentalists. He truly gives us a fresh viewpoint of the current state of the planet, and how things got this way.
"It all starts with sunlight". We, and everything else came from it, and all that sustains us is fueled by it.
Read more ›
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By TheHighlander on July 16, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thom Hartman has written a very important book, full of insights, ideas and historical perspective on the fate of the human race upon this earth. He caught me right from the beginning with the "in your face" statement about what has happened in the last 24 hours on earth. 200,000 acres of rainforest have been destroyed, 45,000 people starved to death, 130 species have become extinct, the largest mass extinction since the dinosaurs vanished. That hit me like a ton of bricks.
But the book is not just an alarmists call towards conservation. It deals with food supplies, water supplies and population growth. The book explains how the earth's population is stressing the resources. How our advancements have caused different problems. Such as antibiotics and our misuse creating different strains that resist our antibiotics. It discusses religion, meditation, foreign country's ideas, topsoil loss, tribes versus city-states. The importance of trees and the detriments of fertilizer. The effects of global warming. How big business effects government.
The list is endless. The harm is obvious and the ideas to presented could be helpfull. This is a great book that should be read by every adult. Information is the key to survival. This book is full of information.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Gary Grossman on November 18, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Thom Hartmann's Last Hours is both highly educational and manages to remain mostly positive. His description of the scope and potential impact of our environmental problems are reminiscient of the fate of Native Americans and for virtually all tribal cultures. Somehow, you just know this picture will end badly. Yet, Hartmann holds out hope that humanity will turn away from its "taker" world view. More than most, this book offers several suggestions that would at least make a start.
Hartmann argues that if people would only free themselves from television, the spread of consumerism might be halted or even reversed. However, the nearly omnipotent power of visual images in the form of commercial "entertainment" and advertising is likely to keep most everyone enthralled and trapped, wanting to see if O.J. did it or if Hillary will publicly slap Bill. As Gil Scott-Heron said in the first American rap song from the 1970s, "The revolution will not be televised." Because with television, there will be no revolution. It is the mass opiate of our times. Therein lies the challenge.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
I can't get over how many times, since I've read this book, I've looked at the news, at events in my life, from a different perspective. Thom Hartmann's book is disturbing but it gets us thinking about the effects of our actions and that makes it essential reading. After reading his other incredible book, Prophet's way, and having it change my life, I really didn't think his next book could have such a profound effect on me. But it did, in a more subtle, yet very positive way. Thom Hartmann should run for president. But he's too smart to even think about it.
Thom has been a speaker at the Winter Brain COnference ([...]) I organize for the past four years. Each year, though he is not a brain scientist, his lectures draw some of the biggest crowds, because he has a magical way of integrating the newwest research and his own unique eco-spiritual-anthropological approach to looking at the world and the evolution of science and knowledge.
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