Customer Review

51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Renaissance Person's Renaissance Man, December 4, 2011
This review is from: The Thom Hartmann Reader (BK Currents) (Paperback)
Between my doing a radio show interviewing the Creme de la Creme, and founding and running conferences on brain research, positive psychology and the science of story, I've had more than my share of opportunities to talk with, listen to, read and get to know brain surgeons, rocket scientists and philosophers, from e-company founders like Craig of Craigslist and Arriana Huffington to Chomsky and Zinn, Greenwald and Kucinich.

Thom Hartmann stands out as unique for a few reasons. First is his breadth and DEPTH of knowledge. I've never met anyone who knows so much, exhaustively, in detail, about so many disparate areas as Thom Hartmann. Whether it's brain science, anthropological perspectives on indigenous Maori tribes, the latest take on the diagnosis and treatment of neurobehavioral continuum "disorders" like ADHD and Autism, 18th century constitutional history or the state of the economy in Argentina, Hartmann is brilliant in his depth of knowledge and his ability to integrate it.

Perhaps it's the integration that's so powerful. Perhaps it's being able to pull such far flung bits of information and putting them into new ways of seeing and understanding.

If you've read one or two of Thom's book, this is a great place to drink deeper from the well. if you've never read any Hartmann, wow, are you in for a major treat.

Once you get a taste, you'll surely, if you do media, want to check out his radio and TV shows as well. But unlike many radio and TV personalities, Hartmann started off as a writer and thinker and THEN moved to radio, then TV. His mind is amazing, but balanced with a great heart and soul too.

I know a lot of people who would love to see him as President of the USA, but he doesn't have the narcissism necessary and he's too smart to consider the soul sucking BS that inevitably comes with the job.

Buy the book. You'll be delighted you did and it will start you on a journey that has dozens of books that will keep on satisfying you.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 28, 2011 7:52:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jul 19, 2012 11:43:09 PM PDT
Earthian says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2012 9:42:37 AM PDT
etheria says:
The first part of your rant makes absolutely no sense, but do you really think "liberal pundits" spend their time subjecting conservatives to "gratuitous character assassination"? Seriously? When was the last time Thom Hartmann castigated a private citizen as a "slut" and "feminazi" on his program, or blatantly disrespected a sitting president? You must be thinking of Rush Limbaugh, whose entire program is "gratuitous character assassination."

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2012 1:27:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 13, 2012 1:45:34 PM PDT
Earthian says:
Oh, dear, I guess I hit a nerve. Often happens with those who follow a Guru, and unable to think outside the two party dysfunction without permission.

A true prophetic voice from the Left is activist, and author Chris Hedges, who aptly characterized your ilk when he noted so forcefully:

"The liberal class... prefers comfort and privilege to justice, truth and confrontation. Its guiding ideological stance is determined by what is most expedient to the careers of its members. It refuses to challenge, in a meaningful way, the decaying structures of democracy or the ascendancy of the corporate state. It glosses over the relentless assault on working men and women and the imperial wars that are bankrupting the nation. It proclaims its adherence to traditional liberal values while defending and promoting systems of power that mock these values. The pillars of the liberal establishment-the press, the church, culture, the university, labor and the Democratic Party-all honor an unwritten quid pro quo with corporations and the power elite, as well as our masters of war, on whom they depend for money, access and positions of influence. Those who expose this moral cowardice and collaboration with corporate power are always ruthlessly thrust aside.

The capitulation of the liberal class to corporate capitalism, as Irving Howe once noted, has "bleached out all political tendencies." The liberal class has become, Howe wrote, "a loose shelter, a poncho rather than a program; to call oneself a liberal one doesn't really have to believe in anything." The decision to subordinate ethics to political expediency has led liberals to steadily surrender their moral autonomy, voice and beliefs to the dictates of the corporate state. As Dwight Macdonald wrote in "The Root Is Man," those who do not make human beings the center of their concern soon lose the capacity to make any ethical choices, for they willingly sacrifice others in the name of the politically expedient and practical.

By extolling the power of the state as an agent of change, as well as measuring human progress through the advances of science, technology and consumption, liberals abetted the cult of the self and the ascendancy of the corporate state. The liberal class placed its faith in the inevitability of human progress and abandoned the human values that should have remained at the core of its activism. The state, now the repository of the hopes and dreams of the liberal class, should always have been seen as the enemy. The destruction of the old radical and militant movements-the communists, socialists and anarchists-has left liberals without a source of new ideas. The link between an effective liberal class and a more radical left was always essential to the health of the former. The liberal class, by allowing radical movements to be dismembered through Red baiting and by banishing those within its ranks who had moral autonomy, gradually deformed basic liberal tenets to support unfettered capitalism, the national security state, globalization and permanent war. Liberalism, cut off from the radical roots of creative and bold thought, merged completely with the corporate power elite. The liberal class at once was betrayed and betrayed itself. And it now functions like a commercial brand, giving a different flavor, face or spin to the ruthless mechanisms of corporate power. This, indeed, is the primary function of Barack Obama.

The liberal class, despite becoming an object of widespread public scorn, prefers the choreographed charade. It will decry the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or call for universal health care, but continue to defend and support a Democratic Party that has no intention of disrupting the corporate machine. As long as the charade is played, the liberal class can hold itself up as the conscience of the nation without having to act. It can maintain its privileged economic status. It can continue to live in an imaginary world where democratic reform and responsible government exist. It can pretend it has a voice and influence in the corridors of power. But the uselessness and irrelevancy of the liberal class are not lost on the tens of millions of Americans who suffer the indignities of the corporate state. And this is why liberals are rightly despised by the working class and the poor."

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 20, 2013 8:41:38 AM PDT
PEBerg says:
Excellent post. Christopher Hitchens was brilliant. One does not have to agree with everything he wrote to benefit from reading his works. Balance is important. It is not enough to accept, as "etheria" above might, that because your socio-economic-political sphere represents this as truth, that Chris Matthews represents "the liberal viewpoint" and Rush Limbaugh represents "the conservative viewpoint." Of course, it requires courage to take a different path.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2014 10:06:22 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 7, 2014 11:07:43 AM PST
Xena's Bard says:
First of all, Barack Obama doesn't pretend to be a liberal. He's made that abundantly clear many times. He comes from the DLC wing of the Democratic party, just like his predecessor Bill Clinton. While it is obvious that you consider yourself both pithy and an expert, it is astounding to me that anyone so self-impressed would make such a basic mistake.

I don't want to speak for the user etheria - but to "hit a nerve" one must touch on a painful truth. When a statement doesn't have any connection to fact, it is impossible to touch on a painful truth. Anybody can string together a bunch of quotes to make their argument sound cogent, that doesn't give the underlying claim validity.

If one were to put Mr. Obama's policies along side of Mr. Bush's, they'd look remarkably similar. The Democrats signaled their sell-out the moment the investigation of the George W Bush administration was off the table. That sell-out was plainly evident in the details of the ACA.

Liberals are disgusted with the Republican-lite direction of the Democratic party. I'm a progressive and I vote AGAINST right wing extremists.(Not FOR Democrats - there is a difference). The Tea Party represents, in my view, a clear threat to fundamental rights such as (but not limited to) privacy & choice. Therefore, I vote against them at every turn.

You aren't big on subtlety so let me make myself clear: if there were an electable "liberal" candidate, not only would s/he have my vote, I'd probably also work for her/his campaign. I'm won't pretend Hillary is anything close to progressive or liberal. But if the Democrats run her against Ryan, Rand Paul or any other Tea Party ideologue, at least I can feel comfortable that the country won't be run by Evangelical clerics for the ensuing 4 years; nor will we be inching closer to a theocracy.

There has not been a genuine liberal candidate in the Democratic party for years. (And not in the Republican party for decades). I refuse to throw my vote away on a 3rd party candidate "protest vote". That might feed my inner narcissist; but if President Romney were "bombing Iran back to the stone age" today, my protest vote would be of cold comfort. President Romney would have appointed a Clarence Thomas or Antonin Scalia clone rather than Justice Sonya Sotomayor.

Obama is far too cozy with Wall Street and the military industrial complex for my tastes, but I am not so blind as to ignore the changes he has brought about. Without Obama, we'd be stuck with DOMA and DADT. Don't flatter yourself by assuming liberals follow ANY guru. Also, liberals don't stand in front of the Supreme Court whining & pretending to be the victim of some dark conspiracy like certain right wing groups do. We are making the best of a less than ideal situation.

"... liberals are rightly despised by the working class and the poor."

Please post your credentials as the official spokesperson for the poor & working classes. It's rather arrogant for anyone to paint such diverse groups as being of one mind. The far right has done a wonderful job demonizing the terms "liberal" and "progressive". Conservatives use the term "liberal" interchangeably with other labels they despise - like socialist, homosexual, environmentalists, reproductive rights activist, and so on. Note, however, when challenged for the definition of a liberal, the verbose are at loss for words because they don't have a clue. It's plain that you don't either.

Even IF it were true that liberals were universally despised, you ignore the FACT that voters are bombarded with a 24/7/365 propaganda machine funded by Charles and David Koch and their acolytes.

The Kochs and their proxies (ALEC, AFP, the Tea Party & Fox) have no respect for concepts like fairness, equal protection, or justice. Oh, by the way, they consistently champion causes that directly injure the groups you pretend to advocate for...... Talk about corporate corruption: ooooops!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2014 11:16:47 AM PST
Xena's Bard says:
Yet, you "accept" that "earthian" speaks for the poor/working class without any evidence whatsoever that his/her representation is valid.

So who is lacking vision (or courage)?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 16, 2014 11:12:41 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 17, 2014 6:45:19 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2014 9:41:16 PM PDT
Earthian says:
I see you had my rebuttal deleted. Censorship is the hallmark of you Dem Courtiers. I guess some need their hand held ad nausea.
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