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Rebooting the American Dream: 11 Ways to Rebuild Our Country Hardcover – October 11, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nationally-syndicated radio host and bestselling author Hartmann (Screwed) takes up his progressive cudgels once again. His theme this time: the need to turn back the clock 30 years and undo the legacy of Reaganomics. Turning the clock back further still, he recounts a story about how George Washington had to have an American suit specially made for his Inauguration because, even after the revolution, fine clothing (and much else) was still imported from Britain. Unlike many who argue the need for a return to protectionist policies, Harmann doesn't fault China for skirting rules of free trade, but rather applauds their successful adoption of Hamiltonian economics, which in his opinion made America great. While many of his 11 points are broadly accepted by progressives (a carbon tax, for instance) his take on corporate reform is unique. Not only does he support strict regulation of corporate lobbyists and disavow the belief that the First Amendment endows corporations with rights, he suggests the U.S. replace large corporations with cooperatives and adopt a shareholder-free "social-capital" model; profits not used for reinvestment would be divided between employees and the community, avoiding "the pitfalls of both modern capitalism and old-fashioned communism."
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About the Author

National radio host Thom Hartmann is the award-winning, best-selling author of fourteen books currently in print in more than a dozen languages on four continents. Hartmann is also an entrepreneur, an internationally known speaker on culture and communications, and an innovator in the fields of psychiatry, ecology, and economics. The former executive director of a residential treatment program for emotionally disturbed and abused children, he has helped set up hospitals, schools, famine relief programs, and communities for orphaned or blind children in India, Africa, Australia, South America, Europe, Israel, Russia, and the United States. Thom is the host of a wildly popular national radio program on the Dial-Global network, which is broadcast during radio prime time on stations from coast-to-coast and on satellite radio.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; Reprint edition (October 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605097063
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605097060
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #900,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Malvin VINE VOICE on August 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Rebooting the American Dream" by progressive radio and TV host, entrepreneur, activist and author Thom Hartmann proposes how to restore American working class economic and political justice. Suggesting that America's proud industrial past is prologue to the future, Mr. Hartmann discusses the ideas and policies that are known to work if we can only find the wisdom and courage to act. Written with passion, intelligence and wry humor, Mr. Hartmann's accessible and empowering book should be appreciated by a wide audience.

Insprired by Alexander Hamilton's 11-point Plan for American Manufactures, Mr. Hartmann dedicates eleven chapters that touch on critical economic issues including tariffs, taxes, small business, banking, energy, immigration, and more. Mr. Hartmann finds that ever-increasing corporate control of the economy has led to concentrated ownership and wealth at the top while pushing the middle and lower classes of American workers towards the bottom. Drilling into each issue in detail, Mr. Hartmann discusses what policies need to change if we want everyone to participate in the American Dream, not just the few.

For example, Mr. Hartmann contends that stiff tariffs are critical to protecting the kinds of well-paying jobs that can only come from maintaining a strong domestic manufacturing base. On this point, Mr. Hartmann goes against the so-called free trade message that is relentlessly amplified by a media whose multinational corporate sponsors profit handsomely from their exploitation of world labor market disparities. In this light, Mr.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
... a quick read, and yet a little short on inspiration (more on that later). For the past several years, I have listened devotedly to Thom Hartmann. Broadcasting out of Oregon to a national audience, Hartmann has tried relentlessly to give voice to the un- and underrepresented in our country; battling corporate personhood and its unrelenting financial influence its billions of dollars has on our democracy, and correct the course our country has traveled over the past thirty years. One thing that I have admired about Hartmann is his desire to invite those who disagree with him on his radio program and debate important issues (Limbaugh and Beck, are you listening?). So it was with great excitement that I was offered a copy of his newest book, "Rebooting the American Dream: 11 Ways to Rebuild Our Country".

On the heels of his last book Threshold: The Crisis of Western Culture (honestly, which I wasn't much inspired to finish), this is a much more practical and real book. Hartmann dissects issues of real importance to our country. Based on the work of Alexander Hamilton, who wrote an eleven step plan for building our country's industrial base, Hartmann takes his principles and places them in the forefront of our Republican shattered American economy. The first chapter alone discusses the hemorrhaging of American jobs due to loop holes and anti-protectionist laws that have opened up the world to American jobs but not American products. Just try and find something in stores that is American made. It's challenging.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Thom Hartmann has delivered another lucid explanation of what's gone wrong in America in recent decades, and, as ever, he is brief and to the point. I read this latest in one sitting and came away with talking points for my own work and a renewed hope that change is possible.

Hartmann is unrelenting in his assertion that Reaganomics and Clintonomics have undone our nation, abetted by corporate interests and the Supreme Court. Globalization has beggared the U.S., crushing the middle class, moving manufacturing and corporate headquarters offshore, and further entrenching the super-rich. CEO pay in this country was at about the world standard before Reagan, some 30 times that of entry-level workers. Now it is routinely 500 times greater than the lowest, and sometimes 5,000 times that level.

The author demonstrates and explains why higher taxes have always raised wages and reduced the size of government and why unions are essential to worker rights. He shows why all of the other developed nations in the world have benefited from universal health care and shows that a simple majority in Congress could make Medicare available to anyone who wanted to join - and that it would be easily and immediately revenue neutral.

Only once does Hartmann slip back into the faith-based thinking that must have been part of his youth when he sideswipes "our belief in the supremacy of science." (He wandered off into magical thinking in one brief stretch of his otherwise thoughtful The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: Revised and Updated: The Fate of the World and What We Can Do Before It's Too Late).
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