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Threshold: The Progressive Plan to Pull America Back from the Brink Paperback – June 29, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

What begins as skillful (and scary) prognostications about climate change's impact devolve into an unfocused mishmash in this mélange of history, philosophy, science and anthropology. Air America Radio Network host Hartmann (The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight) marshals solid research to demonstrate how overpopulation, pernicious trade policies, rampant consumerism and other excesses are devastating the Earth. The utopia he envisions, which owes much to Scandinavian social democracies, is unimpeachable, what with its emphasis on gender equality, ecological consciousness and a renewed spirit of democracy. Unfortunately, the author cannot direct his ire, and the book buckles under breathless plaints that leap from the history of lacrosse to neurology to our relationships with animals in the span of a few pages. The result is a frustrating, hard-to-follow conclusion that obscures the valuable arguments that distinguish the book's striking opening. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"If you're looking for a book that offers BIG answers to the BIG questions and that lays it all out in concise, clear, common-sense English you have it in your hands! Hartmann both lays it out and lifts us up."
-Jim Hightower, Nationally syndicated columnist, radio commentator, best selling author and editor of the Hightower Lowdown.

"America's most popular progressive talk show host brings his powerful political and historical insight to bear on the most important question of our time: To what may we humans aspire in this time of crisis and how can we achieve it?"
-David Korten, board chair, YES! magazine, and author Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth and The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community

"At last: a book that defines the problems of our current robber baron economy and presents solutions that integrate natural laws with the way we live, work, and shop. Thom Hartmann once again dazzles us with brilliant ideas and eloquent writing."
-John Perkins, New York Times Bestselling Author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and The Secret History of the American Empire
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (June 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452296307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452296305
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,492,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steven R. Mcallister on October 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Thom Hartmann is a man of many voices. To many, he is the harbinger of optimism for those afflicted with Attention Deficit Disorder. To others, he is a guide to conscious living in such books as The Greatest Spiritual Secret of the Century, The Prophet's Way, and The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight. To more still, he is the radio talk show host and political analyst who penned What Would Thomas Jefferson Do?: A Return to Democracy and Screwed: The Undeclared War on the Middle Class. With his latest book, Hartmann has truly crossed the threshold to becoming one of the most lucid voices of the Progressive movement.

In many ways an amalgam of many of his previous books, Threshold: The Crisis of Western Culture serves not only as a cautionary proclamation of our unsustainable lifestyles, but also a guide to getting us back on the right track toward environmental sustainability, working democracy, and social justice. Hartmann highlights three main areas where Western Culture and the Capitalist/Consumerist mentality have impacted the planet: the Environment, the Economy, and the Population. He then outlines the four mistakes which have led to the perils we face and how we can correct them. Hartmann postulates that the greatest detriment to our future is our way of thinking. If we can only change that and look at the world and our interaction with it from a different perspective, we can avoid what could possibly result in the extinction of mankind.

First, we need to stop thinking of humankind as something separate from nature. Though we like to classify ourselves as more than animals because of our opposable thumbs and ability to philosophize, it is imperative that we realize the planet is a living organism of which we are a part.
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Format: Hardcover
It is nice to know that some things in this world are reliable and predictable. Books by Thom Hartmann fall into that category. This book is smart, loaded with new information and as with most of Thom's books, visionary, seeing both the forest AND the trees. He identifies some of the biggest problems we are facing in what we do and how we think... and he provides concrete solutions-- not necessarily easy though.

His discussion on the evolution of freedom is excellent.

His discussion of how we are connected is fascinating and the new info on how an ancient connection to nature is healing autoimmune diseases is incredible.

Thom explains why CEOs of the biggest companies are psychopaths. It makes a lot of sense.

If we're going to change this planet and save humankind, we need to change our ways of thinking and seeing. Hartmann delivers a lucid, enlightening, enjoyable read that gets to the heart of the matter. As always, Hartmann weaves in new facts and an incredible access to history and historical anecdotes that puts new ideas into historical context.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a must read for progressives and liberals that are concerned about the direction our democracy is headed in and should be required reading for conservatives. Mr. Hartmann pulls material from some of his other books but he puts it all together so the reader gets a very comprehensive view of what's happening in our world and in the American democracy. Mr. Hartmann knows history and his book is a refreshing read for anyone that feels they are not getting the whole truth when reading most contemporary writers of political commentary. His description of corporatocracy and its impact on our world, and the gradual movement to the right of our democracy are both a wake up call and a real insight into how it all came about. This book is a serious work about a serious issue in our time.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thom Hartmann is one of a handful of individuals that I consider to be true guides for the rest of us, and I consider two of his earlier books, Cracking the Code and SCREWED, to have been instrumental in my own transformation from recovering spy to intelligence officer to the public.

The book does cover a lot of ground lightly, but it is coherent, and because it is Thom Hartmann, whose voice is hugely important to all of us, I settle on a five instead of a four. Other books that complement this one include Tom Atlee's The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All, Jim Rough's Society's Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People, and The People's Business: Controlling Corporations and Restoring Democracy.

Here are my notes:

+ Book may be missing pages, mine starts at page xi (Preface) so I am left wondering, what happened to i through x?

+ Book opens with quotes from Einstein and Schweitzer with respect to the urgency of widening our circle of compassion to include ALL living things, and explicitly ALL humanity.

+ The author is at pains to honor Gottfried Mueller, the subject of his earlier book
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