I'm glad Thom Hartmann exists, and I'm glad he's written Threshold: The Crisis of Western Culture. Hartmann's voice counters the Rush Limbaughs and the Lars Larsons of this world—hopefully swaying soccer moms in swing states as it streams out by the hour from his top 10-rated talk radio show.

On the frontlines of the propaganda war for Middle American consciousness, I see why Hartmann's voice needs to be broadcast in as many formats as possible—hence the arrival of this, his 19th book. Threshold provides ample material for winning debates across the table at Denny's with your right-wing relations. I particularly enjoyed Hartmann's observation that most CEOs need to be sociopaths: Being in short supply, he argues, high-functioning sociopaths are necessarily overpaid.

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But while Hartmann's manic progressive energy translates well into radio format, reading his book one has the feeling of tuning into a broadcast midway through. He argues so many things simultaneously that it's hard to keep track: global warming is scary, so is Darfur, so are tax conservatives and corporations, and we've got to cooperate to avoid the catastrophe they all represent. Also: Ancient Peruvian civilizations can throw light on our current plight. So can mushrooms and amoebas (seriously). And we've got to empower women! Obama!

It just wore me out. More structure and coherence would make me less inclined to want to switch frequencies.

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