Hartmann, Thom 1951-
Hartmann, Thom 1951-
Born 1951, in Lansing, MI; married, c. 1972; wife's name Louise; children: three.
Home—Portland, OR. Office—KPOJ Radio, 4949 S.W. Macadam Ave., Portland, OR 97239. E-mail—[email protected]
Psychotherapist, broadcaster, and author. Radio reporter, news anchor, talk-show host, and disc jockey, 1968-78; cofounder, New England Salem Children's Village, 1978, The Hunter School, 1997, and the Michigan Healing Arts Center; founder of several other corporations; former executive director of a residential treatment program for abused children; radio talk-show host, Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 146, 2002—. Visiting facult membery, Goddard College.
Four Project Censored Awards.
Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception, Underwood-Miller (Lancaster, PA), 1993, 2nd edition, Underwood Books (Grass Valley, CA), 1997.
Focus Your Energy: Hunting for Success in Business with Attention Deficit Disorder, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1994.
ADD Success Stories: A Guide to Fulfillment for Families with Attention Deficit Disorder: Maps, Guidebooks, and Travelogues for Hunters in This Farmer's World, foreword by John J. Ratey, Underwood Books (Grass Valley, CA), 1995.
Beyond ADD: Hunting for Reasons in the Past and the Present, Underwood Books (Grass Valley, CA), 1996.
Healing ADD: Simple Exercises That Will Change Your Daily Life, foreword by Richard Bandler, Underwood Books (Grass Valley, CA), 1998.
The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: Waking Up to Personal and Global Transformation, revised edition, Harmony Books (New York, NY), 1999, revised and updated edition, with foreword by Joseph Chilton Pearce and afterword by Neale Donald Walsch, Three Rivers Press (New York, NY), 2004.
The Greatest Spiritual Secret of the Century, Walsch Books (Charlottesville, VA), 2000.
Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights, Rodale (Emmaus, PA), 2002.
ADHD Secrets of Success: Coaching Yourself to Fulfillment in the Business World, SelectBooks (New York, NY), 2002.
The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child, Park Street Press (Rochester, VT), 2003.
The Prophet's Way: A Guide to Living in the Now, Park Street Press (Rochester, VT), 2004.
We the People: A Call to Take Back America, adapted and edited by Gene Latimer and Paul Burke, illustrated by Neil Cohn, CoreWay Media (Portland, OR), 2004.
What Would Jefferson Do? A Return to Democracy, Harmony Books (New York, NY), 2004.
(With Lamar Waldron) Ultimate Sacrifice: John and Robert Kennedy, the Plan for a Coup in Cuba, and the Murder of JFK, Carroll & Graf Publishers (New York, NY), 2005, updated edition, 2006.
Screwed: The Undeclared War against the Middle Class—and What We Can Do about It, Berrett-Koehler Publishers (San Francisco, CA), 2006.
Walking Your Blues Away: How to Heal the Mind and Create Emotional Well-Being, Park Street Press (Rochester, VT), 2006.
Cracking the Code: How to Win Hearts, Change Minds, and Restore America's Original Vision, Berrett-Koehler Publishers (San Francisco, CA), 2007.
Thom Hartmann began his career as a psychotherapist and founded several schools and programs with his wife, Louise, designed to help abused and mentally challenged children, including the Hunter School and the New England Salem Children's Village, both of which are in New Hampshire. When his son developed Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Hartmann began focusing on this particular illness and published several books on the subject. He is also credited with the "Hunter in a Farmer's World" explanation for the disorder. Hartmann feels that ADD is not so much an illness as it is an evolutionary adaptation that was actually advantageous when humans obtained food by hunting and foraging rather than farming. He reasoned that having a short attention span made early hunters and gatherers more aware of their surroundings, which helped make them more aware of possible dangers. Because he does not view ADD as an illness, Hartmann believes drug therapy is the wrong solution. In his book The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child, "he argues for educational reform and alternative schools or home schooling as better learning situations," explained a Publishers Weekly reviewer. In ADHD Secrets of Success: Coaching Yourself to Fulfillment in the Business World, he further maintains that people with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, which is similar to ADD, can and do lead fulfilling and successful lives.
Hartmann later began to redirect some of his attention away from psychology and toward other matters. He became an entrepreneur, founding and later selling several businesses, and more recently he has become a satellite radio pundit and critic of the course America's economy has taken. Just as he advocates fundamental change in how people with ADD or ADHD are treated—steering away from drugs and toward new approaches to education—Hartmann believes that American capitalism has taken a wrong turn that needs to be corrected. In his books, he is optimistic that such a correction is possible. "A recurrent theme in Hartmann's work is that all true and lasting cultural change begins with new insights propagating through enough people to reach a critical mass," according to a statement posted on his home page.
In Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights, Hartmann charges that corporations have unjustly assumed the rights of individuals in order to take advantage of constitutional protections. Modern U.S. law treats corporations as individuals, a practice that has allowed large companies to gain considerable power. Hartmann explains that a key moment in history that permitted this goes back to a railroad-tax case from 1886. In the Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad case, a corrupt U.S. Supreme Court clerk with ties to the railroad industry wrote a nonlegally binding com- mentary to the case stating that corporations were protected from discrimination under the Constitution. Since then, Hartmann believes, the courts, reading the header to the case only and not the actual ruling by the justices, have misinterpreted this to mean that corporations could be given the rights of individuals under the Constitution. This misreading has perpetuated itself ever since, gaining particular momentum in the 1980s during the Ronald Reagan administration. "That discovery—that we'd been operating for over 100 years on an incorrect headnote—led me to discover that the clerk, J.C. Bancroft Davis, was a former corrupt official of the U.S. Grant administration and the former president of a railroad," related Hartmann in a BuzzFlash interview. While Constitutional rights have since been abused by only a relative minority of large corporations, it has been enough to compromise such institutions as the media and the rights of citizens to access information about corporations that could be harmful to the public. Hartmann added: "History tells us that when corporate power is unrestrained, and corporations grow so large that the largest among them come to control and then stifle the marketplace, the result is the corruption of democracy followed by economic collapse."
In a more recent book by Hartmann, Screwed: The Undeclared War against the Middle Class—and What We Can Do about It, the author continues to rail against corporations' abuse of the average American citizen. He argues that the middle class is disappearing because of laissez-faire economics and that this trend is a threat to democracy. Discussing the history of corporations versus the individual, Hartmann explains that there have been several periods when large companies gained considerable power. The first came after the Civil War, when agribusineses and industrial companies obtained great wealth. This period peaked during the "Robber Baron" age when a small, elite group of immensely wealthy people gained political influence. This effectively reversed the gains the middle class had made during the time of Western expansion. The middle class gained a foothold again during the New Deal era of the 1930s, only to lose ground again during the 1980s, when President Ronald Reagan favored businesses over individuals in his economic plans, according to the author. "Hartmann's argument is that the economic royalists have again raised their ugly head over the last quarter century," reported Robert Weissman in the Multinational Monitor, "this time in the guise of ‘free marketeers’ or ‘neo-conservatives,’ or, as Hartmann prefers, ‘cons’—for the con they are trying to perpetrate."
Another controversial book by Hartmann is Ultimate Sacrifice: John and Robert Kennedy, the Plan for a Coup in Cuba, and the Murder of JFK. Written with Lamar Waldron, an assassination researcher, the book theorizes that President Kennedy was killed by the mafia. Under increasing pressure from the president's brother, U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy, the mafia used the administration's plans to overthrow Fidel Castro in Cuba in order to get away with the assassination. The mafia had learned of the planned coup and used this knowledge to extort the government should their assassination plot be revealed. The title of the book stems from Kennedy's knowledge that he was a target, according to the authors: "Despite being aware of the threat of assassination, he decided to go ahead as scheduled because the motorcade itself was part of the plan—it was designed to signal strength and resolve for the upcoming coup." A Publishers Weekly reviewer concluded that the authors make a "very convincing presentation, even if a lay reader may feel overwhelmed by the sheer weight of the evidence."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July, 1993, Irene Wood, review of Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception, p. 1933.
California Bookwatch, April, 2006, review of ADHD Secrets of Success: Coaching Yourself to Fulfillment in the Business World; November, 2006, review of Screwed: The Undeclared War against the Middle Class—and What We Can Do about It.
Choice, May, 2004, M.E. Leverence, review of The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child, p. 1697.
Human Rights Review, April 1, 2005, Stephen C. Rowntree, review of Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights, p. 157.
Internet Bookwatch, March, 2007, review of Walking Your Blues Away: How to Heal the Mind and Create Emotional Well-Being.
Library Bookwatch, July, 2005, review of The Edison Gene.
Library Journal, January, 1999, review of Beyond ADD: Hunting for Reasons in the Past and the Present, p. 61.
Los Angeles Times, August 24, 2003, review of Unequal Protection, p. 12.
Multinational Monitor, July 1, 2006, Robert Weissman, review of Screwed, p. 41.
Publishers Weekly, September 8, 2003, review of The Edison Gene, p. 69; November 7, 2005, "The Coup and the Cost," p. 30; November 21, 2005, review of Ultimate Sacrifice: John and Robert Kennedy, the Plan for a Coup in Cuba, and the Murder of JFK, p. 44.
Reference & Research Book News, November, 2002, review of Unequal Protection, p. 87; November, 2006, review of Screwed.
Student Lawyer, April, 2003, Natalie Koss, review of Unequal Protection, p. 13.
Tikkun, January 1, 2007, review of Screwed, p. 81.
Washington Post Book World, November 27, 2005, "Conspiracy Theories," p. 1.
BuzzFlash,http://www.buzzflash.com/ (January 28, 2005), "Is Wal-Mart a Person? Thom Hartmann Tells Why It Is—Kind of—But Not Really," interview with Thom Hartmann.
Feasta Review,http://www.feasta.org/ (February 1, 2008), James Bruges, review of Unequal Protection.
Reclaim Democracy,http://reclaimdemocracy.org/ (February 1, 2008), review of Unequal Protection.
Spartacus Educational Web site,http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/ (February 1, 2008), review of Ultimate Sacrifice.
Thom Hartmann Home Page,http://www.thomhartmann.com (February 1, 2008).
Thom Hartmann Program Web site,http://thomhartmann.org (February 1, 2008).
We the People Book,http://www.we-the-people-book.com/ (February 1, 2008).