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Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class - And What We Can Do about It

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  613 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
Nationally syndicated radio host and bestselling author Thom Hartmann exposes the covert war conservatives, and corporations are waging against America's middle class, a war that's reducing the rest of us to a politically impotent working poor. This book asks: How did this happen? Who's benefiting? And how can we stop it?
Paperback, 249 pages
Published April 28th 2007 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers (first published 2006)
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Dec 29, 2013 MsBrie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: democracy lovers everywhere
Acclaimed radio host and renowned author, Thom Hartmann, does it again, providing a provocative look at one of America's most ignored social and political issues- the immanent demise of the middle class.

Hartmann offers an historical perspective to back up his positions, often referring to the original intent of the founding fathers, pointing out how many of the original signers of the Constitution had the intent of assisting the poor and preventing the rich from ruling/becoming the government.
Dan Smith
Oct 24, 2013 Dan Smith rated it did not like it
Let's create a big government that has all the money and power and they will altruistically make sure that everyone has everything equally the same amount regardless of what value they provide, risk they take, or what they create? This is what Thom suggests. This scary platform of entitlement and "right to have" is similar to the platform that has created many corrupt historical governments who oppress (with the money and power they are given) the people who gave it to them to create a magical ...more
Aug 07, 2012 Joy rated it really liked it
Even though Thom Hartmann wrote “Screwed, The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class” 2006-07, the book remains sadly relevant today, perhaps even more so with the middle class fighting for its’ life in the 2012 election.

I’ve followed Thom Hartmann for years now, downloading his radio broadcast to get my daily history and economics lessons, and current political news and commentary.

“Screwed” provides a “To-Do” list for the middle class to fight back against the conservatives and Neo-Cons of
Jan 06, 2009 Wm rated it it was ok
Not a whole lot new here if one is already familiar with the progressive agenda -- lots of talk about healthcare, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, the evils of corporations. The remedies are all unions, singlepayer healthcare, etc.

However, this book is useful for three reasons:

1. The basic point that democracy is only sustainable where there is a middle class and that the middle class is under attack from a variety of forces.

2. As a reminder of how screwed up heal
James (JD) Dittes
When did it become wrong for factory workers to earn enough money to send their kids to college? When did America turn its future, its voting, its national security, and its prisons over to corporations? And when did corporations earn the same rights (or better) than American citizens deserve?

Thom Hartmann tries to answer these questions by focusing squarely on the fortunes of America's middle class, which he sees in decline everywhere. Written at the nadir of the George W. Bush administration,
Mar 31, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction-read
This book really helped me put a lot of what happened to our country over the past 8 years in a historical perspective. This is a well-researched book that is broken up into topics that are easy for a lot of people to understand. It also contains a call-to-action checklist in the last chapter that can empower you to make some changes in your own local government.
Feb 08, 2014 Jason rated it really liked it
Left me wanting to do more, and be more involved in my local government , not for just me and my family , but for my children and there children's children , I strongly feel that the middle class works harder today just to stay in the middle class . Why is that ? So many questions, I see its not just me there are others who feel the same way !
Feb 10, 2011 Chris rated it it was amazing
Clear cut progressive/liberal bias, but hey HE USES FACTS. I thought it was well written, easy to follow, and Hartmann is one of the few truly intelligent voices in the talk radio business. This means of course he has a tiny amount of listeners compared to the right-Wingers.
Dawn Edwards
Mar 23, 2010 Dawn Edwards rated it it was amazing
An amazing, eye-opening book for anybody wondering how we got into this mess we find ourselves in. Thom Hartmann really will show you the catastrophic decisions made by others in the past (and now) that have such a devastating effect on our middle class culture. Well worth checking out.
Ira Livingston
Dec 17, 2013 Ira Livingston rated it it was amazing
Now seven years old, it still is important to today's readers. Very much recommend to those that are politically distraught with the country's current situation.
Jan 01, 2009 Alejandro rated it it was amazing
Amazing, it solidified my opinions on how the elite wealthy corporation's war on the working class has been successful for 100 years.
Jun 24, 2011 Book rated it it was amazing
Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class by Thom Hartmann

"Screwed..." is a fantastic book about how the corporate right has threatened democracy by systematically squeezing the middle class. This 249-page book is composed of fifteen chapters that are broken out by the following three parts: Part I: A Middle Class Requires Democracy, Part II. Democracy Requires a Middle Class and Part III. Governing for We the People.

1. Thom Hartman has a way with words. His elegant prose
May 02, 2014 Patyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
I host a radio show called Hypocracy and this was a selection for our book review. If this political issues interest you, check out our pages:

Awesome read. Very informative and but also it makes a great case for where legislation should go from here. I found myself questioning a few of the minor details; some seemed like things in which I will need to investigate further. However, the underlying message - that when money accumulates in
Dec 17, 2009 Chazzle rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: anti-NAFTA political progressives
Most of this book is probably a "Michael Moore-ish" version of Lou Dobbs' latest book. In other words, it deals mostly with how the middle class is being squeezed more and more, and that it's mostly the Republicans' fault. However, the author is not beholden to the "D" (as in Democrat) label. He lumps in Bill Clinton with Reagan and Bushes I and II, primarily due to his support of NAFTA and GATT. His good guys are FDR and Dwight Eisenhower.

The most interesting, and chilling, passages occur in ch
Dec 20, 2011 Molly rated it really liked it
I would recommend this book to damn near anyone. The left wing to get a little knowledge and the right winged friend to piss them off.

Thom Hartmann's point is one that 99 percent of Americans can agree with: people working full-time should be able to live comfortably. This means establishing and protecting the middle-class, an idea that no longer holds true and hasn't since the early days of Reagan. Thom highlights what needs to be done, and what we the people need to do about it.

Shit needs to
Oct 17, 2008 Shannan rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This belongs in the “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” category. He makes some interesting points about the origin of our democracy and how much things have changed, squeezing the essential middle class by drift and by design. He seems to repeat himself quite a bit and doesn’t offer much in the way of practical solutions, but I still think it’s worth reading to get a different perspective on our nation and where we might be heading.
Apr 01, 2008 Tina rated it really liked it
Kind of depressing in the same way that Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight was, however, very enlightening. He concisely explains how the middle class is disappearing in America and what we can do to reverse the trend. Now I'm even more inspired to write letters to the editor and support unions and living wage initiatives and universal health care!
Jun 18, 2008 Becky rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: adults
Excellent explanation about how/why America is in the econmic crisis we're in today-and what we can do about it. Hartmann is an intelligent, independent, critical thinker who knows history and can "connect the dots." He is also my favorite talk radio host who just happens to be based in Portland.
Apr 17, 2013 Daniel rated it it was amazing
This was one of the best and most relevant nonfiction books that I have read! Thom, aside from being an excellent radio host, is a brilliant author! He cites himself well and backs up everything he says with solid evidence. This surely is a must-read for everyone!
Dec 21, 2011 Linda rated it really liked it
Since I was listening to Thom Hartman on the radio almost daily while driving for King Soopers, I ordered one of his books. He is very angry about the way the corporations are running our country today and gives many good suggestions on how to do our part, as individuals, to change it.
Yvonne Michaud
Oct 18, 2009 Yvonne Michaud is currently reading it
Information good so far but slanted perspective may drive away readers who can't hear the information over the rehtoric.
Apr 17, 2014 Cathyg rated it really liked it
A real eye-opener regarding politics in the US.
Jon Rossetti
Nov 30, 2016 Jon Rossetti rated it liked it
Certainly a book full of valid criticisms of the right and the neoliberal Bush presidency. However, the author never says anything too remarkable or truly insightful so often I found it too generic to be really worthwhile.
Mason Owens
May 31, 2016 Mason Owens rated it did not like it
Shelves: politics
this man advocates national socialism. it is scary how many people go along with rhetorically pleasing slight of hand without questioning or examining anything said by the type of people who only know how to build themselves up by tearing down the achievements hardworking, and manipulation of honest Americans. cohesive bernie sanders talking points.

it was disappointing to see the discussion launched from divisive partisan attacks and framed as the opponents being foolish, greedy, and ignorant. t
Jun 28, 2015 Erick rated it really liked it
Could Hartmann give more factual backing to his conjectures? Sure. But that's not the point of what he's after really. Hartmann is more making a sweeping, and honest analysis of the current problems with our government. And he's really spot on, and in many ways, non-partisan. There are specific places where he calls for Republicans and Democrats to take their parties back from the Cons who are ruining our country.

I love the book because I agree with much of what Mr. Hartmann proposes as far as
Jul 29, 2013 Jason rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Thom defines the Middle Class as those whose employment has benefited from workers' unions.

While his railing against corporations is justified, he never addresses the fact that corporations are entities allowed by government but formed by individuals. Corporate decisions are made by individuals.

He's (mis)use of statistics are as deplorable as Hannity's or Coulter's.

My biggest complaint is that his argument in favor of taxes cites government services "cops & firefighters" which are provided b
Feb 03, 2016 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: political
This is obviously a political and biased book, but I found it incredibly informative. It isn't anti-conservative, but as the author put it, it is 'anti-cons', 'cons' being those that are trying to be as contrary as possible to the middle class and democracy.

If you think there is something wrong with America but you aren't really sure what it is or how to fix it, give this book a listen. You'll appreciate it.
Jan 24, 2014 Mckinley rated it liked it
Progressive economics with personal freedom has morphed into profit making business and government. "Democracy requires a middle class" follows how the middle class has been eroded, how multigenerational accumulation of wealth has occured with the ability to correct democracy. The conclusion ends with a plea to take back the political parties and even form a 2rd party, to contact elected representatives, to join the union movement.
May 05, 2014 Susan rated it it was ok
Shelves: audible-books
I think this book had potential and understand, I think the author is likely correct, but he sold out to sensationalism and the style of this book is more propaganda and less factual.

Perhaps it was the audio version.

I ended about 2/3 through, I could not take the propagandist style any longer.

American are in desperate need for an economics lessons. I agree-- this is not the book to get it.
Lesa Browning - Karasik
Oct 24, 2008 Lesa Browning - Karasik rated it really liked it
I love Thom's radio show and find him to be incredibly insightful. I think he does an amazing job of educating America. While he is progressive, he tends to view things in a more nonpartisan way than most on talk radio. He has guests with opposing viewpoints on his show weekly and is not afraid to bash both Democrats and Republicans when needed. A very interesting look at our society and economy in the past 20 years.
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Thom Hartmann is a progressive radio talk show host, author, and retired businessman who was born and grew up in Michigan.

His daily progressive radio talk show is syndicated and distributed to radio and television stations nationwide and in Europe and Africa.

Thom has spent much of his life working with and for the International Salem relief organization. In 1979 Hartmann and his wife Louise founde
More about Thom Hartmann...

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