Before he even gets going, syndicated radio host Thom Hartmann sets the tone in a note to readers that falls between the copyright information and the table of contents of Cracking the Code: How to Win Hearts, Change Minds, and Restore America’s Original Wisdom (Berrett-Koehler, November 2007). “This book is written in a new language,” says Hartmann. “Every word means precisely what it says.”

Cracking the Code somehow manages to marry a good ol’ Dale Carnegie-ish (How to Win Friends and Influence People) approach to human communication and interaction with a frankly Democratic worldview. The resulting book is eye-opening, deeply interesting… and only slightly schizophrenic. This last comes from the fact that Cracking the Code packages itself as a self-help book and in many ways, it really is. However, most of this help would not be required if there weren’t a contemporary Republican culture.

Hartmann’s fans know that this author always provides value and, even if you disagree with him (and there will be a lot who will) you’ll come away from Cracking the Code with more than you had going in. Hartmann is the author of too many books to list in this space — 19 in all — including 2006’s Screwed: The Undeclared War Against The Middle Class and What We Can Do About It.

News Reporter

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