I picked up Glenn Beck s book the order and started reading it the other day Borrowed it from the in laws I really liked Glenn Beck at first But, theI listen to this guy, Glenn Beck that is, the less I like his style, and the less I trust him I think some of his ideas are good but he s so sensational He doesn t provide evidence and real life examples to support a lot of his claims His words are incendiary He thinks he s transformational, but I don t think he is I think he s inflamm I picked up Glenn Beck s book the order and started reading it the other day Borrowed it from the in laws I really liked Glenn Beck at first But, theI listen to this guy, Glenn Beck that is, the less I like his style, and the less I trust him I think some of his ideas are good but he s so sensational He doesn t provide evidence and real life examples to support a lot of his claims His words are incendiary He thinks he s transformational, but I don t think he is I think he s inflammatory I prefer a methodical, cool, collected method to making a case for change I d prefer to have someone who truly understands economics and finance to be the one calling for change I don t want to be led off a cliff by some ultra passionate ranter I want someone who s so confident in what they believe that they are calm as a summer s morn They don t have to freak out and scream to get people s attention and they know it They possess the truth, and that s what makes them so calm They don t have to use sensational antics to make a point They just state their case and let it be, knowing that truth will prevail in the end Maybe that s too calm an approach to accomplish anything in the political arena, but I for one would certainly enjoy that kind of an approach muchthan the one politicians and pundits prefer to employ in this day and age New York Times bestselling author and popular radio and television host Glenn Beck revisits Thomas Paine s Common SenseIn any era, great Americans inspire us to reach our full potential They know with conviction what they believe within themselves They understand that all actions have consequences And they find commonsense solutions to the nation s problems One such American, Thomas Paine, was an ordinary man who changed the course of history by penning Common Sense, the concisemasterpiece in which, through extraordinarily straightforward and indisputable arguments, he encouraged his fellow citizens to take control of America s future and, ultimately, her freedom Nearly two and a half centuries later, those very freedoms once again hang in the balance And now, Glenn Beck revisits Paine s powerful treatise with one purpose to galvanize Americans to see past government s easy solutions, two party monopoly, and illogical methods and take back our great country I am a little reticent to write a review of this book Once you start discussing politics, things can become heated By way of disclaimer, I am likely what Mr Beck calls a Progressive in his book I do believe the founders of our country were great men I think they did the best they could with the Constitution But that does not mean that I think those men and that document are inerrant I think this has been amply demonstrated slavery, women s suffrage, and the civil rights movement I str I am a little reticent to write a review of this book Once you start discussing politics, things can become heated By way of disclaimer, I am likely what Mr Beck calls a Progressive in his book I do believe the founders of our country were great men I think they did the best they could with the Constitution But that does not mean that I think those men and that document are inerrant I think this has been amply demonstrated slavery, women s suffrage, and the civil rights movement I strongly believe that the Constitution should be amended and grow as this great nation changes and we learn to be a better country, to be better people.That disclaimer aside, to Mr Beck s book I tried not to have a knee jerk reaction to it I tried to be open minded I am sure some, having read my disclaimer above, will dismiss my thoughts on this book outright But nonetheless, here they are I think Mr Beck s book is awful It is a poorly written screed The arguments were so disorganized I quite often had a hard time following them I had specific problems with some of his anecdotes Take for example the one about the poor woman who broke a compact fluorescent light and was told she would have to pay 2000 to clean it up But Mr Beck does not tell the true story of what happened 1 It makes me wonder what else Mr Beck has been mistaken or misleading about in this book.What makes this book appealing, to those on both the Left and Right, is that Mr Beck says some things that everyone can agree with Many of those people who govern us are corrupted by the power they have That is not any great revelation What I find interesting is how he contrasts the bad government with the good capitalist private sector Government is a human institution that is prey to human foibles But so is capitalism That is not to say that I think capitalism is bad I see it as a flawed human institution that can be both good and bad, just like our government1 See the Snopes.com entry to see what really happened. Having read Thomas Paine s Common Sense many times and highly recommend that others read it, the reader of this review may ask why I only rated this book ok and didn t rate it higher Don t get me wrong I believe a lot of what Glenn says on the radio and writes My biggest sore spot regarding this book is the following It s not just the political class who has mastered the art of deception There are other potentially deadly masters who will seek to exploit your frustration and sense of desp Having read Thomas Paine s Common Sense many times and highly recommend that others read it, the reader of this review may ask why I only rated this book ok and didn t rate it higher Don t get me wrong I believe a lot of what Glenn says on the radio and writes My biggest sore spot regarding this book is the following It s not just the political class who has mastered the art of deception There are other potentially deadly masters who will seek to exploit your frustration and sense of desperation Many will warn you of government tyranny they ll talk of secret societies, vast conspiracies, shadow governments, and the need for violent action I urge you to stay away from these individuals and their ideas.There is no star chamber that needs to be found out and destroyed, and there is no global conspiracy playing out The individuals and groups that propagate those lies have their own agendas, but, like all radicals and revolutionaries, they will eventually seek to impose their rules and lifestyle on all of us.Does Glenn forget that President Ezra Taft Benson, a past leader of Glenn s church the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, of which I also happen to be a member wrote the forward to Gary Allen s book, None Dare Call It Conspiracy A book which details the basic details of a master conspiracy Or that his own book of scripture, The Book of Mormon, warns us repeatedly about the dangers of secret combinations, andespecially about one specific secret combination which would seek to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries Glenn seriously needs to read his own book of scripture and perhaps this primer as well Secret Combinations Selected Quotes I have been listening to Glenn Beck since a short time after September 11, 2001 I have listened to and watched Glenn eviscerate both political parties on both radio and television Here is a man, despite what you may think of him personally or politically, who tells it like it is.In his version of Common Sense, he illucidates areas in which our government has usurped our liberties in the name of the common good Both political parties have so mismanaged taxpayer dollars for their massive, was I have been listening to Glenn Beck since a short time after September 11, 2001 I have listened to and watched Glenn eviscerate both political parties on both radio and television Here is a man, despite what you may think of him personally or politically, who tells it like it is.In his version of Common Sense, he illucidates areas in which our government has usurped our liberties in the name of the common good Both political parties have so mismanaged taxpayer dollars for their massive, wasteful government programs, that Bernie Madoff could sit in judgment of these crooks.This book lifts the veil on government as a whole, and if you think Glenn Beck is a partisan shill, you have another thing coming If you consider yourself a patriot and you consider yourself a thinking American, swallow your pride, shun your fear, and put aside your personal feelings and read this book.The time is now to restore the United States of America to common sense government The kind of government that can balance a checkbook, just like us The kind of government that lives within its means, just like us The kind of government that understands they work for us, not us working for them The kind of government that refuses to uphold this elected aristocracy they have become 3.5 stars After really being disappointed in Arguing with Idiots How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government, I did not go into this book with very high expectations I was very pleasantly surprised to find that I really liked this Let me say that, while agreeing with many of Beck s positions and ideas, I acknowledge that his arguments are fairly simplistic and done with an appeal towards the emotions rather than the intellect This doesn t mean he isn t right I happen to think he often is , 3.5 stars After really being disappointed in Arguing with Idiots How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government, I did not go into this book with very high expectations I was very pleasantly surprised to find that I really liked this Let me say that, while agreeing with many of Beck s positions and ideas, I acknowledge that his arguments are fairly simplistic and done with an appeal towards the emotions rather than the intellect This doesn t mean he isn t right I happen to think he often is , it just means he doesn t provide the support necessary to persuade someone with the opposite political opinion However, political rhetoric is not really what this book is about It is a simple, impassioned plea to all of us that we are heading in the wrong direction and that BOTH political parties have let us down completely On this point, I think it is very hard to argue and I found Beck s writing to be very engaging Finally, the audio version I listened to read by Beck himself included the entire text of Thomas Paine s amazing Common Sense which I thought was a terrific bonus RECOMMENDED So I read listened too Common sense , with some trepidation and with the intention of being extremely objective Result He does a great job categorizing all the different topics and setting a standard by which to act in politics I saw a lot of comments on sites likethat stated it was lacking in any sense but I would definitely disagree.Many other posts onstated that it was basically a rehash of Glenn Becks religious beliefs , well I m a dyed in the wool card carrying athei So I read listened too Common sense , with some trepidation and with the intention of being extremely objective Result He does a great job categorizing all the different topics and setting a standard by which to act in politics I saw a lot of comments on sites likethat stated it was lacking in any sense but I would definitely disagree.Many other posts onstated that it was basically a rehash of Glenn Becks religious beliefs , well I m a dyed in the wool card carrying atheist and I didn t get that vibe at all He had one extremely brief chapter 2nd or 3rd to last appealing to the religious men and women out there but even made a small gesture to people without religion to come together, because this isimportant than petty disagreements created by politicians to divide us.To sum up my take on that particular disagreement He kept it on topic and almost never interjected his personal beliefs, divisive moral issues or anything like that but instead kept it on the issues that he knows will unite us and keep us united and that all our different groups can agree on.I especially liked how he didn t stand up for GW Bush and the republicans conservatives that failed us But instead put them down when he they were wrong just like any of the Democrats pointed out He was totally non partisan I found myself in almost complete agreement with him on almost all subjects if not in substance or implementation then in spirit Such as the recent bailout and about 20 very well discussed and dissected accompanying corollaries, which thoroughly examine the entire debacle STARTING with George Bush and ending Chronologically with Obama.He discusses socialized medicine don t call it healthcareEVER , national security, economics in general , the constitution and general law, capitalism, freedom and liberty And I know I probably missed a few things His understanding of the founding fathers seemed true enough, he did not impose religious beliefs that normally are innaccurately attributed to them, instead keeping it balanced and accurate based on what history and quotes record And when he did quote them it was EXTREMELY appropriate for whatever matter he was discussing.I m trying to keep this short so people will actually read this so IN SUMMARY Attempting to reading this book as a pessimistic objectivist with very principled stances on many issues, I can say with great certainty that I found myself in almost complete agreement with Mr Beck The audio book is very short and Read by Glenn himself at least that is what I listened to I highly recommend it Not a conservative book and not a Libertarian book but just a good book with a message both sides of the spectrum can appreciate And a decent tribute to Thomas Paine Paine mostly based on common sense First off I find the statement that Beck made that President Obama is racist and hates white people to make no sense which is the main reason why I didn t want to see what Beck had to say Obama s Mom was white, his grandparents where white, so did he hate them It doesn t make sense Also I don t see anything directed at making white people go to the back of the bus, or legalizing lynching of white people or anything like that that would seem to be an actual demonstration of hate In all ho First off I find the statement that Beck made that President Obama is racist and hates white people to make no sense which is the main reason why I didn t want to see what Beck had to say Obama s Mom was white, his grandparents where white, so did he hate them It doesn t make sense Also I don t see anything directed at making white people go to the back of the bus, or legalizing lynching of white people or anything like that that would seem to be an actual demonstration of hate In all honesty it doesn t seem that President Obama is doing a very good job standing up for any people of color or poor people so I am less than pleased with him too The other assertion that Obama is a socialist is also ridiculous Half of Goldman Sachs seems to be his advisers Corporate socialist maybe, but Obama is really a middle of the road centrist willing to compromise in order to make minor changes at best Bush moved the country so far to the right on policies that the middle doesn t seem to exist any So based on these statements I was less than excited to see what Beck had to say.I was actually surprised to find I agree with Beck on a few things.Where I agree with Beck is when he says both parties are letting us down I totally agree with him on this statement So maybe he is not always wrong Beck says we need to step up and hold our representatives accountable for what they are doing Again I agree He also says that dissent should be welcome Again I agree with him We do seem to be lacking in the civility department on both sides I think when we start to try to impose our beliefs on others kind of like second hand smoke that is where we have to draw the line Other than that I have to disagree with most of what he has to say It was kind of funny there for a while I was thinking he sounded like Ralph Nader Things then rapidly go down hill.Where I disagree with Beck in his Common Sense book.All government is bad I think big government is bad when the interests of the people are no longer served as is the case now Beck never mentions that corporations are basically running everything and the Obama is apparently bought and sold as well Beck seems to trust big business since he never calls them out, but says big government is bad and destroying our country They are equal partners in the destruction Of course since Beck is paid by a big company, maybe that is why he fails to see the problem with business.Beck says The environmental movement is a scam to scare us and should be fought Beck says that there are warnings not to eat tuna, but that we have to use CFL light bulbs with mercury by law and that makes no sense Honestly, I am a bit concerned by the mercury in the bulbs too, but I don t think they want us to eat them Have you seen the air in China Did you miss the coal ash disaster Have you not heard about mountain top removal How about the vortex of trash in the ocean What about Chernobyl and 3 Mile Island Maybe the hype on global warming is overblown, but what if it is not Beck says the environmental movement is trying to destroy our freedoms It seems to me we need to take personal responsibility for the effects our consumer culture has on the environment Freedom has responsibilities, but not if they relate to the environment.Beck also lays into the Progressive Movement For the record Obama, Woodrow Wilson and Hillary Clinton are not real progressives even if they are labeled or label themselves as such MLK Jr., Bob Follet, Dennis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders and Ralph Nader are or were real progressives Beck says the progressives are biding their time and are willing to wait a long time to get what they want and it will wreck everything in America Some historic examples of this would be the end of slavery, the civil rights act, and women s suffrage since each took a long time and were the beginnings of the progressive movement Is that what you want to stop Beck seems a little paranoid about having all the guns taken away I don t know what the founding fathers intent was when they wrote the right to bear arms into the bill of rights I don t think it really matters We should have have something that is sensible and fair I don t think requiring a license to own a gun is that big of a deal We have to get a drivers license to drive a car right It seems to me that Beck just is in it for the money If not he can quit his gig at Fox and try to get Ron Paul elected Otherwise it is justhot air and attempts to divide us and push a nut job right wing view on the rest of us Putting my personal feelings of Glenn Beck and his motives aside for the first three of these points which for the record of full disclosure are not favorable The book is problematic on multiple levels.1 Writing Having been subjected tothan enough Beck thanks to my Dad s addiction to Fox News, I can say that he writes EXACTLY the way he talks capital letters included While this style obviously appeals to the masses, and I thought it was hip to do so in elementary school, I no l Putting my personal feelings of Glenn Beck and his motives aside for the first three of these points which for the record of full disclosure are not favorable The book is problematic on multiple levels.1 Writing Having been subjected tothan enough Beck thanks to my Dad s addiction to Fox News, I can say that he writes EXACTLY the way he talks capital letters included While this style obviously appeals to the masses, and I thought it was hip to do so in elementary school, I no longer find it scintillating Onlyobnoxious than his lackadaisical prose is his abuse of the clich clearly he must think he was being clever, I was merely annoyed The work is a piece of rhetoric in the truest sense of the word, it is meant to persuade and not by reason or logic.2 Sources and use of history While he provided a source list in the back of the book, it is should be noted that it is a rather light list and mostly internet sources, though these were news stories, so I won t fault him on that account I will fault him however, for a complete lack of footnotes endnotes, or even to break his source list down by chapter Any person desiring to see where Beck pulled his data from will essentially have to take him at his word and he uses very heavily poll results with no clarification of who conducted and when the questions were asked For as much as he quoted and drew upon history and historical figures, I would have expected to see some weightier historical works listed Alas, there were none or very few , but this should hardly be surprising as if he had read any, it would have certainly changed how he used these figures Beck makes the same mistake so commonly made by people who try to utilize only a small portion of history or a person s life fixating on the part that is useful and ignoring what does not squeeze into their overarching hypothesis Thus, Beck sees no problems quoting T Jefferson about the evils of state debt, while completely ignoring the fact that Jefferson was hardly the model of perfection in regard to his own personal finances and struggled with debt his whole life, leaving a tremendous mess for his relatives settle upon his death I am thoroughly amused by Beck s use of Thomas Paine as a model patriot, and I urge anyone who does not share in this amusement to go read a biography on Paine, especially of his later years, well after Common Sense If Beck had done this, perhaps he could engage Bill O Reilly in a game of Thomas Paine Pinhead or Patriot you decide and for the record, just let me say that it would be quite a debate 3 Consistency Or lack thereof Beck flip flops on rather key points of his argument, especially and perhaps most amusingly in regard to who he thinks American people are He oscillates from a generally good perception of who Americans are and his audience is in the opening remarks, and by the end has shifted to railing against them for being irresponsible debt mounters Make up your mind Beck Being nice to your audience in the beginning so that they will continue to read the next 100 pgs of your seething diatribe does not hide your spiteful opinion in the end 4 Ideas to each his own I certainly enjoyed his chapter on the need for third parties and could not agreeHowever, I personally find it hard to commit to agreeing with or against someone when their sources are clandestine, they change opinions midway, and they try to disguise their agenda while and at the same time thrusting it upon you in a Doomsday scenario In essence, you could say I have the same issues with Beck that I have with JW sbut that s an entirely different discussionAmusing Hell yes Frightening Certainly, but not in the way he intended I considered 4 stars as Glenn is not primarily a writer, an author though that my be a misnomer now as he s written a good number of books including children s books and at least one novel But I think I can recommend this book very highly.Some of you will be familiar with Mr Beck from his radio program and commentary program on FOX News Channel If you are, then the subject matter of this book will be no surprise to you This is a forum where Glenn can not only state his positions, but lay o I considered 4 stars as Glenn is not primarily a writer, an author though that my be a misnomer now as he s written a good number of books including children s books and at least one novel But I think I can recommend this book very highly.Some of you will be familiar with Mr Beck from his radio program and commentary program on FOX News Channel If you are, then the subject matter of this book will be no surprise to you This is a forum where Glenn can not only state his positions, but lay out the reasoning, arguments, and evidence that back up those positions.Some will agree with Mr Beck here and some will I m sure avoid the book completely because they think they know what he ll say If you as I believe that America is in a dangerous position and that we may have a limited time to do something about it, you ll find that view backed up here More, you ll find evidence that we are correct.If on the other hand you are sure you disagree with Mr Beck I can only ask that you be honest with yourself and have an open mind Have you checked out what he s saying, or have you accepted reports from others as to his views and positions Give the book a chance and if you come away disagreeing, then at least you ll know it is you who disagrees with him This is a short book, laid out fairly well and to the point Each subject is given and then evidence for the authors position given The evidence can be checked independently and the arguments are logical.While Mr Beck is emotional in his views, he is also logical in his arguments So, risking being dismissed because I ve given 5 stars to a book that I agree with I brave that opinion any wayOne last word If you are one who believes It could never happen here , or that conservatives are really the ones endangering America, I d again ask you consider this book with an open mind Don t put your brain on hold.Just a thought