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In Case You Missed It: NewsReal’s David Forsmark Reviews Glenn Beck’s “Arguing With Idiots”

October 13, 2009

arguing with idiots

NewsReal readers might appreciate David Forsmark’s review of Glenn Beck’s new book Arguing With Idiots that we published at FrontPage yesterday.

Here’s an excerpt:

Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government
By Glenn Beck
Threshold, $29.99, 325pp.

When I received a review copy of the new book by over-emoting radio-TV talker Glenn Beck, I sighed and put it to the side. What put me off were the book’s title, Arguing with Idiots, and the cover photo showing Beck dressed as a commissar, making a funny face.

Since it’s axiomatic that arguing with idiots is a waste of time, I thought one might as well have published a book called Exercise in Futility for Dummies or The Idiot’s Guide to Banging Your Head Against the Wall– neither prospect appeals to me all that much.  Besides, in the decade and a half since Rush Limbaugh sold millions of copies of his commentaries on issues of the day, enough talk show hosts have published books that reading them all would consume about 90% of my book reviewing time, and very few have proven to be worth the effort.

But with all the heat generated by Beck in the last couple of months — and the fact that I’ve defended him a few times from the likes of Keith Olbermann over at Newsrealblog.com — my curiosity got the better of me.  What I found was very surprising — and worth my time.

So here’s my rundown of the good, the bad and the ugly of Glenn Beck’s new book:

The Good:

The book itself. It’s not just good — much of it is really, really good.  Shockingly good. It reminded me of the kind of bestsellers that came out in the early 1980s, when free-market thinking made its big comeback, aided by libertarian Robert Ringer’s Restoring the American Dream on the pop-thinking level, and George Gilder’s Wealth and Poverty for the more philosophical reader.

But what much of the content of Arguing really reminds me of — and don’t throw things at me — is the late, great Milton and Rose Friedman’s classic of capitalism, Free to Choose.  Now, before anyone has a stroke or writes my editor in shock and disdain, I’m not saying Arguing with Idiots is in the league with the book that is one of the five most influential of my life.

Read the rest at FrontPage here.

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7 Comments
  1. Swemson permalink
    October 13, 2009 4:14 pm

    David;

    Do you get the impression that Beck had help writing with it ?

    • Tom Trevor permalink
      October 14, 2009 8:53 pm

      No

  2. David Forsmark permalink
    October 13, 2009 5:07 pm

    Absolutely, there is a team of writers and illustrators credited in the book. But it’s very Glenn Beck.

    • Swemson permalink
      October 13, 2009 5:11 pm

      Thanks…

  3. In the know permalink
    October 14, 2009 6:31 am

    The book is intended to help those who do not a penchant for politics. A “textbook”, if you will, for those who do not enjoy the typical newsreal/FP magazine subscriber passion for beltway games. As a quick reference guide, it’s handy and entertaining. Both qualities needed to engage those average citizens who are concerned with the current situation in the country.

  4. Steve permalink
    October 14, 2009 6:41 am

    I really loved this book when I read it. I could NOT put it down. I am admittedly a fan of beck in everyday life, but this was one of his best books. The easy reading/Childrens textbook feel of it is humorous and factual. Some of the information is so crazy, that having the pages upon pages of sources really helps in believing it.
    I suggest finding a copy and giving it a read. You won’t be disappointed regardless of your views.

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  1. Kathy Shaidle Reviews “Arguing With Idiots” « NewsReal Blog

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