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Friday, August 6, 2010

Glenn Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine by Glenn Beck

Modeled after a classic but fails in comparison (which is to be expected - it is a classic after all!)

Glenn Beck piggybacks on a famous pamphlet (Common Sense by Thomas Paine) in order to inspire like minded folks to action. This book is part of his successful 9/12 project and details 9 principles and 12 values and further reading that Beck feels would put America "back on course." (p.110)

Beck's book is intended to be a primer for those new to politics. For those of us who have been paying attention all along, there is little new here but it can be interesting reading just to see what Beck focuses on and how he states his positions.

Glenn Beck
Many of his points should be alarming to all Americans, including:

a) an out of control national debt (he rips on Bush and Obama with equal venom), a tax code that seems designed to dole out favors to political supporters rather than raise revenue (especially good on pages 39-41);

b) a Congress that exempts itself from its own workplace laws (p. 48);

c) gerrymandered districts that guarantee that there'll be little competition in the general elections (pp. 50-6);

d) the abuse of Eminent Domain (pp. 81-2).

What Beck cannot equal is the carefully-worded, powerful rhetoric of Paine ("These are the times that try men's souls..."). Beck's concerns about the International Rights of the Child treaty and the Americorps program are so weak when compared to the other issues that Beck's texts sort of tapers off to a grumpy monologue rather than rallying the troops with wonderful logic and thundering words like Paine's "Common Sense" did.

If you are interested in skipping Beck's comments completely and just want to know more about the original Common Sense I recommend 46 Pages: Thomas Paine, Common Sense and the Turning Point to American Independence by Scott Liell.

I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.

Reviewed on December 22, 2009.

Other works referenced in this review:

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