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Dreamers and Deceivers: True Stories of the Heroes and Villains Who Made America
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Dreamers and Deceivers: True Stories of the Heroes and Villains Who Made America

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  719 ratings  ·  120 reviews
The new nonfiction from #1 bestselling author and popular radio and television host Glenn Beck.


Everyone has heard of a “Ponzi scheme,” but do you know what Charles Ponzi actually did to make his name synonymous with fraud? Credit for inventing radio usually goes to Marconi or David Sarnoff and RCA&#8212
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 28th 2014 by Threshold Editions
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Doran Barton
Does Glenn Beck write his own books? I doubt it's possible. I believe his role is more like that of a film director or even a producer. With Miracles and Massacres and his latest offering Dreamers and Deceivers, I believe he picked which stories were to be told, what details were to be emphasized, and what the overall effect on the reader was to be.

Dreamers and Deceivers However these two books came together, it worked. Dreamers and Deceivers is another winning collection of short stories chroni
Arnold Osborn
Probably one of the best books of history that I have read in several years.

Do yourself a favor and don't get bogged down by who the author is... take it at face value and read it for the content alone.

Each chapter is a condensed telling of history as it relates to the Subject or Persons, around who the story revolves.

This is without a question my favorite Glenn Beck... and one of my favorite reads this year.
Zack Porter
This is the kind of book which reinforces my belief that this country is racing to the bottom of the intellectual barrel.

As a few other reviewers have pointed out the entire book consists of imagined, made-up events and conversations "based" on historical events. However, this fact is not revealed anywhere on the cover or in a Prologue, but rather at the very back of the book in a lengthy "footnote" chapter that reveals, practically page-by-page, all of the pretend history in the book. How many
Not quite what I was hoping for. I was expecting more information regarding these individuals whether good or bad. Instead, it was extremely brief little anecdote type stories that if you did not already familiar with the individual being written about, it would not make sense. Also, the author admits to it being speculative historical fiction at the very end (which I felt should've been put in the front of the book as warning as an introduction as it would have prevented me from feeling upset a ...more
Another great history book by Glenn Beck! I also really enjoyed Miracles and Massacres. I've always really appreciated this format of storytelling. Reading a full biography sometimes can be difficult. Glenn made a great choice in the last two stories; Walt Disney and Steve Jobs/John Lasseter. Disney's Hunchback of Norte Dam marked the day I decided I wouldn't buy Disney videos for my kids without watching them first. Too dark for children. Now that movie and others make sense. The last chapter o ...more
I don't know what to say... I was visiting an old friend. Someone I knew since I was five or six. He and his girlfriend were staying at an airbnb in Venice for the holidays. On the coffee table was a book by Glenn Beck. I assumed it belonged to the homeowner. I made a crack. My friend said that no it was actually his book. His dad gave it to him. I got a kick out of this and made a few more comments about the book as the night went on. About a week later, when my friend was back in Manhattan, I ...more
Ten biographies of people we heard, or should have heard about that impacted on our world. Although the author used many historical facts he also took, I think, too much literary license. When the actual dates weren't available they were made up. To complete a though, many were made up for continuity of the story. Although enjoyable reading and attaining a few new facts I don't know if I would've read the book if I knew this in advance. As near impossible to categorize this book I placed in on t ...more
Geoff Paulson
Should have kept with 'Dreamers' and left out the 'Deceivers'. The book waits until the very end to admit that it is historical fiction, something that should have been in a forward. As such, it is a collection of first person narratives from the point of view of the Dreamers and Deceivers. Whole conversations, dates and events are invented wholecloth. Any 'Deceiver' like Upton Sinclair, Woodrow Wilson, or even, to a degree, Teddy Roosevelt, is presented with having the worst possible thoughts a ...more
Emjay Luby
I enjoyed reading Beck's stories about heroes and villains who made America. Mr. Beck takes historical facts and then weaves in descriptions and dialog to round out the stories. These stories read like novels, which made history so much more fun to read. He tells about Walt Disney and his dream for EPCOT; Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, who made television history; Upton Sinclair's deception; how Steve Jobs and John Lasseter changed history at Pixar; Charles Ponzi's scheme, and several others.

Abby Welker
GREAT book, fascinating stories. Although this book isn't a riveting 5-star for me, it was absolutely delightful to listen to. Research was done on several situations in history, back-stories discovered and told, and fascinating developments in the lives of people who made history, whether it was good or bad. I'm a sucker for good, true stories and this book does not disappoint. I think my favorite story was the Turing chapter, the young genius who basically invented the concept of computers, an ...more
Lisa Tangen
great stories...pretty well told...the overriding takeaway (for me) was this...if you have a passion and vision for something right and good, don't be discouraged by the naysayers...Turing, Disney, Jobs, Lasseter, Desi, etc. all faced hordes of skeptics...and how much poorer would we be if those skeptics had squashed what those men did? the flashback approach to the story telling was works better with videos. having notes at the back was helpful, but i have to admit that having ...more
4 out of 5 stars for Dreamers and Deceivers. I'm really impressed with Glenn Beck's writing style. I'm not a hardcore Beck fan nor am I history buff so please consider this an un-biased look at an interesting set of stories. Glenn takes us on a brief history tour through the past, in which he places a back story to a series of significant points in history. There are very few footnotes within the book so I won't vouch for the validity of the stories. I will tell you that reading a Glenn Beck boo ...more
If nothing else, Glenn Beck certainly knows how to tell a story, or in this case, ten stories. He has a knack for setting up a scenario, holding back just enough info to compel the reader to read on and learn ‘the rest of the story.” Each selection in this balanced collection (five deceivers and five dreamers) portrays the audacious nerve it takes to achieve your dreams (nefarious or not). Along with the new insights these history offer the reader receives, an added dose of gumption also seems t ...more
Dottie Parish
Dreamers and Deceivers is a fascinating book decribing many unknown tales behind a variety of famous or not so famous people in recent history. There are ten chapters each offering a gripping account of ingenious little known people and well known people– one who launched the radio and another the tech age of computers. Two presidents are in the mix – Grover Cleveland and his mysterious disappearance and Woodrow Wilson’s deception. In addition we learn about Ponzi and his deceptive scheme and th ...more
Michelle Welch
There is always a equal measure of truth and distortion when history is passed down through the generations. Thank you Glenn Beck for looking into the "real stories" behind the legends. I learned so much from this book. From presidents to the common man, there is a sense of excitement to get "behind the scenes" and learn more about our history. I especially loved the stories of Desi Arnez and the details behind the birth of Pixar. The research in this book and the way the stories are woven in an ...more
Apr 15, 2015 Jen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2015
I took issue with this book being titled "True Stories..." and then at the very last chapter finding out this was a work of Historical Fiction.
That being said, the factual parts of some of these stories were fascinating! The invented dialogue I could have done without, I would much rather read facts than imaginary conversations. I'll admit, it was much easier to read about the events that happened during my lifetime, or at least that I had some knowledge of. Some of the earlier political storie
Gary Sedivy
This book reminds me of the PBS series from 60s-70s called "Connections" - historical anecdotes about events and people. Of course we all know of Steve Jobs, and Walt Disney. You may have heard of Alan Turing (if not, go see the "Imitation Game"). This also reminds me of the Bruce Catton Civil War histories, or the Shaara novels about the Civil War, Revolutionary War, or World War II.
The history is engaging and interesting, and makes me love history again. Not dry a stilted recitation of dates a
WC Beaver
Excellent, just excellent. Anyone who has a remote familiarity with this country's evolution has got to read Beck's fabulous truths about folks who had brilliant ideas for the advancement of society and those who wanted to control and manipulate the masses.

Desi and Lucy, Alan Turing the code breaker, the visionary Steve Jobs and computers, and the inimitable Walt Disney fit the first category. Everyone knows that Desi truly loved Lucy, but suffered from the insatiable lust that dominates the liv
Wesley Roth
I have always enjoyed Glenn Beck's history books throughout the years and after reading "Miracles and Massacres" last year, I was looking forward to "Dreamer and Deceivers". This book makes history come alive. I most enjoyed the chapters on Charles Ponzi, Alan Turing and Grover Cleveland. It's important to read and understand what drives both the deceivers in our society and what makes the dreamers special. I wish the book was longer, as there are many he could have profiled. I look forward to G ...more
Andrew Grams
Clear fabrication is used and combined with compelling true stories of our past to make for a fun narrative albeit one easily forgotten after the last page is turned.

It unfortunately reads like literature's version of a History Channel program, wherein the short stories paint portraits of some of the key figures of the past century with broad strokes leaving little to absorb regarding the past and the persons that shaped it beyond a few anecdotes. There are other books better worth your time and
This book takes interesting slices of history, spices them up with a touch of narrative fiction, and serves them on platter that is accessible to all. From Walt Disney to the I Love Lucy show to Alger Hiss and plenty more, this book covers a good span of American history. Some of the people featured are the dreamers, living life out there to the fullest. Others had things they wanted to keep to themselves (anything from medical conditions to spying for a foreign country). It was a fascinating li ...more
Jesse Fisher
Interesting read. Historical pieces mixed with some fictional interpretation that made for a easy and interesting read. The book gave some insight into some historical events that created some heroes and villains. How many people sit there and wonder of the significance of the symbol of Apple? The book gives some interpretation based on noted references, so one is able to confirm the historical facts as well as do their homework and confirm these stories. Who said history couldn't be fun!
Three and a half stars. Interesting material. Beck does say up front that he has taken liberties and created conversations, inner dialogue, etc. I had difficulty with the time lapses--back and forth. I would have preferred a straight chronological story. But I did learn some interesting things.

What stands out in my mind is the fact that information can surface years after an event that completely tips over the popular understanding of the event as it happened.
4.5 stars. This book was so much better than i thought it would be. I found myself fascinated with each of the stories included in it. It was so interesting to see how things like the radio, Disneyland, and The computer all had such interesting stories of how they came about. And to learn things about presidents I never knew. For someone who really loves history, this book was so much fun to read. And it reads like a story and not like an informational book
Douglas Myers
History brought to life by a master storyteller...

In "Dreamers and Deceivers" , Glenn Beck, once again brings the reader into each of these true stories about fascinating people. As you read and learn about these historical figures, you feel as if you are there. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has a pulse, because I believe everyone of all ages needs to hear and understand and share these stories to keep them alive!
Mason S
This book really grabbed my attention right off the bat. I really love the way Glenn Beck tells the stories in such a way that makes me feel like I'm there with them. The reason i rated it 4 stars is because i really loved the book but it was a little hard to read because i did not understand some of the topics within the book. I would definitely recommend this book because it helped me understand the topics in American history better.
Debbie Williams
Finished this book on the way to Billings, Montana to spend the Easter weekend with Dorie, Dayley, Adam and the Winchesters. When I heard this book advertised on KSL, I was curious about it. I pondered whether to purchase it or not for about six months. So glad I did! It was about historical characters which I knew nothing or very little about. I learned so much about these people who influenced history. Especially loved Ponzi's story and how he got away with so much without getting caught; Lucy ...more
In this book, Glenn Beck had done a great job of bringing back several historical figures to life and walking us through their life. For a book based on historical facts, it is surprisingly not boring.

I learned a lot about several personalities including Ponzi, Lucy and her husband Desi Arnaz, Dreams of Walt Disney, and Edith Wilson (Woodrow Wilson's wife).

If you like history, this is a good book to read or listen.
Stanley Turner
Excellent storytelling throughout. I can think of some things I would have liked to of read about, but what is there is very good. In some of the stories there is significant detail about the individuals involved on others there were only brief glimpses. Overall an excellent book, and I would recommend this work for anyone wanting to learn more about our great country, warts and all...
I liked the selection of stories told in this book. Each chapter focuses on one person/event. The premise for each story is based on facts, but the stories themselves are fictionalized to add interest. The book has an appendix at the end which spells out what is based on preserved records and what has been fictionalized. Very interesting accounts of little-known facts.
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Glenn Edward Lee Beck is one of America's leading radio and television personalities. His quick wit, candid opinions and engaging personality have made The Glenn Beck Program the third highest rated radio program in America and Glenn Beck, one of the most successful new shows on the Fox News Channel. His unique blend of modern-day storytelling and insightful views on current events allowed him to ...more
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“Perhaps, in the end, the lesson is that it’s as important to say “I tried” as it is to say “I succeeded.” 0 likes
“Ponzi had been in Brazil, and then Argentina, where he bought a boardinghouse populated by prostitutes, along with a hot dog stand. He had hoped it would be the start of a national chain.” 0 likes
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