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

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,822 ratings  ·  243 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—but if you’ve never heard of
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 28th 2014 by Threshold Editions
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4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,822 ratings  ·  243 reviews

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Doran Barton
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
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
Zack Porter
Dec 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
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
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Glenn Beck writes about people who influenced America. I enjoyed hearing about people who did things which inspired names such as "Ponzi scheme" and how the name came about. I learned about Edison and Tesla a while back, thanks to Glenn's show, and was saddened to hear what a creep Edison actually was. Very interesting and worth reading.
From The Infamous Ponzi scheme, to Presidential Scandals this book had the dirt...
Like a historic gossip magazine. Even had America's favorite married couple!!!

Was a little slow in the starting but got better by page..(that's why the 3 stars..)
Heidi J.
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, history, shorts
Well-researched and entertaining.
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was listening to this book when I went to bed night before last, and a lot of discussion about Steve Jobs was going on, also Desi Arnaz, and others during that time frame. I was kind of disappointed that Glenn Beck did not narrate his own book. I've followed him quite a bit over the years, and have enjoyed the ones he has done himself and narrated himself. Got the feeling he had help with this one as it didn't seem like his own work.

I feel like Glenn Beck could be cast as a deceiver for advert
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: History Lovers
Despite my husband's disapproval for Glenn Beck, I chose to read this book anyway. (My husband (and I, for that matter) don't like how Beck has a tendency for twisting the truth, especially with reports on Fox.) I knew, though, after seeing the reviews on Goodreads I was going to have to read it.

And I will say that I absolutely enjoyed this collection of historical accounts. Beck did change some minor details in each story, but fully explains why at the end of the book in the "About" section. He
Erica Quigley
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it
While I did enjoy this book and found it incredibly interesting, I feel like Glenn Beck could be cast as a deceiver for advertising this book as non-fiction when it is in fact historical fiction. The entire book consists of historical events but in the disclaimer at the end of the book it is confessed that they altered quotes, made up dates, and added pretend dialogue/situations. This message should have been placed as a forward to the book not as an afterthought in the back.

Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, audio
I really enjoyed the format of this book. Each chapter was a new story of a dreamer or deceiver. I learned about a lot of different people without having to read an entire book on each of them. Just the important information--quick and succinct.
Evelyn Bickley
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Each chapter is a different famous person in history. It's a kind of "rest of the story" book, telling little known background info on people like Steve Jobs, Charles Ponzi, Walt Disney, Woodrow Wilson, Henry Ford, et al. Rich reading. Would read it again as time permits.
Adam Hodges
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great read... particularly enjoyed the chapters on Walt Disney, John Lasseter, and Dezi Arnaz
Josh Hurst
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A fun book!! I highly recommend!
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
TITLE: Dreamers and Deceivers: True Stories of the Heroes and Villains Who Made America
WHY I CHOSE THIS BOOK: It fit my reading challenge being connect to the book before it, White Trash: The 400 Year Untold History of Class in America, having the same word in title America
REVIEW: The title says it is "true stories". It is categorized as non-fiction. But at the end of the book Beck admits this is a fictionalized account of real events. I love historical fiction, but this was not good historical
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
3 stars for painful political bias tarnishing fresh episodes from history

I was led to believe that this book would be more historically accurate. Instead, it is clearly a work of historical fiction. Which is ok...

The problem is the spin that these stories have. I'm not even knocking Glenn Beck's agenda, opinions, and politics. What I am saying is that the angle these stories are spun at makes them difficult to choke down.

The good part of the book is the content matter. Most of the stories I was
A friend let me borrow this book. Stories are mixed with facts and "scenes that were imagined or expanded beyond the basic historical record."

I was already familiar with stories about Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney and Alan Turing. I found the material supportive to what I already knew yet still garnered a few new facts. It was interesting to read details about events surrounding older historical figures (Upton Sinclair, Charles Ponzi, Alger Hiss, Woodrow Wilson and Grover Cl
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: glenn-beck
This was a great read about stories in history that I knew little about. I knew some of the stories, but not all the details. Others, I only knew the name for some reason but couldn't remember why that name was important.

Great readable stories written like a novel but backed up by the historical record. I love the fact that at the end of the book, it separates what was invented, based on the historical record, for the purposes of the story and what is taken directly from a source.
Mary Alice Comstock
Glen Beck wins again!

Glen Beck shines in finding and organizing facts and information in history to make a book that holds my attention. I disliked having to stop reading g but found the reading one chapter each day satisfactory. Thank you for a book written about people I would not known.
Ronnie Guymon
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great stories about historical figures. It has just the right amount of detail for my liking. It's historical fiction, because he fills in the unknowns with his best guess. I prefer that he does it like that because it makes the stories more memorable. I think my favorite story is the one about Walt and Roy Disney.
Jean Salvas
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I like the tie-in of the last two chapters with Walt Disney and Steve Jobs. These gentlemen were dreamers with the heart to push forward until their dream came true. On the "Deceivers" stories what creeps we had in hiss, wilson, and fdr. We are now faced with problems today that they had started over 100 years ago.
Doğa Armangil
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The one thing that's common between the successful people that the book talks about is an unwavering drive for success. Chapters 2 and 7 are about two geniuses (Alan Turing and Edwin Howard Armstrong) who helped other people/entities find success and met a tragic end despite their achievements.
Leo  Espinosa
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
i say in non-fiction book from dollar store. and i grad it right away for my past time reading. This is an interesting book. some stories in out history that was not written. like the dark side story version that are true and has happened. interesting book.
Meg Coulson
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
“...ten more true and untold stories...”?! None of these stories were untold! In fact, I could probably give a list of books that tell these same stories with more detail and with better writing. That being said, it could be called an easy-to-read compendium interesting stories?
Pat Jender
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read

This was a good book of short stories. Some were more interesting than others, but overall it was good. Four stars because a few of the stories seemed like they went on too long.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
These are significant figures that we have all heard about, but these are the stories that we should not know. Told in a novel-format that's easy to follow, though apparently the author has a right-wing bias
Julie Ounanian
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stories about Lucy and Desi, Walt Disney and Epcot, Steve Jobs and other amazing people from our past. I learned something from this book. I would definitely recommend.
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked it! The apple-with-a-bite-out connection between Disney, Turing and Jobs was particularly fascinating.
Pamela Cooper
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent! As one reads this chapter by chapter, ones' curiosity grows deeper & deeper leading to a natural quest for more in-depth study into our nation's rich heritage and the American Dream.
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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
“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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