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

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,581 Ratings  ·  221 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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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
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.
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, biography, shorts
Well-researched and entertaining.
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
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
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, non-fiction
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!
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
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.
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.
Nathan Albright
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: challenge

I was loaned this book from a friend of mine at church this past Sabbath as is sometimes the case [1], and when I set about to read it, I was both pleased that it was a very easy book to read and enjoyable told, and also appreciative of the ironies involved in this book. There are several of them. For one, the author muses at the beginning of the book that Steve Jobs, one of the dreamers discussed positively in this book for his work at Pixar as well as his use of the apple with one bite taken o
Christine Murdock
I loved the short snippets into the lives of famous people. I enjoyed how quick and easy the chapters read.
Shirley Yant
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was extremely interesting. He makes history very interesting.
Miles Fowler
Feb 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Picks up where "Miracles and Massacres" left off, in a way. These books are not perfect but the true stories anthologized here tell something significant and important to be aware of if you care about American history. The stories each tell us something about America that you cannot understand just by getting the dry, big picture or the official highlights.

What is most novel is the representation of both the good and the bad. Charles Ponzi ripped people off because both he and his victims though
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not being a Beck fan I was surprised by who much I enjoyed listening to this book. Learned why the Apple logo has a bite taken out.
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
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
great stories well written, outstanding book
Feb 23, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is written in the same vein of the "biographies" I read as a child. It has imaginary dialogues and events that are there to enhance the stories. I, like one of the other reviewers here, was disappointed by this because even though most of the dialogue can be discounted as fluff for the story, What about the importance of the relationships between the speakers of the dialogue? Did their relationship with these people really make an impact on history? Truth be told...which let's face it ...more
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Have you seen the History Channel's mini-series The Men Who Built America or Nat Geo's American Genius series? This book is exactly the same but in text.

Not at all what I expected but still a quite entertaining and informative book--and very easy to read too. Very recommendable to people who don't usually read history as a way of introduction into the subject.

I got Dreamers and Deceivers as a gift and I thought it was a proper "history" book. For this very reason it seems many were very disappoi
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Interesting stories about people I only know by their names. Enjoyed the way Beck brings these people to life with their unknown stories.
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Even if you aren't a fan of Glenn Beck's political views, the stories (mostly true) included in this book were fascinating.
Feb 11, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Sarah Anne Carter
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“People can spend their time working for good or evil. They can be heroes or villains. They can choose to fight for love and courage and truth, or they can fight for their own egos and agendas. Sometimes, even in retrospect, it’s not that easy to figure out who a person really was.”

The more you study history, the more you find out what you didn’t know. Ten short tales written about key people in American history contained so many new facts that I was amazed I didn’t already know them. Walt Disne
WC Beaver
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american-history
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
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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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