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Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government
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Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  4,393 Ratings  ·  395 Reviews
Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government
Hardcover, 325 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Threshold Editions (first published August 31st 2009)
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Jan 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
I’ll avoid beginning this review with a silly pun like “the only real idiot is Beck” or something like that because he clearly is not an idiot, but I will begin with a joke I heard in one of my Finance classes back in college.

The premise of Beck’s book is how to argue with idiots. His answer to this is -use the facts, here is the problem with that.

A man is interviewing some people for a job and asking a basic question, “what is 2 + 2” the Statistician interviewing for the job says “Well, 2 + 2
2.0 stars. Okay...not terrible but also nothing that caused me to feel anything close to enthusiasm for the material. I was hoping to enjoy it more than I did. After having just finished Hamilton's Curse: How Jefferson's Arch Enemy Betrayed the American Revolution--and What It Means for Americans Today with its excellent discussion about America's transformation from Jeffersonian federalism to a big, bloated centralized government, this book suffered significantly by comparison and came across a ...more
Oct 08, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book is a fairly difficult one for me to review. On the one hand, I am not of the same political philosophy as Beck, and indeed the reason that I picked the book up in the first place was because I had been hearing so much about Beck and seeing how his name is being touted around as the new intellectual of the conservative movement. So I wanted to hear what he had to say.

There is no doubt that Beck is a talented debater and he is also a gifted entertainer. Despite the fact that I sometimes
Mike (the Paladin)
Any of you who have read reviews by me of other political type or current events books will not be surprised at my rating of this book. The answers given are to actual questions and objections to (here's that evil word) "Conservative" ideas and stances that I've heard given.

Yes, this is Glenn Beck....yes some of it is played for laughs....yes when you write a book containing a fictional dialogue or debate you get to put the words in your opponents mouth. All true. Still, it's a good book and the
Aug 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: 2009
I wasn’t sure what to expect, picking up a book by Glenn Beck. I don’t watch much television so I haven’t been exposed to the likes of him through that venue. But how can one deny the title? As it turns out, we are kindred spirits when it comes to interpreting the Constitution (there really isn’t an interpretation required as it seems pretty cut and dried). We are also in agreement on every issue facing Americans today, and for the same reasons.

Unions once had a reason to exist in our country, b
Jul 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
Read the first five chapters and the last one (the reason a friend gave me the book in the first place). I believe there are some good philosophical points here, however most are carried to a ridiculous extreme (e.g., I own guns and believe in the right to bear arms, but find it ludicrous that anyone can support the ownership of assault weapons with high capacity magazines, Beck's supercilious arguments about automatic vs. semi-automatic aside). The logic is often poor, and to a truly open mind, ...more
Marcella Johnson
Nov 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
Enjoying it so far. It's interesting, and occasionally makes me chuckle. I don't agree with everything that he claims, but his points and data have made me think (especially in the areas of education).

***I probably did the equivalent of skimming the book. After the husband pointed out that Glenn Beck is crazy, I started paying more attention to how far fetched his information ties were. But really, I think I just lost interest in the politics of the book. The subject has never really been an int
Nov 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
All textbooks should be written like this and then more people would read them. It was so well written and funny. I especially lobbed the final chapter on our constitution and the bill of rights. I learned more than I ever did in school. That is a sad commentary on our educational system. If you love our country the way our founders intended it, then read this book.
Nov 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
I actually didn't read much of this book. Was much like many of his others. Couldn't get past the pic on the front.
Brandon Byrd
Oct 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Very insightful. I liked in particular how he picks apart all the arguments for universal health care. I agreed with him more than I do with the average book like this that I read.
Jeff Stockett
Jan 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: political
I thought this book was excellent. The title is a little put-offish so I wouldn't have read it except that I saw it in a bookstore and thumbed through it out of curiosity. When I saw the various charts and figures as well as the various humorous cartoons I decided to give it a try.

In case you're worried that the book is just about bashing democrats it really isn't. In his introduction he explains that there are idiots on both sides of the aisle and that for the purposes of this book, idiots are
Mar 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
Positives: I love the graphics. And I thought his A.D.D. moments were hilarious.
Negatives: I've heard it all before. No liberal will be swayed by his arguments and no conservative has the guts to do what he is suggesting.

Glenn Beck puts a lot of the material from his radio show into print here. If you dislike him, or hate his guts, it's just going to annoy you. If you like him, or love him, you'll want to have this book at your beck and call. Yes, I punned on purpose.

He addresses, among other th
Pamela Jo
Sep 29, 2009 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any conservative-minded American.
Recommended to Pamela Jo by: I saw it being discussed on TV.

I have not read this book yet. But I watch the "Glenn Beck Show" every weekday on the FOX News Network, and I am looking forward to reading this book as well his "Common Sense" book. That is why I added it to the GoodReads website. I wanted to be able to put it on my "to read" list.

I do know that Beck has, literally, millions of viewers every day. Bill O'Reilly is his only major ratings rival on FOX. And O'Reilly's "The Factor" has been THE top-rated cable TV show for the pa
Jeffrey Borrowdale
Aug 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Beck presents the case for individual liberty and limited government in a clear and entertaining way. Chalked full of facts about issues such as the true sources of the housing bust and subsequent economic collapse (hint: it WASN'T too much capitalism) and why government health care is a bad idea, it will give you reasoned arguments and evidence to use when debating liberals. The book is also full of interesting historical tidbits about America's founders and the roots of progressivism, along wi ...more
Apr 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
An incredibly interesting book. I've never watched his show (the clips I've seen of him, something about his delivery rubs me the wrong way and I can't get past it), but I really like that everything he says is backed up and thoroughly researched, even if I don't agree with his conclusion. There are some doozies in here about actual historical facts that are never brought up because they would hurt the cause of liberals that I found very eye opening. I do agree that the federal government is a b ...more
Dec 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
this book is amazing. I was put off by the title and didn't want to read it, until I heard Julie Earley recommend it. I thought Glenn Beck was just bombastic. I actually learned a lot from this book. I learned a lot more from this book about government and politics than I did from my AP government class. Glenn is probably the only American bold enough to say that the progressivism and everything we inherited from Woodrow Wilson and FDR is not good, because it all is based in socialism. All the p ...more
Dec 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: politics
I listened to this on audiobook, and had to stop after a few chapters. Some of the things Glenn says sound plausible, but when he touches on an area that I know about (professionally), and he gets it wrong, or glosses over details, or simplifies it in a way that favors an interpretation that ignores important facts, then I start to lose interest, because I wonder how much he is doing that in areas that I don't know as much about.

I think Glenn does a lot of good, and I'm glad he's out there. But
Terry Cornell
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Overall an interesting book, with Beck's views on several political topics broken into chapters. Subjects include, capitalism, the second amendment, immigration, health care, unions, economics, and government over-regulation. I liked some of the presentation, in particular his graphics. The cover is annoying, and if you turn it over you still have to look at Beck's face! Another annoying thing is Beck interrupts his own writing with his 'ADD Moments'--which I assume are more amusing to him than ...more
Oct 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The most important aspect of this book is the sources cited and references cited in the back. It is detailed and thorough, enabling the reader to verify all the hard facts Beck consistently cites throughout his book. This isn't just an opinionated rant from a so-called conspiracy theorist, but rather an intuitive, intellectually engaging and emotionally rousing work of political science that steers a course as dictated by the facts, not just the opinions or whims of the author. Beck lets his evi ...more
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
Deep political insights presented in the most decidedly low-brow way imaginable. Here, Beck manages to strike a good balance between stark pessimism and light-hearted silliness. ARGUING WITH IDIOTS tackles a lot of tough issues with remarkable candor and wit (I could, however, have done without all the ungentlemanly jokes about celebrities' personal appearances...although, in the case of Michael Moore, I really didn't mind so much.) This is a fun, enlightening book--albeit one that might get you ...more
Nov 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I Loooove this book and all of it's facts. It gives you the references and then I was able to go from there to research the subject. Sadly, if someone asks where you got this reference, you have to say anywhere besides giving Glenn Back recognition. He doesn't mind you "throwing him under the bus" (I know he's crazy!) if you need to. I just wish he had a non descript pocket sized version of facts and figures to put in my pocket that my "DORY" brain could use. Hmmmm, maybe I will send that idea h ...more
Nov 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Great book from Glenn Beck! He outlines, in an entertaing way, the arguments for and against liberty and the free market. His book is packed with actual facts which knock down the assertions of those who are in favor of more government solutions.

It should be a must read for college and high school students.
Oct 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say this was my favorite Glenn Beck book. I am a fan of Glenn Beck and I tend to agree with him politically, so I appreciated his insight and the arguments he makes. He's blunt, which is something I also appreciate. The book is quite funny, for those who can handle Ben Gleck's humor :-)
Dec 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Glenn Beck is probably the only person I know of who writes the remarks of his critics on the back of his book. And HIS critics are critical of him.

Anyway, he takes a surprisingly level-headed approach to arguing against the platform of socialism, by giving a multitude of examples as to why each part of the agenda does not work.
Feb 10, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is very funny and is also very factual. Toward the end of the book it kind of starts to drag on. There are two chapters he contradicts himself the whole time. In all, it is a good read. I give it 3.5 stars.
Abigail Andrew
Dec 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is the latest Glenn Beck book - It's very funny and informative.
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Super good!
I learned so much.
I would recommend it.
Oct 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
listened to the audio
I wish I had better retention and memory and so I could actually argue with idiots without looking like one in the process :)
Nov 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Glenn Beck groupie man is awesome his head must never shut off
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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
More about Glenn Beck...
“It just goes to show you that the "R" and the "D" are meaningless - what really matters is whether someone believes in the spirit and unending compassion of the individual, or instead in the destructive power of the collective.” 0 likes
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