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

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  6,961 ratings  ·  767 reviews
#1 New York Times bestselling author and popular radio and television host Glenn Beck revisits Thomas Paine's Common Sense.

In any era, great Americans inspire us to reach our full potential. They know with conviction what they believe within themselves. They understand that all actions have consequences. And they find commonsense solutions to the nation’s problems.

One su
Paperback, 174 pages
Published June 16th 2009 by Threshold Editions (first published January 1st 2009)
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Seth Jenson
Oct 25, 2009 rated it did not like it
I picked up Glenn Beck's book the order and started reading it the other day. Borrowed it from the in-laws. I really liked Glenn Beck at first. But, the more I listen to this guy, Glenn Beck that is, the less I like his style, and the less I trust him. I think some of his ideas are good but he's so sensational. He doesn't provide evidence and real life examples to support a lot of his claims. His words are incendiary. He thinks he's transformational, but I don't think he is. I think he's inflamm ...more
Oct 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I FINALLY feel like someone understands what I need to know about what is happening to America. Now I feel like I can explain to people where it is I stand politically.

Glen Beck does an excellent job of helping the american people recognize what those uneasy feelings are about the way things are being run in Washington. This is a book every single American ought to read. It's simple to read it's easy to understand and it rings truth loud and clear.
Nov 13, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fbpl, politics

I am a little reticent to write a review of this book. Once you start discussing politics, things can become heated. By way of disclaimer, I am likely what Mr. Beck calls a "Progressive" in his book. I do believe the founders of our country were great men. I think they did the best they could with the Constitution. But that does not mean that I think those men and that document are inerrant. I think this has been amply demonstrated: slavery, women's suffrage, and the civil rights movement. I str

Jun 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I have been listening to Glenn Beck since a short time after September 11, 2001. I have listened to and watched Glenn eviscerate both political parties on both radio and television. Here is a man, despite what you may think of him personally or politically, who tells it like it is.

In his version of Common Sense, he illucidates areas in which our government has usurped our liberties in the name of "the common good." Both political parties have so mismanaged taxpayer dollars for their massive, was
Steven Montgomery
Jul 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
Having read Thomas Paine's Common Sense many times and highly recommend that others read it, the reader of this review may ask why I only rated this book "ok" and didn't rate it higher. Don't get me wrong. I believe a lot of what Glenn says on the radio and writes. My biggest sore spot regarding this book is the following:

It's not just the political class who has mastered the art of deception. There are other potentially deadly masters who will seek to exploit your frustration and sense of desp
3.5 stars. After really being disappointed in Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government, I did not go into this book with very high expectations. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that I really liked this. Let me say that, while agreeing with many of Beck's positions and ideas, I acknowledge that his arguments are fairly simplistic and done with an appeal towards the emotions rather than the intellect. This doesn't mean he isn't right (I happen to think he often is), ...more
Jul 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone not indoctrinated.
Recommended to Jongalt by: Numerous individuals
So I read (listened too) "Common sense", with some trepidation and with the intention of being extremely objective.

He does a great job categorizing all the different topics and setting a standard by which to act in politics. I saw a lot of comments on sites like amazon that stated it was "lacking in any sense" but I would definitely disagree.

Many other posts on amazon stated that it was basically a rehash of Glenn Becks "religious beliefs", well I'm a dyed in the wool card carrying athei
Oct 19, 2009 rated it did not like it
First off I find the statement that Beck made that President Obama is racist and hates white people to make no sense (which is the main reason why I didn't want to see what Beck had to say). Obama's Mom was white, his grandparents where white, so did he hate them? It doesn't make sense. Also I don't see anything directed at making white people go to the back of the bus, or legalizing lynching of white people or anything like that (that would seem to be an actual demonstration of hate). In all ho ...more
Jul 25, 2011 rated it did not like it
Putting my personal feelings of Glenn Beck and his motives aside for the first three of these points (which for the record of full disclosure are not favorable)... The book is problematic on multiple levels.

1) Writing - Having been subjected to more than enough Beck thanks to my Dad's addiction to Fox News, I can say that he writes EXACTLY the way he talks (capital letters included!). While this style obviously appeals to the masses, and I thought it was hip to do so in elementary school, I no l
Mike (the Paladin)
I considered 4 stars as Glenn is not primarily a writer, an author (though that my be a misnomer now as he's written a good number of books including children's books and at least one novel). But I think I can recommend this book very highly.

Some of you will be familiar with Mr. Beck from his radio program and commentary program on FOX News Channel. If you are, then the subject matter of this book will be no surprise to you. This is a forum where Glenn can not only state his positions, but lay o
Thomas Edmund
Jan 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
Given the title, of Glenn Beck's Common Sense, I initially thought this book would follow A. Man's 'Everything a man can say to a woman without offending' (the book is blank by the way)

The book was a much better read than Arguing With Idiots (i.e. shorter) and in much the same vein, is a 120ish rant about governmental overspend. I don't think people totally disagree with the risk of debt, but I guess its about priorities.

I suspect the most effort Beck put into this book was the insidious tacti
Sep 16, 2009 rated it did not like it
Most of my conservative friends may be shocked that I didn't like this book, but I have to say it -- I didn't agree with Beck's claim to be a critic of both parties. He's so obviously a conservative Republican that it makes his diatribe shallow and hypocritical. He's great at pointing out the problems. His "solutions" are cliched and vague. Beck is an example of the sort of extremism that's radicalized and destroyed the Republican party. Even though the extremists may not control the party, they ...more
DJ Harris
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: The Entire World!
Recommended to DJ by: Glenn Beck

Jump inside the mind of Glenn Beck as you turn the pages of this book! See how he interprets Common Sense in today's society. After reading this book it is easy to see how he sees very little common sense in our government.

It was a fantastic read, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book!

Glenn Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine by Glenn Beck
Nov 08, 2009 added it
Let me start by saying I AM NOT A GLENN BECK FAN. I am not a rabid Republican and I tend to dislike politics in general. However, I thought this would be a thought-provoking book and it was. I agreed with many points and strongly disagreed with others. Some points I agreed on included the idea that both political parties seem to be majorly flawed, we desperately need term limits because career politicians are not good for anybody, and our national debt is out of control. I disagreed with his att ...more
Jan 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Having never read any of Mr. Beck's books before I did not know what I was in for. It was not what I expected it to be. I found the book to be largely nonpartisan, as Mr. Beck thinks the Democrats and the Republicans are obstacles to his Libertarian philosophies.
Beck is not a great writer, he is an average one, and I get the sense he is okay with that. This is not a text written on an inaccessible, philosophic level, and unlike some reviewers, I don't see that as a bad thing. It allows readers o
Glenn Beck, the television personality, appended the original "Common Sense" of Thomas Paine to the end of his own book. I read Paine's book first and I would recommend it to anyone interested in history. It contains some curious data such the cost to build naval ships of various sizes in the late 18th century, but mostly it is polemic against monarchy and in favor of American independence.

Curiously, except the heated style, Beck's text has almost nothing in common with Paine's. Paine sketches
Christopher Obert
Oct 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2009
Never in my life have I even been more worried about the fate of the nation than I am now! I have little to no faith in most of the officials that are currently running the country (into the ground I might add.) I believe that most, if not all, politicians don’t give a dam about the country, only themselves! It does not matter what is good or bad for the country as long as it hurts their opponents whether they are in another political party or a US citizen. While do not agree with everything in ...more
Feb 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
Completely disingenuous and contradictory. Makes sweeping claims without sources and offers numbers without contextualizing them. Really likes Thomas Sowell but doesn't look to other economists to see what they have to say. Also offers a number of examples that will leave you scratching your head (his application of Chinese ownership of the national debt to an American household comes to mind). Can't quite understand why anybody reads this when there other perfectly valid books written by Americ ...more
Aug 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
I like reading and listening to Glenn Beck...he tells it like it is, and doesn't take the side of the Republican OR the Democrat.

This book, inspired by Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" is a call to action...for American's to no longer sit idly by and let us be lied to by those in the government. We are to take responsibility for what is happening to our country.

It's not at all about religion, but some of my quotes are...


"So why is religion so important to the proper functioning of a democra
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book seemed a little dated at first, considering it was written in the early months of the Obama administration, and I didn't start reading it until eight years later, six months into the Trump administration. So many of the then-current atrocities by our government that Beck discusses--TARP, cash for clunkers, the trillion-dollar deficits--seem a little like ancient history now, even thought we're still recovering from the damage they did. But as I read farther, it occurred to me that the ...more
Samuel Mercuri
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book very much. It is an overview of what is wrong with the American government, and what we can do about it. Clearly written and well researched, it reveals how the United States has strayed from the path that our Founding Fathers set for us. Our out of control government wastes money and crushes innovation with mindless regulations.

Those who think Glenn Beck's views encourage violence clearly never got past his "Note from the Author" where he bluntly states: "I lay out several o
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
David Robins
Oct 20, 2009 rated it liked it
"A charter is to be understood as a bond of solemn obligation, which the whole enters into, to support the right of every separate part, whether of religion, personal freedom, or property, A firm bargain and a right reckoning make long friends." This is from Thomas Paine's tract of the same name, also included. Paine argues eloquently for the abolishment of rule by a king, and upholds the need for a fundamental property right, but Beck fails to connect the dots and note that any majority governm ...more
Feb 14, 2011 rated it liked it
"They have set our house on fire and blocked the exits, all the while convincing us that there is nothing to fear because they are the fire department." is a true statement about our lulled situation. Are we ready to hear and act? I'd hope so, but alas, we've not seen enough pain to act.

Though "the cause of America is in great measure the cause of mankind," we still want our easy life, our comfort, our TV our NFL. Wake up, it is almost too late to reclaim our American dream. Hegel, Marx and the
Karl Tenney
Profound. Everyone should read this book. It is not pro Repubican or pro Democrat. It is about what happens when government spends money - when government grows in power. Both parties are guilty and Beck makes that case clearly. You may or may not agree with his conclusion but as a responsible citizen you must understand what is going on.

I simply cannot give this book a higher recommendation. It is short, simple and easy to understand and its only 6 bucks at Costco. Not only is this a MUST READ,
Zeineb Nouira
Dec 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Political books are not really my cup of tea, but since politics is seeping into every field, I thought maybe I should pick up a book, put my "analytical" glasses on and dive into the realm of American politics...However, choosing Glenn Beck as my guide was not a very wise choice.

Beck is OBVIOUSLY a Conservative and he did not save any effort in showing it!!
He talks as if he is the reincarnation of the Founding Fathers who is sent to relieve the Land from the "cancer of Progressivism".

He does ha
Dec 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Well it could have been written better. Some parts were stronger than others. I enjoyed this book mainly because I believe in the subject matter.

I'll throw it 3 stars & leave you with my favorite passage.

"The Progressives view the Constitution as a living organism that evolves with time and changes depending on circumstances. Both the Progressives and the Founding Fathers view the Constitution as a set of handcuffs- but the difference is that our Founders believed that it was the power of the S
Jun 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is a must read for anyone that is concerned with the direction our Republic is taking and the out-of-control government. When I say the out-of-control government, I am not just talking about the President, but the entire government; to include both the Democrats and the Republicans.

Personally I think that this next election cycle we need to clean house and vote out all incumbents. It is time for a fresh start and to get back on track and start following the Constitution again.

Please read th
Larry Dehaan
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Glenn Beck does a good job pointing out how government can grow out of control, no longer representing the will of the people. He encourages the reader to consider "common sense" as the rule by which government should operate. Though I agree with this premise, I also find it challenging to define "common sense." What seems right in the eyes of one, is wrong to another. ...more
Jun 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book - NOW! It is short, but eye-opening. It is time for each of us to step up and insure that the great American Experiment is not lost forever. It really is just Common Sense.
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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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