Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Snapshot Review: Glenn Beck's "Common Sense"

I bought Glenn Beck's Common Sense the day it came out. Yes, I am a fan. The book is selling like hotcakes and is unvailable in many places. Indeed I checked for it in 2 seperate Wal*Marts and in the very Borders where I purchased it (at a stupidly high price) about a week later and they were gone. I ask you: Liberal conspiracy or popular demand? HRM?! :-)

I can't believe I just put a smiley on my blog.

Here is my mini-review.

Beck is an emotional guy. His book is emotional. In fact it is mostly an emotional plea to your Common Sense. He's right about the stuff he covers in his book but it has some flaws. Common Sense's purpose is to make the case of an out of control government (ours) to normal lay people walking the street. And so if you pick it up there are a few things to expect:

It is time-sensitive. The events listed in the book have made it valuable for a limited time...let's say 3 months maybe? If you want to get much out of the book you need to read it now. Don't put it off.

Its written at about a 5th grade reading level. There isn't much in the way of intellectual argument and substance. Phrases like "Wake up America!" and "Open your eyes!" dot the text and while they are certainly sincere emotional pleas from Glenn Beck they have a tendency to drag the book down.

There is substance by way of what is happening now. Right now. There are things you need to know in this book if you do not follow politics. If you have someone in your family who knows nothing about anything in politics, get them this book today and have them read it immediately.

Regardless of its ease of reading, its been a chore getting through it. The style is plain that I there are times I just have to put it down. Mind you, this is a book that one can get through easily in a day or two.

I know the root of the problem. Its Chesterton, the Apostle of Common Sense. G.K. Chesterton has ruined most other authors for me. Who can match him?

A few Class-A Chesterton quotes: (from

"Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists." - The Uses of Diversity, 1921

"From the standpoint of any sane person, the present problem of capitalist concentration is not only a question of law, but of criminal law, not to mention criminal lunacy." - "A Case In Point," The Outline of Sanity

"All but the hard hearted man must be torn with pity for this pathetic dilemma of the rich man, who has to keep the poor man just stout enough to do the work and just thin enough to have to do it." -Utopia of Usurers, 1917

"Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God." - Christendom in Dublin, 1933

"The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man." - Chapter 19, What I Saw In America, 1922

I'm looking forward to the Pope's new Encyclical Caritas in Veritate.


Moonshadow said...

I ask you: Liberal conspiracy ?

Until I read your review, I thought, "Yes, that's what it is" but now I say, "Read. Read deeply. Then read s'more." LOL.

Yes, you're spoilt for anyone who markets their books at Walmart.

" ... dilemma of the rich man, who has to keep the poor man just stout enough to do the work and just thin enough to have to do it ..."

While I don't share his disdain for the wealthy - I think they do a lot of philanthropic good - his gross, sweeping generalizations appeal to my baser inclinations sum'thin' terrible.

Mark said...
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Matt said...

Mark - please don't do that again. If you want to comment, then comment. If you want me to promote an apostolate you like or review some website then send me an email.

ossian1898 [at]

I would hate to have to flip the moderation switch again.

"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton