Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

69 out of 97 people found this review helpful.

Shocking, But Incredibly Enlightening

I picked up an advance copy from a friend of a friend. I have already read Beck's "Common Sense", so I thought I was ready for "Arguing WIth Idiots." I was wrong! I give a lot of credit to Beck for saying what's on his mind and I do agree with many of the things he beli...
I picked up an advance copy from a friend of a friend. I have already read Beck's "Common Sense", so I thought I was ready for "Arguing WIth Idiots." I was wrong! I give a lot of credit to Beck for saying what's on his mind and I do agree with many of the things he believes (i.e. the right to bear arms, big government is crazy and a colossal waste of money, etc.). I think that many people try to push Beck into the Republican camp, but he is not a Republican; he is pragmatic. He is being honest. He is being at times, frightening. Frightening in a good way as I believe he is trying to be the Paul Revere of Common Sense and people are starting to listen. While this book will certainly get many peole's blood boiling, it would be both foolish and dangerous to not hear the man out. This is a worthwhile read. Give it a shot; you won't be disappointed.

posted by Vinny325 on September 22, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

63 out of 219 people found this review helpful.

Who's the idiot?

After listening to the preview and reading the excerpt I can see that Beck is a master at arguing with straw men he constructs. I love the idea of a domino effect mindset of people who argue that the Second Amendment is out dated; as though these people want to nefario...
After listening to the preview and reading the excerpt I can see that Beck is a master at arguing with straw men he constructs. I love the idea of a domino effect mindset of people who argue that the Second Amendment is out dated; as though these people want to nefariously end free speech and jury trials. I would like him to produce one serious critic of the NRA who has this in mind. The better argument against the NRA's interpretation of the Second Amendment is that the founders always believed in a state's power to regulate guns. The arguments that surrounded the inclusion of the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights were centered on the power of states to maintain and train virtuous male citizens for their militia to provide for the "common defense" of a young untested republic against the manifold threats extant. One of those perceived threats was the standing army of the National Government. In those days (and I suppose Beck would consider me an idiot for understanding this) "the people" feared a regular army in the hands of the national government; they wanted a small force if any. Today I would suggest that Americans want a well trained regular army to defend our nation. Therefore, in a very real sense, the idea of the Second Amendment is outdated. Now, that doesn't necessarily call for massive gun control, but it does lend to the understanding that states should, and always did, retain the power to regulate gun ownership according to their unique circumstances. In other words, a guy living in Wyoming has very different needs and concerns surrounding gun ownership than a family living in an apartment building in Philadelphia. The family in Philadelphia would like to go to bed at night knowing that the persons living on either side of them isn't going to accidently discharge their AK-47 and kill their child sleeping in its crib.

Here's an idiotic use of evidence: In 1831 the state of Missouri limited the right of citizens to carry concealed weapons. This was a factor in the case State v Mitchell. The statute, a state regulation of gun ownership, was found to be constitutional. That shows that states had the power to regulate gun ownership. Wow, what an idiot I am.

Hey, but Beck is dressed up as a soldier for Halloween this year. I'm convinced. At least he didn't try to dress up as a scholar.

posted by DylanVoltaire on September 22, 2009

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  • Posted October 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book

    The book is full of insight, humor, brilliance and Glenn's down home earthy charm. He does it again with this sage and stark depiction of where America is and where it needs to go. I loved the section on Capitalism and all the charts. It took me a while to get through it and I was never bored. It's a great book by a great American. Read the book for yourself and disregard the naysayers here as they are well, the ones the book is designed to argue with.

    9 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great, to-the-point resource

    Love the format of this book- it has talking points with the research to back it up. Wonderful resource to have in any discussion.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Common Sense Sequel

    I found "Arguing With Idiots" quite thought provoking and in-line with Glenn's "Common Sense". Admittedly, he won't be able to counter all the false-hoods and misunderstandings between government and the people, but I believe he brings back a simple understanding of what our government should be, or was meant to be, and how politicians wriggle through all the little loopholes they find. I think liberals and republicans who read this should at least take a step back from the edge and take a closer look at what they stand for.
    This book is a very easy read, with great monologue/dialogue for arguments and reactions. All pages are color and beautifully bound with great graphics and margin notes to keep you intrigued and to help with the more difficult concepts that may lead a reader to throw the book across the room. Perhaps an alternative title should be "Patience with Idiots".

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Beck should learn about the left before he writes about it.

    First of all, what is with the picture on the cover? Is Beck trying to parody the left as fascist? Is he like those protestors that put a Hitler mustache on a picture of Obama? Why is his face swollen in the picture? Beck looks like some East German border guard officer, circa 1986. On the back cover Beck has a tear. Now, if you like pictures in your books with comical sayings, this is the book for you. Beck writes critically of unions (as seems to be the obligation of every rightwing talk show host in America for some reason) but is shocked that unions give virtually no money to the GOP. He doesn't seem to understand that maybe,just maybe, it might have something to do with the GOP's vehement opposition to the rights of labor. Why would unions give any funds to a political party that basically hates organized labor? But who knows, maybe I am one of those "idiots" that Beck talks about. Beck also talks about the alien and sedition laws under Woodrow Wilson. He is right that these were deplorable laws but he tries to blame these laws on progressives because Wilson was overall a progressive. The problem with this is that the overall the progressives of that time opposed these laws and the conservatives supported them. Indeed, if Beck was alive 90 years ago he probably would side with the government. At least if the government was a Republican one. Beck, as all on the far right talks about treason but it is ironic that a man who is so apt to call political opponents as traitors is one who would condemn W. Wilson. I don't know if Beck's criticism of Wilson have more to do with Wilson violating basic civil rights or trying to make progressives look bad. I think it is the latter.
    Beck also talks about church/state issues. He mentions Jefferson's analogy in the Danbury letter of a "wall of seperation of church and state" but for some reason believes that the wall is one sided. He believes that the government can actively support religion and promote it instead of the government being neutral towards religion.
    Finally Beck has opposed the courts protecting the rights of minority groups and voices by showing a case that the courts didn't protect the rights of the minority. I know that I am one of these "idiots" Beck is probably talking about but logically the idea that it is a bad thing for courts to protect the rights of those whose rights have been violated or oppressed because a few times they didn't protect those rights, makes no sense. Beck by the way is a man who was elated, almost dancing in the street because the US didn't get the Olympics games because of his loathing of Barack Obama. At one time Americans loved having the Olympics in the US, now because of the hatred expressed by the far right to Obama, that no longer applies. Did much of the left hate Bush? Yes, but by no means was the hatred at this level. One just has to listen to talk radio, read blogs and listen to chatrooms to get a full measure of it.

    8 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2010

    Had some great information that I did not know.

    Actually very informative on the issues and puts them in a context that is not too degrading to the other person when defending your point of view.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2010

    Most unique book I have ever read

    Glenn Beck's Arguing with Idiots is definitely one of the most unique books I have ever read. In the book he picks out the problems America is experiencing right now and targets questions/statements the average "idiot" would say about those issues. He then finds the problems with those ideas and proves them wrong by using hard facts and statistics. He also adds little "tidbits" on the edges of the pages that helps emphasize the point he is trying to make. I really enjoyed the voice in this book because I could really hear Glenn's voice in my head as I read. I also really enjoyed the format he used; it was really different from most books you read.
    There was only one thing that I didn't like about this book, the "tidbits" that were on the edges of the pages. Granted, they helped stress the importance of what was being said but, I felt very overwhelmed with all of the writing on the page and if I didn't read them I would be lost the rest of the chapter. This took me longer to read the chapters and occasionally distracted my reading.
    This book is a real eye-opener to what's going on with our government right now. It's very bold and points out what is amiss and what can be done to fix it; or better yet what SHOULD be done to fix it. A really big theme in this book is how little the government should be involved in American lives. Glenn is very big on keeping to the Constitution because that is what we built our country on and how effective it has been for the past 200 years.
    I think that anyone could/should read this book. It is full of good information and details of how out of control things are in America right now. Glenn Beck is very good at being very blunt about what are making the big problems worse and what the best solutions are. Although many would think that this book is targeted towards the "right" it really does talk about both parties. I would encourage every American to read this book; it truly would make a massive difference in our nation if everyone was knowledgeable about what the real answers to our major problems would be.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2009

    What a surprisingly good book

    I had never had any exposure to the author prior to reading this book, I found it to be very informative and very entertaining, I highly recommend it.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Must read for conservatives and liberals!!

    This book is very well researched and presented is a fun and informative format.
    I hope everyone, no matter which political party they represent, takes the time to
    read "Arguing with Idiots". You will learn something new and have fun while learning it!!

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 16, 2009

    Well worth reading

    Glenn has broken down the Constitution into plain every day language.
    He makes valid points and it truly is the words needed when arguing with Idiots.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2009

    Creative and informative way of presenting issues both current and historical.

    The book is a humorous and yet informative presentation of issues that are relevant today and also relate to constitutional rights that were guaranteed hundreds of years ago. Although the writer has been labeled controversial, the topics contained in his book are well researched and supported by facts; mixed with Mr. Beck's usual appropriately cynical and sarcastic sense of humor. It is a fantastic read--something I have already purchase for my college-aged daughter (who also loves it) and a close friend (whose family needs enlightenment). I highly recommend it!!!

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2010

    Arm yourself with insight not offered by the main stream (biased) media.

    Interesting book with solid sources and references listed in the back of the book... Hard to argue with (unless you're an idiot).

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2010

    A MUST READ for every American!

    If you beleive in the Constitution of the United States of America, the principals of our founders and the freedom we hold so dear, this book is a MUST READ. This book should be a text in our school rooms.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2010

    More than what I thought...

    I don't buy into either political party, never have. This book did have a lot of eye opening topics that are not expressed in the news media that I had watched in the previous years.
    I am amazed at how the media and close minded individuals are not getting this info.
    I used to be one, but not by choice...I feel that the news agencies have hidden this information from the public long enough. Thanks Glenn Beck for the book.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Beck's info is incredibly accurate.

    Even if you don't like Beck, the info he is able to gather is like no other media source. I verify what he says before I believe it. He has made me more aware politically than I have ever been in the past.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    enjoyed the book

    great reference material for a conservative like me

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2009

    Great book for those that care about our Republic.

    Certainly not a touching book, or one that could be considered riveting. Instead, Beck's book is very thought provoking, with an abundance of well researched material. In today's world, it's a must-read.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A very interesting read.

    This book covers a lot of topics and and provides references in order to verify the claims made. It is a strong defense for US constitutional Government.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Glenn Does it again...

    Reaming both the left and the right, and backing up every statement with detailed source information and web addresses. Beck highlights the major issues threatening our once great country, and gives realistic solutions to each of them. A must read for anyone who wants to honestly, and without bias or political correctness, shine a light on the cockroaches destroying our society from within.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2009

    Glenn Beck Book is enlightening and provacative

    I trust Glen Beck to tell it like it is. I trust his honesty and integrity.
    In an entertaining way he informs on timely subjects and gives solutions to vexing problems.
    I recommend this book to all who love their country and want answers!

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2009

    Not bad.

    Historically accurate - even considering "after the fact".
    Solid analysis, regardless of the 'bad' reviews for the book that didn't even bother to 1: read it, 2: have any knowledge of historical fact, 3: rate it.

    6 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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