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

64 out of 220 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 September 22, 2009

    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 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.

    69 out of 97 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    HE DID IT AGAIN

    I HAVE READ ALL OF BECKS BOOKS, AND YES YOU HAVE TO BE VERY OPEN MINDED TO READ POLITICAL BOOKS OF ANY KIND AND NOT OPENLY COMMENT ON THE CONTENT IT HOLDS RATHER THAN THE JOB THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK DID TO GET THE MESSAGE OUT AND GRAB YOUR ATTENTION FOR OR AGAINST. DID THEY MAKE YOU RESEARCH OF ASK QUESTIONS YOURSELF? DID YOU HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH OTHERS ON THEIR CONTENT. WITH THIS BOOK AND HIS OTHERS I DID,,,, HE HAD ME AT HELLO.

    33 out of 56 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2009

    Entertaining!

    This book throws out an easy approach to principles and rules. It provides detailed examples of how past situations have been handled and what took place. One can learn much from past experiences and when to implore them and when not to. The visual aids were a nice touch.

    16 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Funny and informative

    I found this book to be funny and full of information that is easily understood, and more importantly, easily fact-checked. I will re-read this regularly while we are working our way through the corruption going on in our government.

    13 out of 15 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 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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  • 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2010

    Worth The Read

    A bit of a long read. Interesting and at times funny. The final chapters are devoted to a history about Presidents and their ideology. Good read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    Arguing With Idiots is entertaining and informative at the same time.

    A lot of books like this are preachy and dry. This book is very entertaining, with colorful pages and added information boxes that give you facts or just ideas that make you think. The illustrations are very well done and all the boxes and side notes add to the enjoyability of reading this book. I really like the way the book is laid out, with each new subject covered in a new chapter and then the arguments that the idiots would give and the answer to each argument. I especially love the "celebrity guest ideeot" quotes, which you just can't make this stuff up. All of the things that are covered have pages and pages of citations in the back so that you know where all of the information came from and you can decide for yourself if you believe it or not. This is not like some of the books that give you what the author wants you to believe as fact with nothing substantial to back it up. I read this book very quickly and now my daughter is reading it so that she knows how to answer her liberal teacher who feels the need to insert his political views in the classroom. I really enjoyed this book!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2010

    Good, interesting, prvocative

    Worth the read!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2010

    Beck has another winner

    As usual Beck has made us open our eyes and think really hard about how the world of politics operates. I didn't want to put the book down once I had begun to read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good read and humorous

    I enjoyed the use of humor to make points. A little too many ADD moments for my tastes, but it is what Glenn does well. If you don't agree with the principles to begin with, I doubt this book will change your mind.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    So much going wrong in so little time. Big Government is destroying America.

    Glenn provides a lot of facts about the issues of the day. I learned a few things and realized I need to learn more. Only downside is that I'm left asking "but what can we do about it"? I'm not a big fan of the "ADD moments".

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Glenn Beck does it again!

    This book is more enlightening and as good as "Common Sense" by Beck. Excellent for those interested in history and politics.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good Book!

    Having never seen Glenn Beck's show on Fox (I'm one of those hard working private sector union guys) I was interested in what all the commotion was about. I thought that the main body of the book was laid out very nicely, with Beck making his points against hypothetical questions from the other point of view. While most of his arguements were eye opening and well researched, some of his points were fairly standard from a conservitive point of view. I thought that the overload on the sidebars on each page (ADD moment, celebrity guest idiot) got to be a little overwhelming and took away from the main point of the chapter. Overall, though, very well researched and interesting.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    a good book

    it's a good book. i personallay have leanned to stay away from certain arguements.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    Glenn Beck

    Of all the books he wrote this is my fav

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    A good book for people from all political views

    Even if you don't agree with everything Glenn Beck says on his shows this book will make you stop and look at some important issues from another point of view. I don't read much and i had problems putting this book down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2011

    A good teaching book - know why you believe what you do.

    I picked this book up after a number of debates with some friends on the subjects covered in the book - such as Capitalism and gun control. In my discussion before the book, I could kind of give answers, but I never really knew how to back myself beyond a 'i know the evidence is there, but I don't know where to find it' answer. The book takes the time to point out not only evidence but reference it, which I felt was very important. My only fault with the book was how it mocks the view of the other side, which I think hurts a proper debate. I recommend this book to those who are working their way into understanding how and why things they believe in are true. The other side is always looking to discredit what you say - it is important to be sure you can back up your beliefs with fact.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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