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Glenn Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine Paperback – June 16, 2009

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Glenn Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine + Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns + Miracles and Massacres: True and Untold Stories of the Making of America
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Threshold Editions; First Edition edition (June 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439168571
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439168578
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,242 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Glenn Beck, the nationally syndicated radio host and founder of TheBlaze television network, is an eleven-time #1 bestselling author and is one of the few authors in history to have had #1 national bestsellers in the fiction, nonfiction, self-help, and children’s picture book genres. His recent fiction works include the thrillers Agenda 21, The Overton Window, and its sequel, The Eye of Moloch; his many nonfiction titles include Miracles and Massacres, Control, and Being George Washington. For more information about Glenn Beck, his books, and TheBlaze TV network, visit and

More About the Author

Glenn Beck, a nationally syndicated radio host and founder of TheBlaze, is the author of eleven #1 bestselling books: An Inconvenient Book, Glenn Beck's Common Sense, Arguing with Idiots, The Christmas Sweater and The Christmas Sweater: A Picture Book, The Overton Window, Broke, The 7, The Original Argument, Cowards and Control. His other bestselling books include Miracles and Massacres, Agenda 21, The Real America, The Snow Angel and Being George Washington. Beck is also the publisher of Mercury Ink, a publishing imprint ( that, in conjunction with Simon & Schuster, released the #1 bestselling young adult series Michael Vey.

Glenn can be found on the web at and

Customer Reviews

This is a very insightful and informative book.
L. Tinkham
Paine was a deist, like many of our Founding Fathers, not a Christian like Beck, and his deistic theology would be (and has been) labeled atheism by most Christians.
Amazon Customer
I bought the book and read it in just a few hours.
Voice Of Reason 71

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. Scerpella on November 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
I am one of those who doesnt watch Glenn Beck much, particularly now that he doesnt have his FOX show anymore (not that I ever did), dont really consume much of his new product much either, but in general I believe Beck is consistently more right than wrong.

So like a lot of folks I was very interested to read this book. I think I was about to page 10 when I started to tire of what amounts to disorganized rambling with little relation to Paine's Common Sense. I soldiered on and read about half of it when I finally could read no more and put it down. It isn't that the ideas are worthless, it's that as a piece of communication it fails miserably. I think a better book editor (if there was one in the first place) would have done wonders. The chapters don't seem to be founded on organizing principles. It was like trying to get in the mind of a crazy man. I hate to say it but in my mind I am thinking Composition 101 should be taken again.

He made the further mistake of including Paine's actual treatise in the Appendix. The writers of Paine's day had a brilliant command of the language, so most modern literature doesnt measure up, but to put this up against what I think even for Beck was phoned in makes Beck suffer greatly in the comparison. I think if one is going to try to bask in the reputation of one of our greatest historical figures by naming ones book with the same title, then they had better put out a better product than this one. I actually gave my copy away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tvtv3 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
I really don't enjoy listening to Sean Hannity and am increasingly finding Rush Limbaugh to be a rich and pompous bore. However, I do enjoy listening to Glenn Beck. He's extremely passionate about what he talks and writes about, but is also highly entertaining and most of the time he also makes a great deal of sense. That's a problem in politics in our country; there's very little logic and reason to anything and is instead based upon failed progressive policies of the past.

Originally Beck had planned to release his COMMON SENSE anonymously via the Internet and have anyone be able to download it for free. However, because of publishing contracts Beck wasn't able to do that and had to release this treatise in a published book. That's the reason the book is so short.

Inspired by Thomas Paine's COMMON SENSE, Beck's book of the same titled is divided into six sections: the reshaping and redefining of America, money, the U.S. tax code, the perks and privileges of politicians, progressivism, and a call to action. None of these sections are very long and some are better written than others. However, they do contain important information that every American should know about, including some information that many federal politicians would wish that average Americans didn't know about, e.g. the redistricting of Congressional districts after every census. Even though many of his points aren't expanded upon as much as I would like to see, they are mostly well-made.

I realize that there are many who won't even bother reading this book because Glenn Beck's name is on it. That's a shame. I'll admit that some of the writing in the book is a bit lackluster, but that doesn't make the message contained within any less important or critical.
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454 of 673 people found the following review helpful By Prohobo on August 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
As a fan on Thomas Paine (especially Common Sense and Age of Reason), I was very much excited to read Beck's book. After the first few chapters, I realized there is almost NO connection at all to Paine's work. It seems that it is more of marketing ploy to attach one's name to Paine and use a famous title of Paine's work that inspired a nation, to generate book sales. That initial frustration got me off to a bad start. That is of course in no way reflects Beck's view or his writing. However, I was "fooled" thinking this was a revisit of that classic work "Common Sense" to modern times. Unfortunately the book, other than title, has little if any connection to Paine's work.

Ironically - for those unfamiliar to Paine's work, but a fan of Becks - I wonder how they would find Paine's "Age of Reason" - it would almost stand to reason that he would lose half (if not more) of his supporters if he visited "Age of Reason" - he might even lose his show on Fox. Note any reference to that work is completely devoid in this book (which is a shame - if it where REALLY a tribute or inspiration of Paine - which I begin to wonder.)

However, are we to judge or compare Paine to Beck? Of course not and this certainly is NOT even close to measuring up to any of Paine's works. But the question is it worth the read?

Beck's writing is very weak and many cases repetitive. Not able to grasp tangible arguments he sometimes ventures down ad hominem methods - which lower the value of his arguments. It is important to note that regardless if I agree or disagree with some of this points, his methods and suspicions are conjecture and rudimentary. The connections to past affiliations can lead to suspicion, but certainly does not make the case.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Love him or hate him, Glenn Beck is one of the instigators and leaders of the Tea Party movement that is still affecting the polity.
In this book, Beck hoped to inspire Americans to understand how bad the American government is, much the way Thomas Paine did about English governance before the American Revolution.

Beck's book is 111 pages of his analysis of our contemporary out-of-control government, followed by a reprint of Paine's Common Sense. Here are some highlights of Beck’s contribution, along with my partisan critique:

* Beck approvingly quotes Martin Luther King, Jr. three times in his first three pages. But King advocated the social gospel and using government to restructure society to lift up those mired in poverty and the racial caste system. Suffice it to say, Beck would disagree with most of King’s message and cites King selectively – the way a drunk uses a lamppost – for support, not illumination.

* Beck likes to quote the Founding Fathers in their call for revolution. So does Saul Alinsky! One a reactionary and the other a radical.

* "Incendiary class warfare is not a solution, it's a diversion." Does class warfare include scapegoating illegal immigrants and the poor? Or does it only apply when poor billionaires are being picked on? I have never seen a conservative complain about class warfare when, say, regressive taxes and fees are proposed. Why is soaking the poor so much less objectionable than soaking the rich?

* Beck writes that passing Medicare D in 2006 was not just "probably the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation since the 1960s,” but “a borderline criminally negligent" act. Where were Beck and other budget hawks when Bush and Paul Ryan pushed it through a GOP Congress?
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