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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Larry proved it.
People are idiots. (He did not have to prove it to me, I have worked in retail for over 20 years). If you want an author who will get in your face and challenge you to quit whining and making excuses and change, then this book is for you. If you are overly sensitive or love being a loser, then you will likely find the author to be rude and crude. You will also be offended...
Published on January 2, 2009 by Steve Burns

versus
66 of 90 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why This Book Fails
Larry Winget's first popular book took an original approach, made us laugh, and gave readers a kick in the pants. His second was almost information-free - perhaps a quickly-written mistake. The third book was further re-hashed information no one around here was willing to finish.

"People Are Idiots" is just bad.

When I found a lone copy on the...
Published on December 30, 2008 by Jabberwock


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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Larry proved it., January 2, 2009
People are idiots. (He did not have to prove it to me, I have worked in retail for over 20 years). If you want an author who will get in your face and challenge you to quit whining and making excuses and change, then this book is for you. If you are overly sensitive or love being a loser, then you will likely find the author to be rude and crude. You will also be offended by his rants. For me I enjoyed his sense of humor and agree with the principles in his book to take 100% responsibility for your life and make changes if you want different results. The truth is we have created the circumstances in our life through our actions. We spend our time on what is most important to us. We have in our life what we were willing to pay the price for. Every decision we make takes us either closer to our goals or farther away from them, choose wisely.
If you sit up and pay attention this book will show us all how we act like idiots sometimes. We sabotage our lives when we are ignorant, stupid, lazy, don't care, lack vision, have low expectations, don't recognize the consequences of our actions, have bad habits, have poor role models, and have no plan. The author shows how to overcome all of these challenges through sound principles and common sense. This is not rocket science but it is solutions to problems that some readers may not even know that they have. You will find principles in this book that will change your life. Don't be an idiot, buy the book and learn something new.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Often the most valuable advice is what we don't want to hear..., December 30, 2008
By 
Scott McKain (Indianapolis, IN) - See all my reviews
I finally got to sleep this morning at 6AM. "People Are Idiots" literally kept me awake all night. Not just because it's a "page turner" (which it IS), but also because it had me thinking so much about my life that I couldn't stop writing notes, pondering the future, and contemplating Larry's advice.

I'm always wary of reviewers who write a long treatise here. It seems they have an axe to grind -- positive or negative -- and that their position is more about them than it is the book. So, here's the bottom line: If you want to get fuzzy inspiration, this isn't the book for you. If, however, you want a book that shows you how to get your act together, quit sabotaging yourself, and have a better year in 2009, regardless of the economy, stop reading reviews and start buying (and reading) this book.

You may -- or may not -- like HOW Larry makes his points. However, WHAT he says will change your life. It has mine. Sometimes the most valuable advice is the stuff we don't want to hear.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth smackdown!, December 30, 2008
By 
J. Calloway (Nashville, TN USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Wow! Winget obviously ticked some people off with this one. I had to go back and look at the book again to be sure we were reviewing the same one. The book I read was about the power of taking action, positive role models, personal responsibility, keep on learning, be charitable, the role of integrity, and a lot of other ideas that must be incredibly controversial to some people. Look, Larry's style might not be your cup of tea. He gets in your face. Admittedly, he's not all cute and cuddly like some motivational gurus. But his goal is (my guess) to make us think about the consequences of our actions. Period. With this economy like it is I'm personally grateful for a well timed kick in the butt. I don't need to be blaming anybody for anything right now. I need to get on with life and understand that I've got choices to make every day. Larry's book helps me make better choices.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modest View of Reviews, January 3, 2009
By 
Roger D. Curry (FAIRMONT, WV USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Larry is bald and brash, wears loud cowboy shirts, smokes cigars, drinks scotch, rants, and surely you feel strongly about him one way or another. (Or, both.) But that's not a basis for a positive OR a negative review. That's his genuineness and is the way he singles himself out. That's the way he gets people to listen to him THE FIRST TIME. Like Scotch in a pretty bottle, if the contents turn out to be rotgut, the bottle will be ignored real quick next time you're looking for a quaff. If Larry doesn't come through with quality from behind the sunglasses, nobody will be listening. So if you judge a book by the cover (either literally or figuratively) or can't hear the message because you react to the messenger about irrelevancies, your review is worthless to an intelligent reader. This is the Marketplace of Ideas, not Tea Time at the Little Church in the Valley.

Let me suggest a three step process for reviews, and then apply it to People are Idiots.

Step One: What is the quality of the writing? Is it grammatical? Consistent? Does it maintain ones' interest?

Step Two: What is the quality of the information (if non-fiction) or story (if fiction)? [NOT "Do I like it?" That's next.] Is it researched and footnoted if appropriate? If it is free-form, it is logical? Does the author use appropriate examples? Does s/he understand logic?

Step Three: How do I personally react to the book as a whole? Do I agree with it? Even if I don't agree with it, does it make a significant contribution to the public discourse? (Note: I've positively reviewed books I don't agree with for precisely that last reason.)

In a 5-star system like Amazon uses, I'm thinking that we put step one and step two together and account for at least 4 of the stars. (I say all 5 stars, and step three gives the review character and meaning, but others will differ.)

OK, People Are Idiots:

Writing: As advertised. Larry is brash and obnoxious, harranging and ranting. You want mealy-mouthed, look elsewhere. His writes more like he speaks than most "motivational gurus," which makes the content readable. To me, it's fun and I throw in a lot of "Right on's" (Wait a minute, that's Step Three. Sorry.)

Information: There's not a whole lot of research, but that doesn't bother me. It may bother others. He is drawing conclusions from impressions of American society which, if we are honest with ourselves, will match our own observations. As to the information, one review is right, Larry doesn't put much about the grey areas of life in People Are Idiots. Shame, shame, Larry. Wait a minute - He also doesn't mention French cooking, menopause or romance, either. Why the hell not, Larry? Well, only Larry can answer for sure, but I'm guessing that the shades of grey aren't there because they aren't what the book is about. This book doesn't teach subtlety, stealth or feeling good through meditation. That's because most of us (me included) still haven't learned the basics adequately. We are dreadfully in debt. That's not grey, it's black & white. Most of us are overweight, obese or really fat. That's not grey. At least part of the time, just about all of us whine and duck responsibility. Nope, no grey there. I don't know about you, but I don't have the basic lessons down by a damn sight. Learning is good. Repetition is good. New approaches are good. New motivation is good. Before you hang the wallpaper in a house, a carpenter has to build the house level, plumb and square. If s/he doesn't, you have pretty wallpaper on a flimsy house.

And Step Three, People Are Idiots did speak to me. Larry speaks to me. This time, he put out a quality product. Whether you agree with all or most of what he says, it causes thought. For that matter, if you agree with ALL of what he says, you may be one of the idiots. We are supposed to exercise independent judgment. It's America, remember?

As for me, I'll keep walking with Larry, learning from him, and taking heart.

Pippa passes.

R
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No proof needed, but thanks, December 30, 2008
I like a lot of what Larry Winget says, and this book is clearly a notch or two above most self-help guru books. (Larry calls himself a "success guru" or at least he did once on page 89.) The thing I like about his spiel is that he emphasizes personal responsibility. This is his central argument, and it should be the central argument of anyone's life. You are responsible for what happens to you. And yes you can throw in, "It isn't what happens to the man that counts. It's how the man reacts to what happens to him."

I don't know who said that, but I bet Larry does. He studied just about every self-help guru and motivational speaker he could find, and he's read a slew of self-help books; and judging from some of the well-thought of people he quotes throughout the book, he's probably read many of the Great Works of humankind--actually I know he has because he says so. Or he listens to them being read on a CD in the car. Larry Winget does not wing it. He believes you can fake it some of the time especially when you're starting out, but when push comes to shove you better have the goods. Furthermore, Larry believes in reading. He harps on it. And he's right, but you can also watch what he calls quality television--and he's right there too. Television use to be a vast wasteland--57 channels and there's nothing on, according to the Springstein song--and that was right, but today with the Discovery Channel, NatGeo, the Science Channel, PBS, etc., there is a lot to learn just by watching the tube.

Larry also believes in getting out of denial. As he says, every 12-step program ever designed begins with admitting you've screwed up and need to change your ways. That seems simple but most people never get to that step. They wallow in their denial. They are actually blind to the fact that they're fat and lazy and addicted to constant consumption and gross mismanagement of their finances. Their kids are even fat but they are so deep into denial they can't see it. The school counselor or the school nurse has to tell them, and guess what? They are insulted.

And that's another thing Larry has right. If your kids are fat, chances are they got it from you. Take a look in the mirror. In fact one the best things you can do--and Larry is all about this--is take a good long look in the mirror next time you wonder why bad things happen to "good" people. Doors close and you don't even know it. You seem unlucky but taking out a mortgage on a house you couldn't afford and then maxing out your credit cards is NOT bad luck.

Larry doesn't like hypocrisy (which is probably the main reason he isn't a George W. Bush Republican). He says, you screwed up. Admit it! He tells how he loved watching Jimmy Swaggart break into genuine tears as he admitted that he screwed up (literally) with a hooker. Larry contrasts this with Bush's "Mission Accomplished" photo op. He writes, "That has to be one of most idiotic statements ever made to the American public. I don't know of one human being except George W. Bush who doesn't know what a mistake that statement was. Will he admit it? Nope. The whole world knows--yet he won't come clean and just say that perhaps, possibly, maybe that was a mistake to claim." (p. 86) In a bipartisan style, Larry also takes Bill Clinton to task for lying about the sex he had with that woman.

I also like some of the reasons Larry picks for saying people are idiots. For example, "People spend millions of dollars every year on psychics. Come on, people...psychics! No one can predict your future except you. Take control of your future and stop spending money with these frauds." (p 21)

"The human race is knowingly destroying the environment. We pretend there is nothing we can do about it, and that makes us all idiots." (p. 21) Actually, Larry, the average person is in denial about destroying the environment. But it amounts to the same thing.

Here's one I especially like: "The average cost of a wedding today is almost $30,000. Yet those couples who spend that much on the wedding (or have that much spent for them on the wedding) rarely have enough money to make a down payment on a house. How smart is that?" (p. 15)

But Larry isn't your usual motivation speaker. Styling himself as "The Pitbull of Personal Development"--yes, as in another business, you gotta have a gimmick--Larry first beats you up and then gives you a hand up. I suspect that his style works best with people who feel they have to hit bottom before they can reverse the trend. I would also say this style is eerily similar to the bullying style of people like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly who like to kick people around on their show so their audience can live vicariously. But I have to admire Larry Winget's ability to turn this style into something positive, although it and this book will not be to everyone's taste. And by the way, he calls people who listen to Rush Limbaugh "dittoheads." (p. xiii) And yes he's got that right too.

Bottom line: ninety percent right on. Larry Winget knows his business. He's done his homework, and I will NOT (as some reviewers inevitably will) say that one more proof that people are idiots is that they buy books like this!
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66 of 90 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why This Book Fails, December 30, 2008
By 
Jabberwock (Southern California) - See all my reviews
Larry Winget's first popular book took an original approach, made us laugh, and gave readers a kick in the pants. His second was almost information-free - perhaps a quickly-written mistake. The third book was further re-hashed information no one around here was willing to finish.

"People Are Idiots" is just bad.

When I found a lone copy on the shelves at Border's over a week ago, I grabbed it, hoping it would be something fun and inspiring to read over the holidays. It wasn't. Larry admits the information is old. It is. That isn't the problem.

In "People Are Idiots," Larry states that everything truly is black and white and that there is no gray area. Things are right or wrong, tall or short, bad or good. No wiggle room. No space for what makes us human: Awe, the enjoyment of wasting time watching TV re-runs, God, unscheduled time wasted in nature, or money blown on psychics. That one strikes me funny. My next door neighbor of eighteen years makes a cushy and legitimate living as a (psychic) consultant for the Los Angeles Police Department. Apparently we're idiots if we don't believe exactly what Larry does.

The lack of gray area gets worse. Obviously Larry has never had a chronic medical problem, or bothered to deal with anyone suffering from, oh, let's say Alzheimer's. Migraine headaches, M.S. and giving care to those who have problems do not fit into Larry's scheme for our lives. When my cousin misses a week of work due to a serious bout with Meniere's Syndrome, she must be a real slackass.

Again, if it isn't in Larry's world, it can't be in ours.

I'm further amazed by Larry's assumption that we all want money. Lots of money. I'm actually offended that Larry equates money with success. I lived in a situation of enormous wealth for four years and hated every minute of it. On the other hand, I have a friend my age (late fifties) who raised three girls on his own by working the oil fields and the docks. At age fifty, he decided to "retire" despite the lack of a traditional retirement plan. He rents a small bedroom with the money he makes selling artwork on the streetcorners, rides his bicycle locally and uses public transportation otherwise. He's the happiest, healthiest, and sanest guy I know.

Larry also assumes we all want to live a very long life. My parents both made it into their nineties and were miserable that last decade. They were well set, but their health declined naturally (both died of natural causes), and life held very little joy for them. I teach adults and don't know one who aspires to simply live a long time. That idea is another of Larry's enormous ego trips.

In "People Are Idiots" Larry spends more time bragging about how rude he is than he spends actually being rude. He loses credibility. And his self-branding just shows that no one else thinks Larry is a "pit bull," although I imagine in reality he is. My daughter, a forty-year old psychologist who "wastes time" volunteering at a local animal shelter learned that pit bulls are one of the gentler dog breeds. They only acquired their poor reputation because gangsters decided to take pit bulls, abuse them, and train them to attack and fight. It seems that Larry should have gone straight to "Gangster Larry."

In "People Are Idiots," Larry brags a lot about his image. His image is a joke. It just doesn't work. As a failure from Oklahoma, he must have suffered severe culture shock when he arrived in the big city in search of what he considers success. We have motivational speakers like tall, handsome, congenial Tony Robbins. Tony fires people up by empowering them with all good things. He's frank and friendly, and full of information. He sticks to his original precepts from twenty-odd years ago, but updates them and adds new information. I still have an original tape set from twenty years ago and when I want to get inspired, it still works.

Larry, on the other hand, could admittedly open a jewelry store with just the amount of bling he wears every day. His image is foolish, but it isn't fun. He looks and sounds like a high school bully.

Would you have trusted your school bully to help you improve your life?

This book is old material, readers. It's presented in Larry's worn-out confrontational manner. And it's woefully lacking. If you believe in anything remotely spiritual, if you sometimes enjoy a day of sitting in front of the TV eating (heaven forbid popcorn), or have an uncontrolled physical problem, you'll fall right smack into Larry's non-existent gray area and end up so annoyed at your own stupidity for buying this book, you'll recycle your copy like I did mine.

People really are idiots. They'll buy this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Has Some Useful Information, January 21, 2009
By 
drebbles (Arlington, MA USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Larry Winget's book "People are Idiots and I can Prove it" focuses on ten ways you are sabotaging yourself and shows you how to work to overcome those ways. He says that people are sabotaging themselves in these ways: people are ignorant; people are stupid; people are lazy; people don't give a damn; people lack vision; people have low expectations; people don't recognize the consequences of their actions; people have bad habits; people have poor role models; and people have no plan. Along with giving advice on how to stop sabotaging yourself, Winget also talks about and leaves space throughout the book to make lists on things like how to take responsibility; how to save money; how to be a better person; how to be healthier; how to deal with jerks; how to make a better world; and much more.

As the title "People are Idiots and I can Prove it" indicates, Winget's book isn't for everyone, something he points out early on in the book. He's a tough talker and won't take excuses from anyone, including himself. He also says early on that everything he says is not news; he is just presenting it in a different way. Personally, I like his no-nonsense style as he forces people to take a good look at themselves. He's not offering a miracle cure, but wants you to look within yourself for answers. As he says, he wants to show you "a" way to be more successful, not "the" way. His style is blunt and harsh at times, but he is upfront with the fact that he is as hard on himself as he is on other people. He stops throughout the book to have people create lists based on what he has written about - something I found very helpful. If I have any gripes about this book it's the fact that Winget frequently references other books he has written - I could do without the constant sales pitch.

"People are Idiots and I can Prove it" is a blunt book and may not be for everyone's taste, but I did learn some things from it, which is what I'm looking for in a self-help book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Bark, Very Little Bite, August 4, 2009
This author loves to bark at the idiots in the world--and he is correct in pointing out that people do stupid things. But that is very different from putting together a book that actually teaches people how to not be idiots. This book is filled with Winget's rants but there is not much more to it. He screams at the reader to "stop doing that," but doesn't give real tools to help, other than a few "exercises" that are just simple empty self-reflection spaces such as "What I expect from myself" or "My new vision for my life."

How in the world this man is a motivator is hard to tell from this book. On paper he comes across as a real loser--constantly reminding us that he was a failed businessman who turned his life around, bragging about his two kids who don't appear to have achieved any real success (one son is a failed fashion designer and the other son is a cop who "likes to hit and be hit"). He comes across like someone who couldn't think of anything better to do with his life so he found a gimmick to make big bucks by motivating business people by demeaning them.

The title of the book is intriguing and he does give some typical examples of people who are idiots (people who smoke, people who don't get their bank deposits ready until they get to the teller, etc.). But many of his examples are really, really dated. Jim Bakker and Jim Jones? Those cases were over 20 years ago. The Phil Silvers Show? Over 50 years ago! He even devotes an entire reflection to Jimmy Swaggart (who Winget praises for crying the crockodile tears after getting caught with a prostitute!?!) and that was from 1989! Couldn't this guy come up with some contemporary examples that a modern audience would understand?

The major flaw in his thinking is that he approaches life as if we are totally in control of every outcome that we produce. He doesn't include any outside influences, especially the fact that when you are in a family you must take into account the feelings of your spouse. So it's not always as simple as just deciding to change and then doing it--there are often others involved who could keep you from achieving some of your dreams, but he fails to address that in the book in any meaningful way.

So the IDEA of this book is clever, but the execution is really disappointing. He actually spends the first 8 pages of the book responding to critics who claim his books are too simplistic, unoriginal and obvious--well, after reading this, one can only conclude that those critics are correct.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusually Motivating, January 3, 2010
Before Idiots I had never heard of Larry Winget. Just like the book promised, I didn't agree with everything he said, it was all common sense with nothing spectacular and it made me think. So why rate it so highly? Well the book doesn't just give advice. It's active. You have to stop and fill out some fairly thought provoking lists; most of which are for prioritizing your life and then a plan for implementation.
I have seen many books which ask you to make lists but these lists make sense and I've never seen a plan for implementation. While all this makes PERFECT SENSE, it made all the other motivational folks seem like, well, idiots.
I recommend this book for people who are looking to organize their life for forward moving action. If you like a little humor along the way, you'll also like this book. I wouldn't recommend it if you're looking for a Tony Robbins style feel good book. I think this book is for people who are already emotionally stable enough to make the changes in action necessary to improve their lives.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth Hurts...but helps!, December 30, 2008
I have read through the negative Amazon reviews on Larry's latest book, "People Are Idiots And I Can Prove It"...and I was shocked!

I believe this to be one of his most entertaining and thought provoking books yet. Larry says: "the truth hurts; that's how you know it's the truth!", and another one of my favorite sayings he has is, "Expect the best. Be prepared for the worst. Celebrate it all!" Neither of these are totally negative or "inside the box".

Larry's delivery method is different. It is caustic. It is in-your-face. I have found that many motivational speakers and authors tend to sugar coat the truth. They try to present everything in a postive light and try and teach you ways to be more uplifting and successful. THAT approach does not always get results! The book is different and edgey. For those who need a thicker skin...READ THE BOOK! For those who need to step up to the plate in life, professionally and personally...READ THE BOOK! For those who don't think they know-it-all, READ THE BOOK!

The book goes over the, "Ten Ways People Are Sabotaging Their Success" AND gives many anecdotes to implement change. He provides "Action Lists For Success". Larry tells us that, "any change in behavior will bring about a change in results". He provides advice on so many levels of a variety of different topics ranging from; fashion, family, friendships, parenting, running a business, being a better manager, employee, finding a financial advisor, being healthier...and says, "wishful thinking is not a strategy for success"...

Larry is right on as usual! As with all of his other books, he is informative, as well as entertaining. You will have several, "ah-ha" moments and well as a few laughs! READ THE BOOK!
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People Are Idiots and I Can Prove It!: The 10 Ways You Are Sabotaging Yourself and How You Can Overcome Them
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