Here’s an excerpt:
Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government
By Glenn Beck
Threshold, $29.99, 325pp.
When I receivedÂ a review copy of the new book by over-emoting radio-TV talkerÂ Glenn Beck, IÂ sighed and put it to the side.Â What put me off were the bookâ€™s title,Â Arguing with Idiots,Â and the cover photo showing Beck dressed as a commissar, making a funny face.
Since itâ€™s axiomatic that arguing with idiots is a waste of time, I thought one might as wellÂ have published a book calledÂ Exercise in Futility for Dummies orÂ The Idiotâ€™s Guide to Banging Your Head Against the Wallâ€“ neither prospect appeals to me all that much.Â Â Besides, in the decade and a half since Rush Limbaugh sold millions of copies of his commentaries on issues of the day, enough talk show hosts have published books that reading them all would consume about 90% of my book reviewing time, and very few have proven to be worth the effort.
But with all the heat generated by Beck in the last couple of months â€” and the fact that Iâ€™veÂ defended him a few times from the likes of Keith Olbermann over atÂ Newsrealblog.com â€” my curiosity got the better of me.Â Â What I found was very surprising â€” and worth my time.
So hereâ€™s my rundown of the good, the bad and the ugly of Glenn Beckâ€™s new book:
The book itself.Â Itâ€™s not just good â€” much of it is really,Â really good.Â Â Shockingly good.Â It reminded me of the kind of bestsellers that came out in the early 1980s, when free-market thinking made its big comeback, aided by libertarian Robert Ringerâ€™s Restoring the American Dream on the pop-thinking level, and George Gilderâ€™sÂ Wealth and Poverty for the more philosophical reader.
But what much of the content ofÂ Arguing really reminds me of â€” and donâ€™t throw things at me â€” is the late, great Milton and Rose Friedmanâ€™s classic of capitalism,Â Free to Choose.Â Â Now, before anyone has a stroke or writes my editor in shock and disdain, Iâ€™m not saying Arguing with Idiots is in the league with the book that is one of the five most influential of my life.
Read the rest at FrontPage here.