Glenn Beck is revered by some, hated by many, watched by nearly everybody. I’ve always liked him, because his rants were Jon Stewart-esque in the beginning – funny enough to keep you watching, insightful enough to make you think. In recent days, he’s gone a little World-Saving crazy, and can be a bit rich even for someone with my staunch Libertarian constitution. (See what I did there? Ha.) However, I still appreciate his point of view, if only because I believe so strongly in the First Amendment that I see a great deal of speech as valuable simply because it transcends Group Think and says something that no one else will.
However, say what you will about Beck’s TV personality, his nonfiction books are fabulous. Optimistic, funny, sensible and even-handed, they do everything that most pundits would think was impossible from anybody on Fox News – simply put – they are FAIR. (and balanced. Ha).
Broke is one of the best elementary economic books I’ve read yet. It doesn’t veer into “sky is falling” territory, nor does it gloss over obvious issues in an effort to reach a broader base – it simply states facts in a clear, conversational and often subtly humorous way that is completely unexpected and refreshing.
One of the only criticisms I have is that Broke often deals in the elementary, since I would assume that anybody who’s buying a college-textbook-sized tome with Glenn Beck’s face on it should be fairly well-educated on these subjects. However, I could be wrong, and if so, this is the perfect book to introduce a curious friend to a uniquely truthful economic perspective. With graphs, illustrations and occasional witticisms sprinkled throughout, it’s an easy book to skim or a great starting place for more research. (Especially since Beck makes his points with history as far back as Ancient Rome, it’s fair to say that even a book this size doesn’t begin to cover all the info.) The best part about most of Broke‘s points is that it deals with common-sense. It doesn’t pretend that these problems are easy to solve overnight if only you are a Republican, and it doesn’t talk down to those of us without a Ph.D. in Economics – it simply lays out the best forseeable plan in a friendly tone and lets you make up your own mind.
Definitely worth reading whether you hate Glenn Beck with everything you are or think he’s God’s Gift to mankind. Probably neither end of the Glenn Beck Opinion Spectrum will agree with Broke, but both of them will start thinking about this stuff, which is the whole point.