Book Review: “The Real America” by Glenn Beck

Glen Beck’s The Real America attempts to give voice to “The Real America”–the one that cares about politics, but about more than politics. Beck discusses religion, celebrities, personal responsibility. For the most part, his views are classically conservative. His idea was good–talk about what America really cares about, not just the political stuff. However good this idea may be for a radio talk show, it makes a horrible book. This book was disorganized and not well thought out. There are too many good political and philosophical books out there to waste time with this one.

Rating: 1 star
Category:Political/Cultural Commentary
Synopsis: An attempt to discuss the topics “Real Americans” care about–not just politics. Generally disorganized and blowsy.
Recommendation: Not worth wasting your time. Find a good book by your favorite conservative columnist or check out a more focused book like A Return to Modesty by Wendy Shalit.

The Stories of our Lives

I’ve loved stories for as long as I can remember. I’ve read thousands upon thousands of books in my life, which is yet young. I read the newspapers, devouring the “public interest” pieces. I watch movies and plays. I enjoy opera, poetry, lyric dance. I love stories.

Some of the stories reduce me to tears; some cause me to stand in anger. Some stories confuse me; while I identify with others. Some stories change my thinking; some reinforce what I already believe. Some stories raise questions in my mind; others lead to answers.

But there are some stories that do something else altogether. I often finish a biography claiming “Abigail Adams (or whoever else I was reading about) is my hero.” But after reading Corrie ten Boom’s autobiography The Hiding Place, I went away proclaiming that Corrie ten Boom’s God is my hero. Many books make me rise up inside–Francine River’s And the Shofar Blew spurred me to do all I could to promote the church as God has called it to be. Many accounts of true life events make me exclaim “That’s too bad” or “How exciting!” Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire made me fall on my knees in prayer. Many musical pieces inspire me with their beauty, but Listz’s Christus, telling the story of Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection, made me share its refrain with everyone I met–“Christ conquers, Christ rules, Christ commands all eternity.”

II Corinthians 3:3 says, “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men.” As Christians, we have a story that every person who comes into contact with us reads. What do our stories say? What action do they evoke? To whom do they point?

I hunger to be remembered, to have done something worthwhile. I hunger that my name be remembered after I die, that somehow I have made some indelible impression on the earth. I hunger that somehow the earth will be a different place, a better place because I lived here.

As I look at the stories that impacted my life, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt what I want my story to accomplish. I want people who hear my story, who read my writings, who meet me and talk to me–to see Christ. I want people to hear my story and proclaim, “Rebekah’s God is my hero.” I want people to read my poetry and share the refrain of God’s greatness with everyone they meet. I want people to hear my message and be driven to their knees in Christ’s honour. I want those who weep at my grave to glory in God’s greatness.