I suspect that Glenn Beck’s Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine (New York: Mercury Radio Arts-Simon & Schuster, 2009) will, as he hopes, “galvanize [some] Americans to see past government’s easy solutions, two-part monopoly, and illogical methods and take back our great country” (back cover).
In “A Note from the Author,” Beck writes, “If you believe that it’s time to put principles above parties, character above campaign promises, and Common Sense [sic] above all–then I ask you to read this book . . .” (ix). I do believe “that it’s time to put principles above parties [and] character above campaign promises,” but we need to put the Constitution–not “Common Sense”–above all. Paine’s “powerful treatise” (back cover) of that name helped motivate the American Revolution and our divinely inspired founding documents, which should direct our political activism rather than a vague and unreliable human trait.
Beck and Simon & Schuster should have postponed publication long enough to include a much-needed index.