Glenn Beck, America's Historian Laureate

by: Greg Grandin | TomDispatch.com


Americans, it's been said, learn geography when they go to war. Now, it seems, many get their history when they go to a Tea Party rally or tune in to Glenn Beck.

History is a "battlefield of ideas," as Beck recently put it, while looking professorial in front of a blackboard filled with his trademark circled names connected by multidirectional arrows, his
hands covered with chalk dust. In this struggle, movement historians
like Beck go all in, advancing a comprehensive interpretation of
American history meant to provide analytical clarity to believers and
potential converts alike. As paranoid as it may be, this history is
neither radical nor revisionist, since the Tea Party activists and their
fellow travelers pluck at some of the major chords of American
nationalism.


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Tags: Beck, Hannity, Pary, Tea, guns, history, race, racism, reivisionism, revisionist, More…revolution, teabagger, teabaggers

Comment by Silenus on May 14, 2010 at 7:00pm
i don't think glenn beck believes what he says, himself.
Comment by Shine on May 14, 2010 at 8:36pm
If you haven't done so already, you must watch Wednesday's episode of The Daily Show with Lewis Black's segment on Glenn Beck's "Nazi Tourettes." I can't link it directly, but here is the segment featured on Keith Olberman:


But I agree with the idea that Beck does not actually believe his own shtick. I see him as a dramatic actor performing dangerous, misleading, and inflammatory soliloquies to an audience who mistakes the hyperbolic contrivance for truth.
Comment by James on May 15, 2010 at 12:49am
WOW! Lewis Black is amazing in that video. Now, if we could only show that video to every Glen Beck fan.
Comment by Wesley on May 15, 2010 at 1:09pm
I love Lewis Black... T/A needs a Lewis Black fan club! Maybe we also need a Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and other nut jobs... 'Stupid things that they've said' fan club too.
Comment by CJoe on May 16, 2010 at 8:34am
Yeah, Black was pretty freakin' awesome. I don't know how anyone could not see what he's saying about Beck, but my mother consistently amazes me...
Comment by RD Lawson on September 30, 2010 at 6:50pm
Beck has the ability to simeltaneously "speak" to different groups of people so that these groups all think he is advancing exactly what they believe.
Libertarians think he's about to join their ranks, Christian fundamentalists think he's going to bring back God to politics, conspiracy theorists think he's going to "expose" well.. whatever.
He's leading all these different groups on and that's why he's popular.
Comment by Matt Coulthurst on September 30, 2010 at 7:45pm
Wesley - check out Dispatches from the Culture Wars over at ScienceBlogs for the Dumbass Quote of the Day posts - some of them are absolutely mind-boggling. Needless to say, Palin and Beck are frequently mentioned.

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