10 great book suggestions for your coronavirus self-quarantine

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With much of the nation spending a lot more time at home for the foreseeable future due to Covid-19, you and your family may have a little more reading time on your hands in the coming weeks. If you love little-known stories from U.S. history, you can't go wrong with Glenn's book Miracles and Massacres, and its follow-up Dreamers and Deceivers.

Since Glenn's audience is full of history buffs and nonfiction nerds like myself, I thought I'd share a list of ten of my favorite nonfiction books in case you're looking for a good read during this coronavirus hiatus.

For this list, I limited selections to subjects involving U.S. history and culture. I'm partial to U.S. presidential history, so my entire list could easily be dominated by presidents, but I tried to include somewhat of a historical mix in hopes you might find something that piques your interest. Feel free to tweet us (@glennbeck) your favorite nonfiction books too, using the hashtag #GBnonfiction.

Here are ten of my nonfiction favorites…

10. Wilson by A. Scott Berg

Amazon

If you've been listening to Glenn for almost any length of time, you're familiar with his marked loathing for America's 28th president. I'm no fan of Wilson either, but this well-researched book is worth your time as a primer on the roots of progressivism. It will help you understand Glenn's animosity toward Wilson in glorious detail.

9. Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler

Amazon

There are many biographies of the man behind the world's largest entertainment empire, but this one may be the most in-depth. Walt Disney liked to say, "it was all started by a mouse," but there was a ton of hard work and heartbreak before Mickey. Gabler leaves no stone unturned in his quest to paint a complete portrait of Walt – a complicated creative genius and visionary.

8.  The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy 

Amazon

One thing that every U.S. president from Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush had in common was friendship with evangelist Billy Graham. This book deftly explores the positives and the perils of Graham's half-century of proximity to such power. The presidents who were closest to Graham may surprise you.

7. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Amazon

There are also a lot of books about Steve Jobs, but Isaacson had the best access to Jobs at the end of Jobs' life. Jobs hand-picked Isaacson to write his biography. It was almost like Jobs was trying to assert the same control-freakiness over his own life story that he applied to Apple's iconic products, although he had no editorial control over the book and apparently never read any of it. Ultimately, despite the special access and potential temptation to go easy on his subject, Isaacson delivers the Steve Jobs story warts and all (and there are a lot of warts).

6. The Franchise: A History of Sports Illustrated Magazine by Michael MacCambridge

Amazon

This is kind of an outlier on this list because it involves a plethora of things – sports, journalism, advertising, ambition, ego and much more – told through the lens of the history of Sports Illustrated magazine. MacCambridge takes you on a journey through a bygone era of smoke-filled rooms and chattering typewriters when magazines were a big deal. Expertly told and relentlessly entertaining.

5. The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Amazon

This one surprised me because its subtitle – Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism – made me skeptical that it was too much of a scattered premise. I was wrong. It totally works. It's an engrossing story about the close friendship between Roosevelt and Taft (who was so much more than the unfair stuck-in-a-bathtub-fat-president label he's been dealt) which politics nearly destroyed. Intertwined with the Roosevelt/Taft narrative are the stories of America's first celebrity journalists, including Ida Tarbell and Lincoln Steffens. Another apt subtitle could've been The Birth of Left-wing Media.

4. Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Amazon

This is a bone-chilling true story about a serial killer during the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. But it's also a riveting story about the men who designed and built the fairground (a sort of late-1800s EPCOT), which included amazing architectural feats that would still be wowing visitors today if fire hadn't destroyed them. Larson's intertwined narratives weave a compelling tale about a crucial turning point in U.S. history that marked the end of America's innocence.

3.  Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington

This is the only autobiography on the list (autobiographies probably deserve their own list sometime), but it merits inclusion because Washington's life story is one of the most phenomenal success stories in American history. It's criminal that this isn't required reading in every U.S. school, but the unfortunate reality is that Booker T. Washington's words and worldview clash hard with the modern Leftist agenda. In case you have a healthy skepticism of autobiographies as history, a good companion book is the Washington biography Up From History by Robert J. Norrell.

2.  Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James Swanson

You know you're reading a great book when you already know the ending, but it's a thrilling ride anyway. That's Manhunt. Swanson puts you in the saddle with the Union cavalry and detectives in their desperate, white-knuckle search through the Virginia countryside for fugitive John Wilkes Booth in the days after he murdered President Lincoln. If you think you already know the story of Lincoln's assassination, trust me, there's a whole lot more. Manhunt is awesome reading.

1. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Amazon

If you were expecting something a bit more obscure for the number one slot, sorry. I know Unbroken was a gargantuan bestseller a few years ago. But it was a gargantuan bestseller for a reason: it's that good. Much of Unbroken reads like a novel – in the best sense. It's the harrowing, adventurous true story of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini and his brutal experience as an American POW at the hands of the Japanese during World War II. It's the kind of book that is so exquisitely written, it makes aspiring writers want to throw in the towel. It is heart-pounding, gut-wrenching, and meticulously researched. Don't even think about watching the movie instead – the movie barely even scratches the surface of this truly remarkable story of courage, perseverance, and redemption.


Happy self-quarantine reading! And don't forget, the only place to catch all of Glenn's Covid-19-related episodes anytime on demand is by subscribing at BlazeTV.com.

Nathan Nipper is a writer for Mercury Radio Arts. As a politically conservative soccer enthusiast, he is a member of one of the most oppressed minority groups in the United States. He lives in North Texas with his wife, daughter, and two sons.

The Omicron COVID-19 variant: Should we ACTUALLY panic?

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As the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus approaches, it seems like those in power want everyone to be terrified, Glenn Beck argued on the radio program Monday.

The chair of the World Medical Association's Council, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, is already comparing the variant to Ebola and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) has declared a state of emergency, despite the doctor who announced its discovery describing the new variant's symptoms as "unusual, but mild." So, should we really be worried or not?

In this clip, Glenn and producer Stu Burguiere reviewed what we know about the Omicron variant so far and gave a few reasons why we should wait for more information before succumbing to panic.

Note: The content of this clip does not provide medical advice. Please seek the advice of local health officials for any COVID-related questions & concerns.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Faced with an oppressive government that literally burned people at the stake for printing Bibles, America's original freedom fighters risked it all for the same rights our government is starting to trample now. That's not the Pilgrim story our woke schools and corporate media will tell you. It's the truth, and it sounds a lot more like today's heroes in Afghanistan than the 1619 Project's twisted portrait of America.

This Thanksgiving season, Glenn Beck and WallBuilders president Tim Barton tell the full story of who the Pilgrims really were and what we must learn from them, complete with a sneak peek at the largest privately owned collection of Pilgrim artifacts.

Watch the video below

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Saule Omarova, President Joe Biden's nominee for comptroller of the currency, admitted she wants to fight climate change by bankrupting coal, oil, and gas companies. Alarmingly, Biden's U.S. special climate envoy, John Kerry, seemed to agree with Omarova when he said "by 2030 in the United States, we won't have coal" at the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland, earlier this month. But that could end in massive electrical blackouts and brownouts across the nation, BlazeTV host Glenn Beck warned.

Carol Roth, author of "The War On Small Business," joined "The Glenn Beck Program" to explain what experts say you can do now to prepare your family for potential coming power outages.

"It's interesting. Usually when I go out and talk to experts in areas that are not 100% core to my area of expertise and I say, 'I would like to give you credit.' Usually I get, 'OK, here's how you credit me.' But everyone is like, 'No, no. Let me tell you what happened, just don't use my name.' And this is across the country," Roth said. "This isn't just a California issue, which obviously [California] is leading the nation. But even experts out of Texas, people who are monitoring the electric grid are incredibly concerned about brownouts or blackouts now, already. So forget about 2030."

"You want to have a backup source of power," she continued. "Either a propane, diesel, or combo generator is something that you're going to want to have. Because in a state, for example like Texas, I'm told that once the state loses power, it will take a minimum of two weeks to restore plants back to operations and customers able to use grid power again. So, this isn't something that we've got nine years or whatever to be thinking about. We should be planning and preparing now."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of this important conversation:

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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

This year marks the four hundredth anniversary of the first Thanksgiving celebrated by the Pilgrims and their Wampanoag allies in 1621. Tragically, nearly half of the Pilgrims had died by famine and disease during their first year. However, they had been met by native Americans such as Samoset and Squanto who miraculously spoke English and taught the Pilgrims how to survive in the New World. That fall the Pilgrims, despite all the hardships, found much to praise God for and they were joined by Chief Massasoit and his ninety braves came who feasted and celebrated for three days with the fifty or so surviving Pilgrims.

It is often forgotten, however, that after the first Thanksgiving everything was not smooth sailing for the Pilgrims. Indeed, shortly thereafter they endured a time of crop failure and extreme difficulties including starvation and general lack. But why did this happen? Well, at that time the Pilgrims operated under what is called the "common storehouse" system. In its essence it was basically socialism. People were assigned jobs and the fruits of their labor would be redistributed throughout the people not based on how much work you did but how much you supposedly needed.

The problem with this mode of economics is that it only fails every time. Even the Pilgrims, who were a small group with relatively homogeneous beliefs were unable to successfully operate under a socialistic system without starvation and death being only moments away. Governor William Bradford explained that under the common storehouse the people began to "allege weakness and inability" because no matter how much or how little work someone did they still were given the same amount of food. Unsurprisingly this, "was found to breed much confusion and discontent."[1]

The Pilgrims, however, were not the type of people to keep doing what does not work. And so, "they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery."[2] And, "after much debate of things" the Pilgrims under the direction of William Bradford, decided that each family ought to "trust to themselves" and keep what they produced instead of putting it into a common storehouse.[3] In essence, the Pilgrims decided to abandon the socialism which had led them to starvation and instead adopt the tenants of the free market.

And what was the result of this change? Well, according to Bradford, this change of course, "had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been."[4] Eventually, the Pilgrims became a fiscally successful colony, paid off their enormous debt, and founded some of the earliest trading posts with the surrounding Indian tribes including the Aptucxet, Metteneque, and Cushnoc locations. In short, it represented one of the most significant economic revolutions which determined the early characteristics of the American nation.

The Pilgrims, of course, did not simply invent these ideas out of thin air but they instead grew out of the intimate familiarity the Pilgrims had with the Bible. The Scriptures provide clear principles for establishing a successful economic system which the Pilgrims looked to. For example, Proverbs 12:11 says, "He that tills his land shall be satisfied with bread." So the Pilgrims purchased land from the Indians and designated lots for every family to individually grow food for themselves. After all, 1 Timothy 5:8 declares, "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

We often think that the battle against Socialism is a new fight sprouting out of the writings of Karl Marx which are so blindly and foolishly followed today by those deceived by leftist irrationality. However, America's fight against the evil of socialism goes back even to our very founding during the colonial period. Thankfully, our forefathers decided to reject the tenants of socialism and instead build their new colony upon the ideology of freedom, liberty, hard work, and individual responsibility.

So, this Thanksgiving, let's thank the Pilgrims for defeating socialism and let us look to their example today in our ongoing struggle for freedom.

[1] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 135.

[2] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 134.

[3] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 134.

[4] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 135.