The Overton Window

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The Overton Window
File:Cover for the Overton Window.JPG
Author Glenn Beck
Country United States of America
Language English
Subject Fictional story about the U.S. under attack
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Publisher Threshold Editions
Publication date
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Pages Lua error in Module:Wikidata at line 245: invalid escape sequence near '"^'.
ISBN 978-1-4391-8430-1
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The Overton Window is a political thriller by political commentator Glenn Beck. The book, written with the assistance of contributing writers,[1] was first released on June 15, 2010.[2]


The novel is based on the Overton window concept in political theory, in which at any given moment there is a range of policies related to any particular issue that are considered politically acceptable ("in the window"), and other policies that politicians seeking to gain or hold public office do not feel they can recommend without being considered too far outside the mainstream ("outside the window"). Moving the window would make previously radical ideas seem reasonable. Beck has referred to the book as "faction" – fiction based on facts.[3]

The plot revolves around a man named Noah Gardner, a public relations executive who has no interest in politics. He changes his mind when he meets a woman, Molly Ross, who is "consumed by the knowledge that the America we know is about to be lost forever," an idea Gardner dismisses as a conspiracy theory. After America comes under attack, however, he works to expose the conspirators behind the attack.[4]


The Washington Post's review criticized the book's "laughable prose", and concluded that the book's success would be measured "not by its literary value (none), or its contribution to the thriller genre (small), or the money it rakes in (considerable), but rather by the rebelliousness it incites among anti-government extremists. If the book is found tucked into the ammo boxes of self-proclaimed patriots and recited at "tea party" assemblies, then Beck will have achieved his goal."[5]

The Time magazine review by Alex Altman was mostly critical, complimenting aspects of the book's likely ability to satisfy its audience as either a dime-store romance or an ideological message vehicle, while faulting its insufficient suspense as a thriller, terming the book "plodding" with a "half-baked plot" over-burdened with its "sermonizing."[6]

When it was released on June 15, the novel debuted at number one in its first week on the New York Times Best Seller List, and remained on the bestseller list through September of that year.[7] National Review also pointed to the book's influence in providing attention to Joseph Overton's Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a free market think tank where Overton was a vice president until 2003.[8]

Writer Chris Kelly has suggested that ghostwriter Jack Henderson repurposed the plot for Overton Window from one of Henderson's previous novels, Circumference of Darkness.[9]


A sequel was announced on the Glenn Beck owned television network, TheBlaze. It was released in June 2013 and titled Eye of Moloch.



  1. Rutten, Tim. "Book Review: 'The Overton Window' by Glenn Beck: The Fox News commentator's first foray into fiction features a less-than-thrilling plot to take over America and writing that's sub-par."
  2. Beck, Glenn. "The Overton Window". Amazon. Retrieved 2011-08-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Minzesheimer, Bob (June 14, 2010). "Glenn Beck is in on this conspiracy". USA Today. Retrieved 20 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "The Overton Window by Glenn Beck". Retrieved 2011-08-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Steven Levingston, Glenn Beck's paranoid thriller, "The Overton Window", The Washington Post, June 15, 2010.
  6. Altman, Alex. "Glenn Beck's Novel: Liberty and Romance for All."
  7. Dixler, Elsa. "6/25/10 Times Best Seller List". Retrieved 2011-08-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "The Joe Overton Window". National Review. 2010-06-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Chris Kelly: Glenn Beck's New Novel About Liberals Staging 9/11 Is a Lot Like a 2005 Novel About Conservatives Staging 9/11". 2010-06-16. Retrieved 2011-08-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links