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The Right-Wing Extremist Writer Behind Glenn Beck's Worldview

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Newscom / Ed Hille

For several years, Beck has actively promoted "The 5000 Year Leap," by the late Cleon Skousen, on his radio and TV shows, and he recently wrote the foreword for a newly-released edition of the book, which was first published in 1981.

For more on this singular figure from the annals of the American far-right -- who appeared for a while to have been consigned to ignominy -- and about Beck's strange rediscovery of him, read Salon's story.

Late Update: As reader J.S. notes, Beck isn't the only conservative leader with a taste for Skousen. In 2007, then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney expressed his affinity for his fellow Mormon.

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