the ten most harmful books

Human Events, a right-wing altar to ann coulter turned dating service with reports on on flowers growing in iraq, has published a list of the top 10 most harmful books of the 19th and 20th Centuries (HT:  doing justice).

  1. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto
  2. Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
  3. Mao Zedong, Quotations from Chairman Mao
  4. Alfred Kinsey, The Kinsey Report
  5. John Dewey, Democracy and Education
  6. Karl Marx, Das Kapital
  7. Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique
  8. Auguste Comte, The Course of Positive Philosophy
  9. Friedrich Nietschze, Beyond Good and Evil
  10. John Maynard Keynes, General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money

Honorable mentions:

  • Theodore Adorno, Authoritarian Personality
  • John Stewart Mill, On Liberty
  • Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
  • Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization
  • Margaret Mead, Coming of Age in Samoa
  • Simone de Beauvoir, Second Sex
  • Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks
  • Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
  • Sigmund Freud, Introduction to Psychoanalysis

just look at that!  on the top 10 most dangerous books of all time, On Liberty by John Stewart Mill, only gets an honorable mention!  not even top 10.  the shame of it all.  come on, i mean, doesn’t this deserve at least #7?

the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him must be calculated to produce evil to some one else. The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.

right there.  we all have to be pro-choice, pro-feminist, support gay marriage, stop teaching creationism in schools, end the iraq war, play nice with our international neighbors, respect the first amendment, and otherwise behave like decent human beings.  what could be more dangerous than that?  the book is practically responsible for my whole view of the world.  come on – two entries from marx – thats just being lazy.

i’m actually offended, for mill.

(i have to agree with law and society – drop mao and hitler, and this is a decent reading list in critical thought)

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One Response to “the ten most harmful books”

  1. Julien Peter Benney Says:

    Have you read the similar list by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute “50 Worst Books of the Twentieth Century”? It has very strict qualification lists (which exclude Mein Kampf and The Second Sex, for instance) and it also includes some other books not considered by Human Events.

    It is available at “http://www.isi.org/journals/ir/50best_worst/50worst.html”.

    Thank you very much
    Julien Peter Benney

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