10 Books That Screwed up the World

10 Books That Screwed up the World

And 5 Others That Didn't Help

Book - 2008
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You've heard of the "Great Books"?
These are their evil opposites. From Machiavelli's The Prince to Karl Marx's The Communist Manifesto to Alfred Kinsey's Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, these "influential" books have led to war, genocide, totalitarian oppression, family breakdown, and disastrous social experiments. And yet these authors' bad ideas are still popular and pervasive--in fact, they might influence your own thinking without your realizing it. Here with the antidote is Professor Benjamin Wiker. In his scintillating new book, 10 Books That Screwed Up the World (And 5 Others That Didn't Help), he seizes each of these evil books by its malignant heart and exposes it to the light of day. In this witty, learned, and provocative expos#65533;, you'll learn:

* Why Machiavelli's The Prince was the inspiration for a long list of tyrannies (Stalin had it on his nightstand)
* How Descartes' Discourse on Method "proved" God's existence only by making Him a creation of our own ego
* How Hobbes' Leviathan led to the belief that we have a "right" to whatever we want
* Why Marx and Engels's Communist Manifesto could win the award for the most malicious book ever written
* How Darwin's The Descent of Man proves he intended "survival of the fittest" to be applied to human society
* How Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil issued the call for a world ruled solely by the "will to power"
* How Hitler's Mein Kampf was a kind of "spiritualized Darwinism" that accounts for his genocidal anti-Semitism
* How the pansexual paradise described in Margaret Mead's Coming of Age in Samoa turned out to be a creation of her own sexual confusions and aspirations
* Why Alfred Kinsey's Sexual Behavior in the Human Male was simply autobiography masquerading as science

Witty, shocking, and instructive, 10 Books That Screwed Up the World offers a quick education on the worst ideas in human history--and how we can avoid them in the future.
Publisher: Washington, DC : Regnery Pub., 2008
ISBN: 9781596980556
1596980559
Branch Call Number: History 909.098 WIK

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gramsci
Mar 20, 2014

Employing the reasoning of oquequefoi, the Chicago Black Hawks must be of African ancestry. This is the mentality that finds this especially silly book laudable.

oquequefoi Mar 18, 2014

Since so many others have reviewed the content, let me just say that I actually read the book. It is a popular synthesis, so it won't be all things to all people. Overall, it is quite correct that these books (and a few others) have greatly damaged human society, more so by a great deal of uncritical thinking that is lauded in higher education as critical thinking (for proof, refer to the comments below). This is the reason why almost all of the negative reviews do not critique the book but instead make bigoted, hate-speech toward religious people who never hurt anyone (and these reviewers have clearly never read this book). Read this book; what people don't know really has and is damaging humanity! (Interesting and very telling choice of username: Gramsci was the founder of the communist party in Italy and pusher of idiotic ideas, such as the “philosophy of praxis.” He would not have allowed anyone a diverging view, especially not allowed this diverging view to be accessed by the public. Reasoning completely escaped the “mentality” of someone who lives in a free society and chooses to sport the name of a hater of freedom.)

s
stewstealth
Jan 28, 2014

A very biased look at 15 books from the renaissance through the 1960's. The author selects his quotes that makes his point. This book is written completely through a Christian lens. I wonder if he critiqued the bible as he does these books if he wouldn't find a dangerous book quite easily. It's amazing to me that someone can point out a shortage of logic or a bias etc. in some of these authors and not apply it to his own beliefs. I mean when did theology become a science!?! Anyways if you are a devout Christian then you will love this book. I found it comical. ( For me I would only consider about 5 of the 15 "Great Books", the others were influential to some extent in their time.)

n
naturalist
Dec 16, 2013

Apparently overlooked “Malleus Maleficarum” (“Hammer of [the] Witches” / “Der Hexenhammer”) written in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer and/or James Sprenger which lead to the murder of thousands of innocent people.
and,
Charles Darwin was an abolitionist long before the American Civil War. Read: “Darwin's Sacred Cause : Race, Slavery and the Quest for Human Origins” by Adrian Desmond .
and,
about the author from: Encyclopedia of American Loons: #415: Benjamin Wiker . . . . http://americanloons.blogspot.ca/2013/02/415-benjamin-wiker.html
Clearly, this title should be added to any list of books that attempted to screw up the world.

f
Fractile
Jul 08, 2013

I enjoyed reading this book in the same way as I enjoy watching televangelists ranting against their enemies, Christian or otherwise. He reveals flaws in his arguments that provide useful pathways to helping to confirm the truths in his opponents' points of view.

If one can bear the stomach-churning roller coaster ride of his flawed logic, valuable new insights can be gained into the works that he has reviewed in this book.

b
beckylunatic
Dec 20, 2012

In his introduction, Wiker explains that books containing "evil" ideas should not be burned or banned, but should be read so we can tear these ideas apart. However, it appears that he also wishes to save his audience the trouble of doing so themselves with these 15 nasty tomes, provided they're willing to accept his analysis as gospel. Wiker slags Karl Marx for being dismissive and contemptuous of anyone whose ideas he didn't agree with, then calls John Stuart Mill a "dangerous madman" for his belief that human care and effort could solve human suffering, because that doesn't address the concept of original sin, in which Mill did not believe. Oopsie. It's not that the books Wiker wishes to tear down don't contain any examples of flawed reasoning or bias, but that Christian morality isn't the only basis on which they can be criticized.

o
ownedbydoxies
Dec 19, 2011

The author tackles books which have impacted our world, whether we realize it or not, with their influence over various leaders. It's a really interesting idea to take what writers such as Lenin and Machiavelli have put down, and discuss how their ideas have had such destructive influence down through the years. It's also refreshing to have someone so intelligent and unsentimental stand up for the idea that humanity needs to believe in something other than their own importance in order for society to have any hope of fairness or any hope of accomplishing good. However, I do take exception to his seemingly very conservative stance on modern subjects. There's no need to add further divisiveness to the world.

c
ClaireM_W
Dec 11, 2011

The author is a good writer, but I had to quit the book in exasperation. I'd probably agree with most of his views if he'd only leave his 1950s Catholic catechism out of it. I was a good Catholic girl believing everything the nuns told us too, but life kept happening and made me a more critical thinker. I often wonder if this kind of trusting piety is easier for men. God knows, they have an easier life.

I found this book very thought provoking,truthful and funny.

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NobleSix
Oct 02, 2011

Engaging, thought provoking, logical , funny at times and truthful.

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EuSei Feb 04, 2016

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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NobleSix
Mar 06, 2012

NobleSix thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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