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10 Most Harmful Books of the 19th & 20th Century

Old 06-02-05, 06:42 PM
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10 Most Harmful Books of the 19th & 20th Century

http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=7591

HUMAN EVENTS asked a panel of 15 conservative scholars and public policy leaders to help us compile a list of the Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Each panelist nominated a number of titles and then voted on a ballot including all books nominated. A title received a score of 10 points for being listed No. 1 by one of our panelists, 9 points for being listed No. 2, etc. Appropriately, The Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, earned the highest aggregate score and the No. 1 listing.

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

And the following books got votes from two or more judges but not enough to make the top 10.

These books won votes from two or more judges:

The Population Bomb
by Paul Ehrlich

What Is To Be Done
by V.I. Lenin

Authoritarian Personality
by Theodor Adorno

On Liberty
by John Stuart Mill

Beyond Freedom and Dignity
by B.F. Skinner

Reflections on Violence
by Georges Sorel

The Promise of American Life
by Herbert Croly

Origin of the Species
by Charles Darwin

Madness and Civilization
by Michel Foucault

Soviet Communism: A New Civilization
by Sidney and Beatrice Webb

Coming of Age in Samoa
by Margaret Mead

Unsafe at Any Speed
by Ralph Nader

Second Sex
by Simone de Beauvoir

Prison Notebooks
by Antonio Gramsci

Silent Spring
by Rachel Carson

Wretched of the Earth
by Frantz Fanon

Introduction to Psychoanalysis
by Sigmund Freud

The Greening of America
by Charles Reich

The Limits to Growth
by Club of Rome

Descent of Man
by Charles Darwin

I'm not sure how reputable the source is, but I thought the list was pretty spot on with a few exceptions. The few I disagree with are 4, 8, & 9 though I can understand why they're ranked given the conservative leaning of the judges.
I summarized the article, if you're interested on how the scores were determined, click the link for the full story.
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Old 06-02-05, 06:48 PM
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Where the hell is Seduction of the Innocent?
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Old 06-02-05, 07:06 PM
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I love what they have to say about Dewey's "Democracy and Education":
John Dewey, who lived from 1859 until 1952, was a “progressive” philosopher and leading advocate for secular humanism in American life, who taught at the University of Chicago and at Columbia. He signed the Humanist Manifesto and rejected traditional religion and moral absolutes. In Democracy and Education, in pompous and opaque prose, he disparaged schooling that focused on traditional character development and endowing children with hard knowledge, and encouraged the teaching of thinking “skills” instead. His views had great influence on the direction of American education--particularly in public schools--and helped nurture the Clinton generation.
I know this is a partisan group, but still.
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Old 06-02-05, 07:09 PM
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Unsafe at Any Speed by Ralph Nader
I guess those conservatives don't use their seatbelts.

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
I'm not sure I understand how someone who was one of the pioneers in the move to protect the earth is "harmful".

Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin
I give up. let's just burn them all.
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Old 06-02-05, 07:10 PM
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Rabid Partisans.
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Old 06-02-05, 07:13 PM
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"The Kinsey Report"

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Old 06-02-05, 07:13 PM
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Mein Kampf is actually a good book to read, and so are the others (I've read 4 other books from that list). It gives you insight on how a government, society, and people can go terribly wrong and just plain insane, and why other alternatives were not investigated. It also gives you not-so-popular views and how and why others have them.

Interesting comments by these reviewers:

"Marx died after publishing a first volume of this massive book, after which his benefactor Engels edited and published two additional volumes that Marx had drafted. Das Kapital forces the round peg of capitalism into the square hole of Marx’s materialistic theory of history, portraying capitalism as an ugly phase in the development of human society in which capitalists inevitably and amorally exploit labor by paying the cheapest possible wages to earn the greatest possible profits. Marx theorized that the inevitable eventual outcome would be global proletarian revolution. He could not have predicted 21st Century America: a free, affluent society based on capitalism and representative government that people the world over envy and seek to emulate."

Yeah, as we all know, this FREE and AFFLUENT society is really benefiting the most of Americans. The jobs are just great, and mostly everyone has the pay they want, and employers are always giddy about treating their people right. Yeah, whatever. If you ask me Marx was dead-on correct.

And no, I'm not a Marxist. Just noticing some valid points.

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 06-02-05 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 06-02-05, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
If you ask me Marx was dead-on correct.

And no, I'm not a Marxist. Just noticing some valid points.
Definitely. He was right in saying that the proletariat would revolt and take over the means of production. It just seems that he didn't factor in human nature because as we've seen in the past the proletariat will overthrow the bourgeois and just become the bourgeois .

Also, I fail to see how The Femine Mystique is such a bad thing. Yes, it helped to start the Feminist movement, but really the seeds for that were planted a long time before that 1 book.

Also, I find it unfair to rail against Nietzsche. Hitler used his works 40 years after Nietzsche died. Also, Nietzsche distanced himself from Wagner when he was alive due to Wagner's anti-semitic views.
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Old 06-02-05, 08:06 PM
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We know that Darwin is bad, because he first formulated the generally accepted scientific theory that animals evolve. And Freud is bad because he the first person who tried to look at the mind in a scientific manner, instead of relying on old wives' tales. He may have got a lot wrong, but at least he tried. Kinsey, for all his flaws tried to make a scientific study of how people had sex.

The lesson here is that it's a bad thing to follow facts to their rational conclusions if it leads to bad thoughts.

I have a lot less patience with rabble rousers like Nader or Hitler who start with a theory and force facts to fit it.

I'm surprised that The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion didn't make the list. It was a hell of a lot more influential than Mein Kampf.
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Old 06-02-05, 10:42 PM
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Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
I'm not sure I understand how someone who was one of the pioneers in the move to protect the earth is "harmful".
Probably because the knee jerk banning of DDT caused by the book has killed millions worldwide due to malaria. That would be my #1 choice.

If you ask me Marx was dead-on correct.
Marx was way off....he never saw that even though the prolatariat were poor, thier standard of living would INCREASE with time, even as they remained poor. Plus todays prolotariat cannot overthrow the bourgeois because the prolatraiat live in Malasia and the bourgeois live in the US and Western Europe.

Yeah, as we all know, this FREE and AFFLUENT society is really benefiting the most of Americans.
The poor in the US live better than the poor in the USSR, Cuba and the DPRK ever did.

Wheres the Turner Diaries?
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Old 06-03-05, 07:08 AM
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Wow, talk about people who want to preserve the status quo.
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Old 06-03-05, 11:33 AM
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Old 06-03-05, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by benedict
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thread killer!!
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Old 06-03-05, 08:32 PM
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You know The Stand was a pretty bulky book I bet it couldn't inflict some serious harm if used as a blunt object.
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Old 06-07-05, 08:05 PM
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You know they avoided making it 'of all time' because then you would have to include the Bible
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Old 06-09-05, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Newfrd
You know they avoided making it 'of all time' because then you would have to include the Bible
I suppose you could include ALL religious texts, but yeah, the Bible because there are more copies of it in print than any other book in history.

That was a really funny list. I can't even imagine why they would want to put The Origin of Species on there. I think if a militant democrat made a list like that all the books would be by Salman Rushdie.
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Old 06-09-05, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Superboy
I think if a militant democrat made a list like that all the books would be by Salman Rushdie.
Huh?
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Old 06-09-05, 10:01 PM
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While I certainly don't agree with the philosophies found in some of those books, I have a hard time labeling ideas as "harmful." Actions are harmful. Ideas are simply thoughts.
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Old 06-10-05, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Superboy
I can't even imagine why they would want to put The Origin of Species on there.
I'm surprised it didn't crack the top 10. Evolution is evil

As someone who read it in college the only way it's harmful is if you read it before driving or operating heavy machinery, it's a snoozefest. Darwin, while a brilliant naturalist, was not a wordsmith
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Old 06-10-05, 01:57 AM
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Originally Posted by MrX
I'm surprised it didn't crack the top 10. Evolution is evil

As someone who read it in college the only way it's harmful is if you read it before driving or operating heavy machinery, it's a snoozefest. Darwin, while a brilliant naturalist, was not a wordsmith
Actually the thing I loved about that book was it's underreliance on scientific jargon.
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Old 06-11-05, 11:12 AM
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I'm sure I'm not the only one who after finishing the first sentence of the paragraph immediately knew a majority of the books on that list before actually reading the list. Too predictable.

Thought-provoking literature is bad!
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Old 06-13-05, 06:47 AM
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That's what I was thinking too...i honestly thought that The Origin of Species would be #1 though. I mean teaching science to our children? c'mon!
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Old 06-13-05, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Randy Miller III
Where the hell is Seduction of the Innocent?
Hey, that was among the first ones I thought of!
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Old 06-19-05, 12:47 PM
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Books aren't harmful.

In fact, it's important to read books that you disagree with, because it helps you to develop critical thinking skills. For example, I love reading The Population Bomb and Limits To Growth because they are just so wrong in their ideas of science and economics.

The Ralph Nader book helped to accomplish a lot of good things in the area of safety, but the truth is, Nader would never have accepted any automobile as being OK, no matter how safe it was. He never understood the concept of tradeoffs. He doesn't understand that it is impossible to reduce risk to zero.

After the U.S. used DDT to successfully bring an end to malaria in the U.S., Rachel Carson influenced the U.S. to bully many third world countries into banning DDT. This ban on DDT has caused millions of children in poor countries to die from malaria. Although Carsons's book itself was not harmful, the un-scientific government policies against DDT were very harmful. That being said, a lot of good did come from the more reasonable environmentalists, many of whom were inspired by Carsons's book.

Marx was ignorant of human nature, and the political leaders who adopted his policies murdered tens of millions of people. But Marx's books themselves were not harmful. Hitler and Mao murdered tens of millions of people, but their books are just books.

To quote Indiana Jones's father: "It tells me that goose-stepping morons like yourself should try reading books instead of burning them."
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Old 06-19-05, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
Yeah, as we all know, this FREE and AFFLUENT society is really benefiting the most of Americans. The jobs are just great, and mostly everyone has the pay they want, and employers are always giddy about treating their people right. Yeah, whatever. If you ask me Marx was dead-on correct.

And no, I'm not a Marxist. Just noticing some valid points.
The average middle class U.S. citizen of today has a better standard of living that what the richest person in the world had when Marx wrote his books. Air conditioning, telephones, recorded music, movies, refrigeration, TV, DVDs, video games, ice cream in the summer, oranges in the winter, light bulbs, automobiles, modern medicine, etc. All because of capitalism.

I don't think you have any idea how hard life was for the average person before capitalism.
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