10 Books that Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn't Help
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 exposť, 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.
What people are saying - Write a review
Wiker forgot to ask THE critical question: why were these books so influential? If they're so bad (and most of them are), who would put these positions into action? Not very scholarly (he badly misinterpreted Descartes and Darwin, and blames Nietzsche's craziness on atheism rather than syphillus), and espouses right wing Moral Majority solutions.
Please read my review in full at http://headdibs.blogspot.com/2010/09/10-books-that-screwed-up-world-by.html