Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

My Photo
Location: Texas, United States

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Bad Books?

I saw an interesting link over at Fark this afternoon. It's the ten most harmful books of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Kind of a shame that they didn't go back to the 18th century, really. God knows how many lives might have been saved if 'Pride & Prejudice' hadn't spurred generations of women to inexplicably bizarre behavior, causing countless young men to toss themselves off cliffs in fits of despair. (OK, you biblio-nerds... P&P was indeed published in 1811, but it was written in 1796-97)

Here's how they calculated the list:
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.

Here's the winning (or losing) list! I agree with most of it, but I might have put a few of the honorable mentions (notably 'Silent Spring' and Sigmund Fraud's book) much higher, in place of the Kinsey & Friedan choices.


1. The Communist Manifesto
Authors: Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels
Publication date: 1848
Score: 74

2. Mein Kampf
Author: Adolf Hitler
Publication date: 1925-26
Score: 41

3. Quotations from Chairman Mao
Author: Mao Zedong
Publication date: 1966
Score: 38

4. The Kinsey Report
Author: Alfred Kinsey
Publication date: 1948
Score: 37

5. Democracy and Education
Author: John Dewey
Publication date: 1916
Score: 36

6. Das Kapital
Author: Karl Marx
Publication date: 1867-1894
Score: 31

7. The Feminine Mystique
Author: Betty Friedan
Publication date: 1963
Score: 30

8. The Course of Positive Philosophy
Author: Auguste Comte
Publication date: 1830-1842
Score: 28

9. Beyond Good and Evil
Author: Freidrich Nietzsche
Publication date: 1886
Score: 28

10. General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money
Author: John Maynard Keynes
Publication date: 1936
Score: 23

Honorable Mention

These books won votes from two or more judges:

The Population Bomb
by Paul Ehrlich
Score: 22

What Is To Be Done
by V.I. Lenin
Score: 20

Authoritarian Personality
by Theodor Adorno
Score: 19

On Liberty
by John Stuart Mill
Score: 18

Beyond Freedom and Dignity
by B.F. Skinner
Score: 18

Reflections on Violence
by Georges Sorel
Score: 18

The Promise of American Life
by Herbert Croly
Score: 17

Origin of the Species
by Charles Darwin
Score: 17

Madness and Civilization
by Michel Foucault
Score: 12

Soviet Communism: A New Civilization
by Sidney and Beatrice Webb
Score: 12

Coming of Age in Samoa
by Margaret Mead
Score: 11

Unsafe at Any Speed
by Ralph Nader
Score: 11

Second Sex
by Simone de Beauvoir
Score: 10

Prison Notebooks
by Antonio Gramsci
Score: 10

Silent Spring
by Rachel Carson
Score: 9

Wretched of the Earth
by Frantz Fanon
Score: 9

Introduction to Psychoanalysis
by Sigmund Freud
Score: 9

The Greening of America
by Charles Reich
Score: 9

The Limits to Growth
by Club of Rome
Score: 4

Descent of Man
by Charles Darwin
Score: 2