Monday, June 13, 2005

Top Ten Lists

I just got an email from a friend about "Human Events" magazine's top ten most harmful books of the 20th century. It's distressing to read, but if you're interested in what the wing-nuts think, go to here. Of course Marx and Engels topped the list, but I was most surprised to see John Dewey's book on education. They also include Betty Friedan's Feminine Mystique. John Stewart Mill's On Liberty and Adorno's "Authoritarian Personality" were runners-up...the latter probably because it is such an apt description of so many of the right.
If you look and see the ten books they think everyone should read, they're pretty standard fare (Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Nicomachean ethics, etc) but they also include Burke's wildly inaccurate "Reflections on the Revolution in France" (but no Tom Paine for balance) and Surprise Surprise, the Bible is #1 and the Federalist Papers are number two. Leo Strauss and some of the more wacked out people, like Hayek, only make it to "honorable mention."
But so readers, I'm sure I'm not the only blogger asking today,,,what would you list as must-reads for every college student? What would you put down as "harmful books"?
I generally don't agree with the idea that books are harmful but if any are, how 'bout these?
Moynihan report on the Black family
The Left Behind series
Charles Murray, Losing Ground
Protocols of the Elders of Zion
Thomas Dixon, The Klansman (the film Birth of a Nation is based on it)
Theodore Herzl, Der Judenstaat (Herzl's Zionist manifesto)
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Herbert Spencer, Progress: Its Law and Causes (social Darwinism)
or Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of
Gustav Le Bon, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (analysis of how to sway crowds, a favorite of demagogues)
Jean Baptiste Say, A Treatise on Political Economy (the original theorist of "supply
side" economics and popularizaer of laissez faire capitalist theory)

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