“Harmful” Books

The wingbats at Human Events took it upon themselves to seek out the “Ten Most Harmful Books” of the past two hundred years:

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

Choice honorable mentions included Adorno’s Authoritarian Personality, John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, Darwin’s Origin of Species, Foucault’s Madness and Civilization, de Beauvoir’s Second Sex, and Freud’s Introduction to Psychoanalysis. The judges were made up largely of rightist think-tankers with a handful of token conversative academics.

Of course, it’s no surprise that this group/publication would put Marx and Nietzsche in the same basket as Adolf Hitler; this is an old, tired argument that shows the Cold War’s still-lingering effects of intellectual frostbite. What never fails to surprise me, though, is the assertion that books themselves are dangerous or “harmful.”

What do I know, though? I’m clearly damaged goods.



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