Review From User :
Looking over the previous reviews, I can see that Benjamin Wiker's book really touched a nerve. Quite a few people hated it giving it only one star, and a few admitted that they were so upset they never finished it. Two people were so incensed that they said they wanted to physically harm the author. Wow! So much for the old adage attributed to Voltaire: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
What has got these people so riled up The short answer is - the author is a Christian. The 10 books he selected as being the most damaging to our world were all written by atheists who espoused moral relativism. Perhaps if the book had been written by a stereotypic, bible thumping, fundamentalist preacher, it could simply be ignored or made into an object of derision. But, Dr. Wiker is an articulate, well educated scholar with a B.A. in political philosophy, M.A. in religion and a Ph.D. in ethics.
The progression of ideas advanced in the books critiqued by Dr. Wiker might be viewed as a branching tree. (Analogy is mine, not Wiker's.) The trunk from which all branches sprout is Machiavelli's The Prince (1513). Machiavelli gets the ball rolling by counseling the prince to shed all moral and religious scruples. Wiker sums it up, "No act is so evil that some necessity or benefit cannot mitigate it." From this base sprouts several larger branches. One can be called the eugenics branch. It begins with Charles Darwin's Descent of Man with secondary branches for Margaret Sanger and Adolf Hitler. Another may be labeled the ruthless totalitarian branch with Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. Still another is the libertine branch. It consists of Sigmund Freud, Margaret Mead and Alfred Kinsey.
The books Dr. Wiker chose to criticize all express an atheistic worldview and a call for an end to the restraints imposed by Judaic-Christian morality. So be forewarned. This author writes from a Christian perspective. If you take offense that the atheist viewpoint is presented in a not so favorable light, you may want to skip this book. To do otherwise makes as much sense as picking up a bible and complaining about all the talk about God.
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.
Expand text… 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 expose, 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.