Sunday, June 05, 2005

Dangerous books

Let's see, now. Not long ago we got a list of banned books, according to some professional library group that keeps up with such things.

Comes now another list of (shudder, tremble...) dangerous books, as selected by 15 scholars and public policy leaders serving as judges, selecting the Ten Most Harmful Books. Here ya go...

The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels
Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler
Quotations from Chairman Mao, Mao Zedong
The Kinsey Report, Alfred Kinsey
Democracy and Education, John Dewey
Das Kapital, Karl Marx
The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan
The Course of Positive Philosophy, August Comte
Beyond Good and Evil, Friedrich Nietzsche
General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, John Maynard Keynes
The Population Bomb, Paul Ehrlich
What Is To Be Done, V.I. Lenin
Authoritarian Personality, Theodor Adorno
On Liberty, John Stuart Mill
Beyond Freedom and Dignity, B.F. Skinner
Reflections on Violence, Georges Sorel
The Promise of American Life, Herbert Croly
Origin of the Species (sic), Charles Darwin
Madness and Civilization, Michel Foucault
Soviet Communism: A New Civilization, Sidney and Beatrice Webb
Coming of Age in Samoa, Margaret Mead
Unsafe at Any Speed, Ralph Nader
Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir
Prison Notebooks, Antonio Gramsci
Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon
Introduction to Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud
The Greening of America, Charles Reich
The Limits to Growth, Club of Rome
Descent of Man, Charles Darwin

I didn't do so well on this one, I'm afraid. (See italics)
But it is a shorter list than the other one...

Why do I have the idea that if lists like these keep getting compiled somebody will want to do something with them? Have I been reading too much into history?

Yo, getting this?
How about private education proponents? Ya'll takin' notes?

Tip Preposterous Universe (from Brad De Long) via 3 Quarks

1 comment:

ilona said...

I wouldn't read too much in the compilations of such lists.. they are mostly for information. What I would want to look at are the various reasonings behind including a book, and whether the group represented a trend...

Then I might draw some conclusion on where we are going.

If we look at this list here, you could surmise that some of the books were included for their association with hisotrically damaging regimes. Like Hiltler's and Marx's books.

It doesn't mean banning, but it does put it in a critical light.

but wow...Silent Spring by Rachel Carson? I considered that one of the most beneficial of modern authors. It launched the move towards more responsible stewardship of the environment. How is that harmful?

Now off to see some of the links besides the banned books... I remember the stories behind some of those like "Huckleberry Finn". PC madness that eclipses the rabid right. [bias alert] Well, I think so, just because they are so smug that they are doing everything for everyones best interests.