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10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn't Help Hardcover – April 15, 2008

3.3 out of 5 stars 170 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A valuable contribution.... This book will open many eyes." ---Elizabeth Kantor, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to English and American Literature --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

From the Author

10 Books that Screwed Up the World is an excellent book to get for your children before they go off to college--a book that will give them insight into the kinds of ideas that have done so much damage to our society, ideas they're likely to encounter in their classes. This book is a companion to my 10 Books Every Conservative Must Read, which takes readers on a tour of the good books, the books that your children should be reading even if their professors aren't assigning them.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing; First Edition edition (April 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596980559
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596980556
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Benjamin Wiker is a writer, teacher, husband of one wife, and father of seven children. He has a Ph.D. in Theological Ethics from Vanderbilt University, an M.A. in Religion from Vanderbilt University, and a B.A. in Political Philosophy from Furman University. He has taught at Marquette University, St. Mary's University (MN), Thomas Aquinas College, and Franciscan University. He is now an Associate Professor of Political Science at Franciscan University, and a Senior Fellow of Franciscan's Veritas Center.

Benjamin Wiker's website is www.benjaminwiker.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Many of the reviews here and also on audible, seem to focus on the fact that the author is Christian as reason to avoid, and apparently, to become very angry after reading the book. All I would say is: 1. if you believe human rights are innate 2. human dignity and worth is innate and 3. moral truth is non-negotiable and transcends culture or society, then you will probably read the book without getting upset, and you likely will find it interesting. If on the other hand, you believe that 1. human rights are arbitrary, evolve, and come from government 2. human beings are animals and the value of a human life is equal to the value of any given animal life and 3. morality is relative, and political movments can alter moral "truths" to their benefit or for the perceived benefit of mankind, then you probably will be angry at Wiker and his "Christian fundamentalist" "clap-trap". More disturbing though, is how many reviewers attack the author as "Christian" as if this invalidates his ability to think and reason. It is amazing how successful the secular left has been at making "religion" the antonym of "thought". There was a time when all of Western Civilization, science, math, jurisprudence, academic research, hellenistic reason, was preserved and cultivated and embodied by the Church, when both reason and morality were both necessary for some idea or some person to be counted as virtuous. Today many reviewers here feel compelled to show their secular, cultural-relativist intolerance by giving an unsubstantiated 1-star review and pronouncing to the world, "Don't read this book, the author has a Christian world view!" The universities have done their job well.
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Format: Hardcover
I checked this book out from my library, and I read it over the space of about four hours. It's a quick, fairly easy read. Atheists will, no doubt, hate it because philosophically it is opposed to atheism.
He quotes directly from the books and authors he critiques (except in the case of Kinsey becuase the Kinsey institute refused to grant permission for any quoting) and provides plenty of footnotes.

It's not intended to be comprehensive or even the last word about these authors, books, and the ideas they promoted.
In fact, in the introduction, Wiker says: "Shall we have a book burning? Indeed not! Such a course of action is indefensible, if only for environmental reasons. As I learned long ago, the best cure- the only cure, once the really harmful books have multiplied like viruses through endless editions- is to *read* them. Know them forward and backward. Seize each one by its malignant heart and expose it to the light of day."

That is what he has attempted to do. It's a short, readable book with only a chapter per book/author, so of course it's merely an overview, an introduction, a brief synopsis of what he thinks is wrong with the book in question and the author's worldview. I don't think he intended that his readers should let his descriptions suffice. Rather, unlike the negative reviewers here, it appears to me he expects (and hopes) that you will read his book and then go ahead and *read* the books he is talking about.

It was fascinating to me to see the source of many of the ideas that have gained acceptance and are now taken for granted by our culture. I particularly appreciate the point that rather than merely being 'products of their time,' these people were the architects of their time, the movers and shakers, the creators of the very objectionable points of view we dismiss as 'products of their time.' No, their times (and ours) are the consequences of their ideas.
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Format: Hardcover
Since so many others have reviewed the content, let me just say that:

a) I actually read the book
b) I teach as an adjunct in a related area in higher education and am a published academic author
c) It is a popular synthesis, so it won't be all things to all people
d) Overall, it is quite correct that these books (and a few others) have greatly damaged human society, more so by a great deal of uncritical thinking that is lauded in higher education as critical thinking
e) This is the reason why almost all of the negative reviews don't critique the book but instead make bigoted, hate-speech toward religious people who never hurt anyone (and these reviewers have clearly never read this book, the books the author mentions or the Bible for that matter--not counting a few quotes from some wacky, tokin' college prof (aka most of my professional colleagues))
f) Read this book--what people don't know really has and is damaging humanity
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I remember almost thirty years ago a brother-in-law retorting, during a discussion about child-rearing, that he intended to raise his children as wild stallions in a state of nature. I recall commenting that the poor deluded man was merely repeating what he had heard in his sophomore sociology and psychology classes and that, in doing so, he manifested his ignorance of the subject.

One reviewer of Dr. Wiker's book, "10 Books that Screwed up the World," offered the following thought:

"Ideas can certainly be dangerous but, once they are articulated in print, a thinking person has an opportunity to consider them rationally and counter them. This process is much more difficult if we are working from an oral articulation of ideas because orators can sway emotion and equivocate more effectively."

While intended to be a criticism of Professor Wiker ("Is this guy an enemy of free speech?"), the critic, in fact, makes his point; few people have actually read these books. Like my brother-in-law, had they actually read Rousseau, other than Emile, had they actually read Hobbes, other than the usual snippets of Leviathan offered, had they read Darwin's the Descent of Man, Machiavelli's The Prince, etc., they might have been better able to digest the unfounded and destructive utopian visions of Marx, Lenin, Hitler, and assess the illusions conjured by Freud, Sanger, Mead, and Kinsey. The reality is that few who have proffered these writers as icons of enlightened intellectualism, namely the professorial and teaching class, have taken the time to consider their products rationally.
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