The books Phyllis Schaffly hates

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Human Events's list of the most harmful books of the 19th and 20th centuries is making the rounds. Now, I realize that these guys are conservative and so it's not surprising to see the usual suspects: The Communist Manifesto, Mein Kampf, etc., but the list starts to get a little weird around number 4, The Kinsey Report, and 10, Keynes's General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. But it's in the Honorable Mention section that things go totally off the rails: The Origin of The Species, The Descent of Man, On Liberty????

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3 Comments

The list of judges for the contest contains some usual
suspects and some strange ducks indeed. I'm always
gratified to see someone from the Hoover Institute,
for example. Big penis-heads.

My impression is that while Origin of Species, Descent of Man and General Theory are all still highly respected in their fields, the Kinsey Report has essentially been discredited. I'd therefore say its inclusion is considerably less wacky than the inclusion of the others you mentioned.

As for the more philosophical works--well, if one deeply disagrees with a highly influential philosopher, then one might well consider his or her works highly dangerous. (I've heard plenty of people call the Bible an extremely dangerous book, for example.) What's much odder is the inclusion of relatively obscure, non-influential books. How influential, really--as opposed to fashionable--has Foucault been? Or Adorno?

lists of "harmful books" are collected by frustrated bookburners, not book lovers

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