10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn’t Help by Benjamin Wiker is a non-fiction meditation by the author about books which he believes are influential and popular but are actually full of bad ideas. Mr. Wiker is a senior fellow at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.
- 260 pages
- Publisher: Regnery Publishing
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1596980559
My rating for 10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn’t Help –3
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Books about books are always something I’d like to read, and this book sounded interesting even though I somehow missed the religious significance on the cover. Otherwise I might have thought twice about picking it up – not that I have anything against it, I just don’t like being preached to so I select any religious leaning book with a healthy sense of skepticism.
In 10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn’t Help, author Benjamin Wiker argues that these famous books are used, or could be used, as a force for evil and corruption. Those books, he says, were written with the intent to corrupt the world around them.
I agree with some of the author’s choices, he does expose fallacies in the philosophies which he analyzes. The counterarguments he makes though sometimes, I felt, fell flat. In the chapter on Margaret Mead‘s Coming of Age in Samoa, for example, he makes an excellent case for himself, weaving his own clarifications with passages from the book – but I felt this was the exception.
I was very interested in the author’s philosophy and rebuttal to the books which he chosen to analyze, but “the ideas in these books killed people”, or “the book doesn’t follow Christian teachings” seem to be the majority of the counterarguments. Many philosophies are dangerous when applied to real life, not just Hobbes’ Leviathan, or the Communist Manifesto, and many of them well deserved to be deconstructed and put in context, but I prefer that through scholarly attributions and not by blaming atheists or liberals (right to privacy does not equate to sexual perversion, for example).
I really think that this book is a missed opportunity by the author. Just because a book doesn’t follow Christian teachings doesn’t necessarily make it, or the philosophy it preaches, bad. Just because a book has been misused by some despot somewhere (as the Bible has often been). Even so, the author could have make arguments in the context of the time they were written in.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book from the local library.
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