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Publisher's Summary

You've heard of the "Great Books"? These are their evil opposites. From Machiavelli's The Prince to Karl Marx's 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. 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 this scintillating new book, he seizes each of these evil books by its malignant heart and exposes it to the light of day. 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's Discourse on Method "proved" God's existence only by making Him a creation of our own ego

How Hobbes's 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 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.
©2008 Benjamin Wiker (P)2008 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Aaron on 06-06-09

Some merit, but more religious masquerade

I will openly admit that I wanted to kick myself for not reading the reviews prior to purchasing this audiobook. All the reviews would have kept me from stepping directly into the trap of this book, which in part, must have been deliberately set. The titles and book synopsis do not disclose the blatant reduction of nearly each criticism to a Christian fundamentalist viewpoint, which should be OPENLY DISCLOSED. The book was well written, flowed well and was interesting with each chapter until the abrupt drop into a religious sermon. What was disappointing was that the author, who is obviously intelligent and a good writer, describes some valid criticisms and makes some arguments that keep you just interested enough that you think, "well, maybe the next chapter will be better." I can only hope to save another person some time, as others in the review section tried to do for me. The single biggest statement that can be said about the reviews of this book is that you can be rest assured that anyone who gave it 5 stars and "bought extra copies for _____" is an individual with strong Christian fundamental beliefs...which should divulge this book's blatant bias. I have submitted a request to Audible that this book be moved to the religious section, as keeping it in nonfiction is misleading. I'm sure that if you purchase this book KNOWING it is a theologic book, you will enjoy it immensely and you will be glad you spent the money. 4.5 stars for the writing & text, but ZERO for the fact that it is a religious book masquerading as non-fiction literature.

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105 of 135 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Andrew on 11-09-11

An Exercise in Philosophical Hypocricy

Let's get the easy part of this out of the way first. The pacing and presentation of the material is outstanding, along with the narration, which perfectly fits with the tones of intellectual superiority with which the author writes.

The author actually starts quite strong, with some reasonably well presented chapters on Machiavelli through Hobbes. I agree VERY strongly with the author's early assertion that it is ESSENTIAL to read these books in their entirety to understand their implications (yes, even Mein Kampf.)

Now for the flies in the pudding. Beginning with his discussion of Rosseau, however, the author begins to reveal his biases and hidden agenda. He derides Rosseau's work as the beginning of all the misguided liberal agenda ever since.

For the balance of the book, the author is unashamed of saying that it is impossible to establish a legitimate standard of right and wrong based upon anything but the Judeo-Christian model. Essentially all of his discourse beyond that point consists of cherry-picked facts and ad-hominem arguments (particularly with respect to Meade and Kinsey.

In summary, if you want to read something to spare you the effort of reading those other difficult works and to reaffirm a world view intolerant of anything but extreme religious conservatism, this is the book for you. Otherwise, go read the original philosophical works yourself, and spare yourself the hypocrisy.

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6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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