As a culture, we let literacy off the hook too easily. Some books are even worse for you than black tar heroin, and book-burning, divorced from its historical associations, deserves at least as much consideration as Turn Off Your TV Week. Thus we applaud the first "best of" list we've ever seen that doesn't feel like a marketing tie-in, Human Events' "Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries."
The time constraint Human Events put on the exercise precluded both the Koran and The Purpose-Driven Life from the running, but even so, the results do not disappoint. The Kinsey Report places fourth, The Feminine Mystique seventh, and the works of Charles Darwin, Ralph Nader's Unsafe at Any Speed, Rachel Carson's The Silent Spring, and Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb, amongst others, all earn Honorable Mentions. But talk about your lack of diversity -- eight out of the top ten books on the list were authored by white Western males! Surely, the faith-based conservatives at Human Events aren't blaming the world's woes on them, are they? Everyone knows it's mostly women, minorities, and foreigners who've been screwing things up. — GREG BEATO
UPDATE: Actually, there is a marketing angle that we overlooked: Human Events links the titles to Amazon.com, which means, despite the evil of Karl Marx, Adolf Hitler, and Ralph Nader, Human Events is eager to profit from their labor. Wily capitalists!
Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries [Human Events]