John Dewey!! Shield your eyes!!!

HUMAN EVENTS ONLINE :: Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries This is just sad, pathetic actually. And note how they slipped Darwin into the honorable mentions. This sort of discourse is no better than the politically correct crapola taught in todays top colleges. And besides, where is Women are from Venus, Men are From Mars? I’m surprised Lady Chatterly’s Lover isn’t listed.

HUMAN EVENTS asked a panel of 15 conservative scholars and public policy leaders to help us compile a list of the Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Each panelist nominated a number of titles and then voted on a ballot including all books nominated. A title received a score of 10 points for being listed No. 1 by one of our panelists, 9 points for being listed No. 2, etc. Appropriately, The Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, earned the highest aggregate score and the No. 1 listing.

Found by P. Saffo

  1. Pat says:

    AC CD

    “Unsafe at Any Speed” killed the Corvair, AND pushed Congress to enact safety regulations for the entire industry. Very good. BTW, the Corvair wasn’t all that safe a car either, it had terrible oversteer, horrible brakes, and just plain bad suspension. By killing the car, many lives were saved.

    As for any government list purporting that fuel efficiency costs lives, WHAT LIST ??? Fuel efficiency only became a priority in the 1970s with the oil crisis. Unsafe at Any Speed was published in the mid ‘60s.

    Banning DDT might have allowed some malaria swamps to return, but it also saved many lives from cancer as well as kidney and liver dysfunctions, not to mention the devastation of wild life. The Bald Eagle was almost wiped out, partially because of DDT poisoning. There are other, safer pesticides available without the side effects of DDT.

    For Federal Government pamphlet,

  2. T.C. Moore says:

    What all these books have in common is an author pulling all or part of what’s said out of their ass. Either through sheer fabrication, faulty logic, or faulty empirical science.

    Of course, this is true of most good new ideas, too. There’s no way to tell in advance, so it’s important to let all new ideas out on stage, and the let the light of criticism, analysis, and real-world trials be shone upon them.

    What the contributors to this list were asked to do contained two unstated steps:

    1. Identify the worst most harmful theories, ideas, and trends of the last ~200 years.

    2. Name the books to which the first inklings of those ideas could be traced.

    That’s all.

    (Notice that I didn’t include, nor do I think the original premise implied, “Exclude books for which its overall affect on society was positive.” Whether this was implied is quite debatable.)

    This is not advocating virtual book burning, any more than Thomas’ identifying bad ideas in the Bible implies that he advocates burning the Bible.

    Based on this selection process, I think the list of books might make more sense. Some of the blurbs for each entry mentioned or implied the bad consequences that caused the book to be included. But clearly stating the reason for each book’s inclusion, and that books were not excluded for exculpatory reasons, might have made the list less controversial. In which case John wouldn’t have posted it. 🙁

  3. AB CD says:

    Pat, the list I am talking about is Human Events’ list. If you say Unsafe at any Speed had no effect on CAFE standards, I’ll take your word for it. However, I thoguht the reaction to high oil prices was the 55 MPH speed limit.

    I doubt the Corvair was uniquely unsafe, and was probably just a convenient villain. As for safety regulations, these were the same people that insisted on mandatory airbags, and then complained when people got killed by them, just as Detroit predicted.

    The case of DDT killing the bald eagle is overblown. Even if you’re right, the DDT ban hasn’t been limited to pesticides. In general, DDT manufacturing has been banned for any use, and the replacements are not effective against malaria. This is not a few swamps, this is millions dead.

    I believe the National Academy of Sciences is a government agency, and the NHTSA reached the same conlusions: thousands of deaths caused by higher fuel efficiency standards. Even Ralph Nader admits that larger cars are safer.


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