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. Tom McMahon says:

    Number 1: The Communist Manifesto
    Number 2: Mein Kampf

    Millions upon millions of people were killed by the followers of these two books, so they definitely meet the harmful standard. Really, what’s so sad and pathetic about pointing this out?

  2. site admin says:

    The books didn’t kill anyone. The Bible and the Koran are probably more responsible for more deaths. Should wwe put them on some list too? All-time greats!

    What you are saying is that the maniacs in Russia would have been nice guys if the books did not exist? As for Hitler, would he be any different without the book? One could argue that these books tempered what could have been a worsened situation without the books. It’s impossible to know.

    I just find this sort of thinking appalling and amounts to virtual book burning. The irony here is that these are the same folks who say that guns don’t kill people, people do. But I guess the same cannot be said for books. Books kill people! And this is supposed to be an intellectual organization.

    If this list came from some crackpot preacher in Gnaw Bone, Indiana it would at least make more sense.

  3. Steve says:


    The only harmful thing about “Mein Kampf” is that enough people didn’t read it BEFORE Hitler killed millions.

    Ignorance is never strength.

  4. terry chay says:

    I know I’m feeding the trolls but perhaps this is what’s so sad and pathetic about pointing this out.

  5. Pat says:

    Gnaw Bone, Indiana, ouch, that hurt. Not too far from here either.

    The Communist Manifesto is an economic work. It has nothing to do with killing people. Like it or not, a great many ideas floated in the C.M. are with us today.

  6. Fábio C. Martins says:

    I bet they throw “Mein Kampf” in the list just to look impartial. And “The Course of Positive Philosophy” had a great impact here in Brazil in the 19th century, thanks to that book many people here started to support church and state separation, end of slavery, opening of colleges and schools, etc.

    Most sad is College professors writing this kind of stuff.

  7. Thomas says:

    Last I checked John, a gun cannot kill without someone pulling the trigger. So there is truth the statement that people kill people not guns. But that’s an orthogonal issue…

    FAR more people have been killed in the name of the Bible and the Koran than all of the books on that list combined multiple times over. Further, the Bible and the Koran have caused far more controversy than all the books on that list combined. The only difference is that they were not *singularly* controversial at the time they were published (voted on?).

    If by “controversy” we mean causing people to argue and debate about the content of the book, then Darwin’s book clearly belongs on that list. Mein Kamf I’m not so sure about. I am not privy to the controversy caused by its publication. AFAIK, it was only after WWII started that the book became controversial. I think it was quickly agreed that Hilter was a loon. Thus by those standards, I would vote that it was less controversal than Origin of Species.

  8. JIm Thatcher says:

    Just as disturbing as finding Darwin in the honorable mention is finding John Stewart Mill’s “On Liberty”.

    What sort of fascist mind would consider a book whose sole premise was that people should enjoy liberty as long as they don’t harm anyone else as “harmful”.


  9. Mike Voice says:


    Why did you stop after 1 & 2? why not #3? or the rest?

    The Dewey book John uses as an example seems to be “harmful” mainly for:
    His views had great influence on the direction of American education–particularly in public schools–and helped nurture the Clinton generation.

    I’m surprised that wasn’t sufficient to edge-out Mao’s little-red-book at #3. 🙂

  10. Miguel Lopes says:

    Well, it should come as a warning sign that all these anti-democracy fascists now feel so ‘in charge’ that they are coming up with this sort of BS. Warning for those who care for democracy in the US. This would be expected in the Soviet Union a few years ago, and ridiculed in the US. Look what happened in the Soviet Union a few years down the line. The old fat pigs that held all the strings to power died out or went Alzheimer’s, and then, the USSR died. Don’t let that happen to the US.

  11. Ed Campbell says:

    Taking a look at the source of all this fascist-minded crap, these dolts call themselves the voice of conservative thought in America. Their track record should add — racism, bigotry and the Dark Ages. Apparently, their ideology hasn’t made it past Torquemada.

    I’ve lived with traditional American Conservatives my whole life. Though I diverged from the heart of my family’s politics when I became an “activist” in the early days of the Civil Rights Movement — Conservatives ain’t big on direct confrontation — they and their peers have as solid a place in the progressive course of much of American history as does the Liberal side of the street. Maybe, a bit more integrity or guts, whilst we’re at it.

    John, I consider you a part of that mainstream as I do my father-in-law, for example. Many other nations have consistency and principles guiding the Conservative leadership of their electorate. Sadly, we always seem to get offered the swing from populist racists and fools — to fascist-minded racists and fools.

    I absolutely reject the condescending pats on the back these trolls give themselves. But, it’s the responsibility of folks on your side of the street to make it clear — as you have in this posting — that these thugs don’t speak for YOU.

  12. Chris says:

    Here are the most harmful books ever written. But, if you’re interested in purchasing any of them, please use our helpful referral links to Amazon. Because there’s nothing wrong with making a buck.


  13. Sound the alarm says:

    You guys don’t get it. Fascists ARE trying to run this country. They are called the neo-con wing of the Republican party allied with the Christian right. Just like Hitler, Dubya and the neo-cons cloak themselves in the nation’s flag and then uses the politics of division to take over. This includes starting wars of “protection” and singling out minority groups (gays – non christians – non fundamentalists to give the morons out there (us!) something to throw tomatoes at while they take control of all the money, while making a dependant class out of the ever shrinking middle class. I would bet that in 2008 – if it looks like the neo-cons will loose the election, something will magic happen that will allow dubya to keep power. And if anyone mounts a serious challange – bang in gitmo you go.

    THEN boys and girls, in the words of a christian co-worker – “We’ll have camps for liberals like you, to teach you the correct way of being an American.”

    My GOD people – we now live in a world where Ann Coultier is listened to seriously, instead of being a minor star in S&M porn like she should be.

  14. Ima Fish says:

    I agree with you Jim, I’m SHOCKED that “On Liberty” was an honorable mention. Are Conservatives that ignorant? Our nation was BUILT on Mill’s theories of morality. To say “On Liberty” is dangerous is to say our Declaration of Independence and Constitution are dangerous.

    Heck, maybe they confused Jon Stewart’s “America: A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction” with Mill’s great work.

  15. ejwills says:

    I agree with Men are from Mars. This was the most horrible tome I have ever been forced to read. What a load of crap! Men are not from Mars-
    Men are from Earth, Women have No Penis.

  16. Max says:

    Hmm… Conflicting on many levels. While I believe in free and open speech, which is used to convery ideas, is or is it not a truth that some ideas are bad (define bad however you wish, morally, ethically, financially, spiritually, scientifically, medically, insert “ly” here)? Some ideas do hurt (firearms, chemical agents), some help (charity) some do both (economies, nuclear fission, religion?).
    So let’s assume that one is presented with a bad idea. And that idea is published. Is it wrong to label it harmful? No. Did this article call for a ban on these books? No. Is it not true that Marx, Kinsey, Hitler and, yes, even Darwin, sparked much debate and contraversy? Yes! So before we go dismissing the list, celebrate it as the free and open exchange of ideas (something so-called Liberals love to do) and embrace it! If you don’t like it, create your own list!

    Oh, and one final comment – debate over the Bible or Koran, in this context, is moot. The article (and the list itself) specifically lists those texts dubbed harmful in the 19th and 20th centuries – long after any chapter of the Bible, or verse in the Koran had been written.


    Oh – one more thing – I think Darwin was right, Hitler and Marx were wrong, and Kinsey was just plain horney!

  17. springbank says:

    “Silent spring” “Unsafe at any speed”. “On the Origin…”, “On Liberty”…these were all harmful to me!!!!! Well yes, if harmful means thought provoking and occasionally inspiring.

    I wonder if I can find a lawyer to sue the education system for exposing me to harmful reading material?

    //goes back to his National Enquirer.

  18. Lewy says:

    I actually appreciate a good reading list.

    Of course, the authors of that list would assert (assumption) that one should avoid the books, including the runners up. My contrarian view is that one should READ books that make such a list, if for nothing else, to find out what makes the book so dangerous to the oppositional mind.

  19. Allan says:

    Lewy–you nailed it! That’s why I recommend reading the Koran and Bible (and possibly the Book of Mormon)–it’s good to understand where people are coming from.

  20. MikeR says:

    I’m extremely disappointed in the list – not one Isaac Asimov book made it. Asimov had a much greater impact on my personal thinking than any of the books on that list.

  21. Tom McMahon says:

    A brief response to some of the points made:

    1. The list is the Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries. The Bible and The Koran were written before then, so they’re off the table for those wishing to stay on-topic.

    2. Steve (#3) seems to imply that the purpose of the list is to get people to avoid these books. But then Chris (#12) calls the list hypocritical for including Amazon links for easy purchasing. You can’t have it both ways, guys. Sorry.

    3. To Mike (#9): I only needed to point out #1 and #2 to make my point. No sense in re-hashing the entire list.

    4. In #13, some fellow who’s afraid to use his own name evidently has an “Ann Coultier” fixation.

  22. Ballenger says:

    The creators of this list could care less about any of these books beyond how they can be used to herd the weak minded or those consumed with hate in whatever direction that will benefit them personally.

    It is ironic they would even bother to make the list given the chances of anyone who would buy into their bovine feces actually reading anything from the list.

    Their website illustrates the need for bullshit meter to be attached to every homepage.

  23. AB CD says:

    It doesn’t say most controversial books, it says most harmful. I have no idea what’s in On Liberty, but my impression is that Dewey’s education theories are part of what has led to the disastrous system today. Ditch phonics for Whole Word reading might not have been is book, but he started the trend of new theories and putting ‘experts’ in charge.

  24. T.C. Moore says:

    As harmful as some of these ideas were when put into practice, what seems truly unfortunate is that perhaps they were also necessary.

    It seems Humans and the Human Race don’t really learn until we’re whalloped upside the head. We have to make and live our own mistakes, as an entire species as well as individuals.

    Reminds me of Hitchhiker’s Guide and the idea that we’re just here to test someone else’s theory.
    Maybe we’re here to test the efficacy of Free Will.

  25. Frank Baird says:

    In regards to all the Bible-slamming here, everyone seems to be missing the real point. Yes many people have been killed because of MISUSE of the Bible, but not because of following what it really says. Anyone here seriously believe Jesus would have condoned the Spanish Inquisition or the many Catholic-Protestant wars or the Holocaust? The people perpetrating such horrors certainly never had a servant’s heart. However, the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf are harmful when used as intended. Big difference. In fact, more people were killed in China in the 20th century simply because they were Christians than in all previous centuries over the entire world. They followed the Bible and were the victims of harm, not the perpetrators.

  26. Sound the alarm says:


    “4. In #13, some fellow who’s afraid to use his own name evidently has an “Ann Coultier” fixation.”

    Guilty!!!! That is if Tom is you TRUE name?

  27. Tom McMahon says:

    You caught me! It’s really Thomas . . .

  28. Thomas says:

    Sorry Frank. Don’t buy it. Perhaps you should try actually reading the Bible (or reading it again) The Bible would equally harmful if used as stated.

    “Both parties in adultery shall be executed”
    -Leviticus 20:9

    “If a man has sex with another man, kill them both”
    -Leviticus 20:13

    “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worth, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord.”
    – Hebrews 10:28-29

    “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him”
    – John 3.36

    “Wherefore if they hand or they foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from theee: it is better for thee to entere into life with one eye, rather than having two eyees to be cast into hell fire.”
    – Matthew 18:8-9

    When people say that wars were fought in the name of the Bible, they mean that people justified their reasons for going to war based on various passages in the Bible.

  29. Angel H. Wong says:

    How come books on sexology are harmful? Maybe these ppl who declared Kinsey’s book on sex should endorse female circumcision too. I wouldn’t care less for the induhviduals who judged these books if it weren’t for the fact that there IS Princeton graduate and judging from the prestige of the University I expected much much more from it’s graduates.

    It is dissapointing that the only superstition a PhD can’t cure is religion.

  30. AB CD says:

    Unsafe at any Speed killed the Corvair so it was at least a little harmful. If it advocated the gas mileage rules as well, then it certainly belongs on the list, as government numbers say the current rules have killed thousands of people a year. As for Silent Spring, that’s the one that caused DDT to be banned, and malaria cases have risen ever since.


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