- The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels
- Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler
- Quotations from Chairman Mao, Mao Zedong
- The Kinsey Report, Alfred Kinsey
- Democracy and Education, John Dewey
- Das Kapital, Karl Marx
- The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan
- The Course of Positive Philosophy, August Comte
- Beyond Good and Evil, Friedrich Nietzsche
- General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, John Maynard Keynes
- The Population Bomb, Paul Ehrlich
- What Is To Be Done?, V.I. Lenin
- Authoritarian Personality, Theodor Adorno
- On Liberty, John Stuart Mill
- Beyond Freedom and Dignity, B.F. Skinner
- Reflections on Violence, Georges Sorel
- The Promise of American Life, Herbert Croly
- Origin of the Species, Charles Darwin
- Madness and Civilization, Michel Foucault
- Soviet Communism: A New Civilization, Sidney and Beatrice Webb
- Coming of Age in Samoa, Margaret Mead
- Unsafe at Any Speed, Ralph Nader
- Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir
- Prison Notebooks, Antonio Gramsci
- Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
- Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon
- Introduction to Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud
- The Greening of America, Charles Reich
- The Limits to Growth, Club of Rome
- Descent of Man, Charles Darwin
The first ten (through Keynes) are the final list, the rest are runners up. Note that Darwin made the list twice!
It’s really dumb that things like Kinsey, Darwin, Silent Spring, and Unsafe at Any Speed get named as dangerous books. Darwin and Kinsey were just guys, no ideology, out for the truth. The latter two warned people of harmful things around them.
Freud, on the other hand, deserves to be number one.
I can see how some of the list makes sense, but what’s wrong with On Liberty? It lays out classical liberalism, the sort of liberalism which gives us things like liberal democracy. You cannot simultaneously oppose Soviet and Nazi authoritarianism and oppose classical liberalism. Not in at any time in the last 150 years.
As always, when you buy your summer reading after clicking a link here or searching in the Amazon.com box on the side, I get a cut. If you’re spending the money anyway, why not let a little of Amazon.com’s profit come to me in stead.