Jason Pettus's Reviews > 10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn't Help

10 Books That Screwed Up the World by Benjamin Wiker
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Aug 22, 08

Read in June, 2008

(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

This is one of four books that recently came in and out of my life without me finishing, which to tell you the truth almost made the snarky "Too Awful to Finish" list of essays at the CCLaP website; which is a real shame, because at first it seems like it's going to be a delightful little nonfiction romp, a series of essays by one of these pop-culture intellectuals concerning ten infamous books like Mein Kampf and Beyond Good and Evil, whose names have been cited over the centuries to justify all manner of evil. Ah, but then very quickly into it, the smart reader starts noticing a whole plethora of odd details about this manuscript: for example, that the main argument behind most of the essays seems to be that these books all go against the word of the Christian God, which is what made them "screw up the world;" that the entire second half of the book is a condemnation of such liberal touchstones as Darwin, Kinsey, and The Feminine Mystique; that the author currently teaches at a biblical theology center, and that all the people providing quotes for the dust jacket are prominent conservative Christians as well; that even the publishing company is a small press specializing in conservative Christian books. (And this is to say nothing, of course, of the embedded unattributed Christian Bible verses found scattered throughout this manuscript, their attributions deliberately removed so as to not cause attention to themselves.) Add it all together, and the resulting view is pretty clear; this is a book very plainly trying to secretly further a conservative Christian agenda, one that has the gall to directly compare Betty Friedan to Adolph Hitler, with every single usual stereotypical trait of "Christian publishing" deliberately stripped out in this case, obviously to try to "sneak" the book into mainstream popular culture as much as possible. (Hint: Look at the shape the front-cover image just happens to make, oh so subtly and without the book itself making any special mention of it.) It's deceitful, ethically shady, and I won't be a part of it; the whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth, frankly, and I wish now I had never come across this book to begin with. Regnery and Wiker, please save the sermons for Sunday morning, and leave the rest of us alone.

Out of 10: 0.0
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Beth A (new) - added it

Beth A Thank you. I'll pass on this one!

b~


message 2: by Becky (new)

Becky I'm glad that the GR review algorithm placed your review first (and that I have a secret love of scathing reviews) because I was tempted to add this to my To Read pile, and now I know that it would have just pissed me off immensely. So thank you Jason for saving me from bitterly wishing that I too had never read this book. :)


Meaghan I agree with this entire review. I just wrote a review of my own saying basically the same thing but it's much less eloquent than yours.

It's such a pity. The idea -- a critique of major texts that influenced 20th century Western culture -- is a splendid one, but Wiker seriously screwed it up with his biases and vitrolic hatred for anyone who didn't think like him.


message 4: by Jen (new)

Jen Locke Thanks, now I know NOT to read this. :)


message 5: by Terri (new)

Terri Ah, thanks. Glad to skip it then!


Joseph Hogan bahaha you atheists are so funny. You insist on the right to "defend to death" free speech (thanks Meaghan) yet you want him to keep his book to "sunday morning sermons". Blatant, patent hypocrisy. Crummy bias review equating to: Don't read because he's a christian! You are flying in the face of values you wish to espouse and claim to cherish - that of free speech in this instance. You are only condemning it because of prejudice, so may I ask what actual reasons are in support of your review? Presently there are none, and I suspect there never will be.


message 7: by David (new)

David If you have not worked your way through the Summa Theologica, or the Summa Contra Gentiles, or any similar works explaining Christianity, you are not being much of an intellectual in writing off all of Christianity.


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