You've heard of the "Great Books"? These are their evil opposites. From Machiavelli's The Prince to Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto to Alfred Kinsey's Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, these "influential" books have led to war, genocide, totalitarian oppression, family breakdown, and disastrous social experiments. And yet these authors' bad ideas are still popular and pervasive-in fact, they might influence your own thinking without your realizing it. Here with the antidote is Professor Benjamin Wiker. In his scintillating new book, 10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn't Help, he seizes each of these evil books by its malignant heart and exposes it to the light of day. In this witty, learned, and provocative expose, you'll learn: -Why Machiavelli's The Prince was the inspiration for a long list of tyrannies (Stalin had it on his nightstand) -How Descartes's Discourse on Method "proved" God's existence only by making Him a creation of our own ego -How Hobbes's Leviathan led to the belief that we have a "right" to whatever we want -Why Marx and Engels's Communist Manifesto could win the award for the most malicious book ever written -How Darwin's Descent of Man proves he intended "survival of the fittest" to be applied to human society -How Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil issued the call for a world ruled solely by the "will to power" -How Hitler's Mein Kampf was a kind of "spiritualized Darwinism" that accounts for his genocidal anti-Semitism -How the pansexual paradise described in Margaret Mead's Coming of Age in Samoa turned out to be a creation of her own sexual confusions and aspirations -Why Alfred Kinsey's Sexual Behavior in the Human Male was simply autobiography masquerading as science Witty, shocking, and instructive, 10 Books That Screwed Up the World offers a quick education on the worst ideas in human history-and how we can avoid them in the future.
An Inspiring Approach to Reading
From A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to Ramona the Pest to Wringer, here are 100 great books guaranteed to stir the imagination, spark conversation, and lead the way to adventure.
In 100 Books for Girls to Grow On, Shireen Dodson, author of the acclaimed The Mother-Daughter Book Club, offers a selection of both new and classic titles. Each book has been handpicked because it is a joy to read, because it inspires mother-daughter dialogue, and because it encourages creativity beyond the book experience.
Included are brief plot summaries for each book, as well as thought-provoking discussion questions, inspired field trip ideas, fun crafts and activities, and biographies of the authors.
Let books become a springboard for encouraging your daughter's imagination. Ideas inside include:
- Design and draw colorful dresses like Wanda Petronski, heroine of Eleanore Estes' The Hundred Dresses.
- Take your cue from Harriet the Spy and create your own stories from overheard snippets of conversation.
- While reading Caddie Woodlawn, pull out a map and trace Caddie's mother's journey from Boston to the Wisconsin frontier.
You don't need to form a book club to use and enjoy 100 Books for Girls to Grow On. Shireen Dodson offers stimulating ideas that will spark your daughter's creativity and nurture a love for books.
An essential guide for writers and readers alike, here is Smiley's great celebration of the novel. As she embarks on an exhilarating tour through one hundred titles--from classics such as the thousand-year-old Tale of Genji to recent fiction by Zadie Smith and Alice Munro--she explores the power of the form, looking at its history and variety, its cultural impact, and just how it works its magic. She invites us behind the scenes of novel-writing, sharing her own habits and spilling the secrets of her craft, and offering priceless advice to aspiring authors. Every page infects us anew with the passion for reading that is the governing spirit of this gift to book lovers everywhere.
This important work, first published in 1934, is a concise statement of Pound s aesthetic theory. It is a primer for the reader who wants to maintain an active, critical mind and become increasingly sensitive to the beauty and inspiration of the world s best literature. With characteristic vigor and iconoclasm, Pound illustrates his precepts with exhibits meticulously chosen from the classics, and the concluding Treatise on Meter provides an illuminating essay for anyone aspiring to read and write poetry. ABC of Reading displays Pound s great ability to open new avenues in literature for our time."
These essays (and a ballad) have their origins in Terry Eagleton's continuing engagement with the possibilities of a literary criticism that is both materialist and open to diverse currents of thought in the human sciences.Eagleton's combative intelligence here explores the encounter between Marxism and contemporary European and American literary theory. Included are a survey of the Althusserian contribution to literary analysis; thoughts on the fraught relations between Marxism and poststructuralism; and a brilliant evocation of the affinities and tensions between Wittgenstein, Derrida and Bakhtin. Intellectual figures in this wide-ranging topography include Jacques Derrida; the radical critic Fredric Jameson; the apostle of deconstruction, Paul de Man; the liberal humanist John Bayley; Bertoit Brecht; William Empson and Pierre Machersy. The volume also includes Eagleton's brilliant reading of Conrad's The Secret Agent. Against the Grain is an excellent introduction to the range of Terry Eagleton's thought and his considerable body of work. It is also a useful primer for all readers interested in the vitality of literary theory today.
Andy Merrifield offers a passionate tribute to the revolutionary spirit of the amateur--a figure who thinks outside the box, takes risks, dreams the impossible dream, seeks independence, and carves out a new world. Merrifield celebrates such square pegs as Charles Baudelaire, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Edward Said, Guy Debord, Hannah Arendt, and Jane Jacobs, each of whom shows us a path of unconventional wisdom and freedom.
The Amateur advocates urgently for the liberated life, one that creates the space to question authority.