My Summer Reading List
Thanks to PZ's recent article at Pharyngula, I found a list of books that I will devote my four hours' each day commute time to this summer. Interestingly, I made an early start on this reading list (unknowingly) by reading some of these titles, including Mein Kampf (when I was 15), The Communist Manifesto (when I was 18), and the Kinsey Report (when I was 20), but then I stopped. Why? It wasn't as though I stopped reading, but I guess I became interested in more trivial matters. So, I had a strong start by reading three out of ten books on this list by the time I was 20, but none since then!
My numbers are worse for the "honorable mentions"; out of 20 books on that list, I have only read four; The Origin of Species (I read this book three times; do I get extra credit for this?), The Second Sex, Silent Spring (I read this book twice and I read it the first time when I was working in Japan. Is that worth extra credit?) and The Descent of Man.
I am surprised that The Handmaid's Tale is not also included as an "honorable mention", but after I've read them all (provided of course, that the library has copies available), I will be a better judge for what else I think ought to be on these lists. Can you name some books that you think ought to be included on either of these lists, dear readers?
Overall, I am terribly disappointed to realize that I am so poorly read, despite spending most of my lifetime immersed in books. Fortunately, beginning Monday, I will be spending four hours each day in the gaping maw of a speeding subway train. That should provide me with plenty of opportunity to read (or in some cases, re-read) them all. I think a quick trip to the library is in order today even though I am still struggling and sweating over my presentation for my job interview tomorrow.
1. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels (1848) Score: 74*
2. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler (1925-1926) Score: 41
3. Quotations from Chairman Mao by Mao Zedong (1966) Score: 38
4. The Kinsey Report by Alfred Kinsey (1948) Score: 37
5. Democracy and Education by John Dewey (1916) Score: 36
6. Das Kaptial by Karl Marx (1867-1894) Score: 31
7. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan (1963) Score: 30
8. The Course of Positive Philosophy by Auguste Comte (1830-1842) Score: 28
9. Beyond Good and Evil by Freidrich Nietzsche (1886) Score: 28
10. General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money by John Maynard Keynes (1936) Score: 23
- 1. The Population Bomb by Paul Ehrlich Score: 22
2. What Is To Be Done by V.I. Lenin Score: 20
3. Authoritarian Personality by Theodor Adorno Score: 19
4. On Liberty by John Stuart Mill Score: 18
5. Beyond Freedom and Dignity by B.F. Skinner Score: 18
6. Reflections on Violence by Georges Sorel Score: 18
7. The Promise of American Life by Herbert Croly Score: 17
8. The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin Score: 17
9. Madness and Civilization by Michel Foucault Score: 12
10. Soviet Communism: A New Civilization by Sidney and Beatrice Webb Score: 12
11. Coming of Age in Samoa by Margaret Mead Score: 11
12. Unsafe at Any Speed by Ralph Nader Score: 11
13. Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir Score: 10
14. Prison Notebooks by Antonio Gramsci Score: 10
15. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson Score: 9
16. Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon Score: 9
17. Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud Score: 9
18. The Greening of America by Charles Reich Score: 9
19. The Limits to Growth by Club of Rome Score: 4
20. Descent of Man by Charles Darwin Score: 2
* 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. These 15 scholars and public policy leaders served as judges in selecting the Ten Most Harmful Books; Arnold Beichman, Prof. Brad Birzer, Harry Crocker, Prof. Marshall DeRosa, Dr. Don Devine, Prof. Robert George, Prof. Paul Gottfried, Prof. William Anthony Hay, Herb London, Prof. Mark Malvasi, Douglas Minson, Prof. Mark Molesky, Prof. Stephen Presser, Phyllis Schlafly and Fred Smith.
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