Top 10 Books That Had A Negative Impact On The World

A lot of books have been written which have had a profound impact on the philosophy of people across the world who have read them. The authors of these books changed the world. While some did it purposely, others were not even aware of the strength of their words. Here are some books which had an adverse impact on the world.


1. Malleus Maleficarum by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger

This book was basically a guide-book for those who called themselves witch-hunters. Over 36 editions have been released and it is believed that it single-handedly gave rise to out-of-control witch hunts.


2. Coming of Age in Samoa by Margaret Mead

Margaret Mead interviewed several teenage girls in Samoa who told her made-up stories about their sexual promiscuity. However, Mead did not know that and she reported them all in her book as fact.


3. The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

This book is now considered to be a guide-book full of rules for those who want their society to live in tyranny. It talks about how a ‘prince’ need not have morals or scruples as long as he can pretend to have them. He also points out how society can be made to understand that evil is more beneficial than good. This book impacted the likes of Hitler and Stalin.


4. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

This book by Adolf Hitler was not accepted by any publishing house but once he rose to power, it was circulated all over the world. Mein Kampf talks about Hitler’s plan to remove each and every Jew from the world in order to allow the Germans to live peacefully.


5. The Pivot of Civilization by Margaret Sanger

Margaret Sanger supported the use of contraceptive because she felt that inferior human beings had no right to live and that the superior category should solely survive so that the world could be filled with only intelligent and able-bodied people. She lists out the benefits of eugenics as well as purity amongst different races.


6. Democracy and Education by John Dewey

Democracy and Education talks about how ‘thinking skills’ should be encouraged in schools instead of hard knowledge and facts. It changed the way the education system worked in most public schools and created a generation of teenagers and children who went through life without knowing the basic facts.


7. Baby and Childcare by Benjamin Spock

Spock taught the world that babies should be placed on their stomachs during bedtime and that they should be picked up and rocked to stop them from crying through the night. Those babies that were looked after according to the rules in this book either ended up getting suffocated to death or never developing a regular sleep schedule.


8. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion by Unknown

The main aim of this book was to spread the benefits of propaganda as well as bring about racial hatred. Even though the plot of the book is fictitious, the basic rules were widely used by Hitler and the book is still published through the Middle-East.


9. The Manifesto of the Communist Party by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

The Manifesto of the Communist Party talks about a Marxist state and outlines several evil actions that have given rise to cruel and malicious practices all over the world. Those who read this book will agree with the fact that it is the most brutal and spiteful novel ever published.


10. Darwin’s Black Box by Michael Behe

Michael Behe literally attacks Science in this book and goes on to prove that the theory of evolution is false. Over the years, fundamentalists have used this book to prove the same.

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10 Responses

  1. Jorg

    OK, I am generally in agreement, but number 9 leaves me puzzled. Of course, it was used as a nasty rhetorical tool and an excuse for any number of atrocities, but: “The Manifesto of the Communist Party talks about a Marxist state and outlines several evil actions that have given rise to cruel and malicious practices all over the world. Those who read this book will agree with the fact that it is the most brutal and spiteful novel ever published.”

    Huh? I have read this book several times and do not agree in the slightest. Have you read it?

  2. Will

    #6 is literally the dumbest thing that could ever possibly be on this list. John Dewey’s methods and ideas have been EXTREMELY successful, and it is in fact modern public education’s reliance on rote memorization as opposed to actual learning, in opposition to John Dewey’s methods, that have caused the sorry state of education today. You’ve obviously never read the book and know nothing about it.

  3. Dan

    no Bible or Qu’ran? don’t be a slave to political correctness, you know those two pieces of pure evil have caused more death and insanity than everything in this list combined (and will continue to do so)

  4. Sigma

    As a Political Scientist, I totally agree with the other commenters about Marx & Engels. The style of analysis is still extremely valuable today. It was really the only succinct descriptive text on the effects of the Industrial Revolution at the time, and while Marx and Engels do tend to get off track when they’re being prescriptive, the problem with the Communist Manifesto was not what they wrote, but what unscrupulous people have done with a well-meaning doctrine that had yet to be tested (and was really intended for urban, industrial germany). This description of it here is just absolute BS. This person either hasn’t read it or doesn’t understand it. If you’re claiming it’s filled with ‘evil practices’, then you’ve got to pick a copy up and actually READ it. Often unworkable *well-intended* practices perhaps, and not ‘filled with’ either, and certainly not ‘evil’.

    As for Machiavelli, how many times do people who study him have to point out that he was a Republican (in the old sense, not the present-day US political party)? The Prince is the least of what he wrote, and it’s not about “how society can be made to understand that evil is more beneficial than good.” Furthermore, saying that “This book impacted the likes of Hitler and Stalin.” is just base calumny. This book affected the likes of *every politician since it was written,* and often in quite beneficial ways, because it’s a brilliant primer for pragmatic leadership. It can (and often is) used to operate a tyranny, but if you read it (and I doubt you did, based on what you wrote) and didn’t get what Machiavelli was saying, then you missed the point. Perhaps you should read the many introductions and scholarly works on it? Perhaps learn a bit about the man? Read some of his other work? The Prince is a foundational text of political realism, and its effect has been generally positive, despite its no-holds-barred pragmatic approach.

    Also, putting Dewey up there is ridiculous. Whoever wrote this needs to learn both the facts *and* the rudiments of critical thinking, because they’re written a list of books that’s all over the map, and includes some important, solid work, while ignoring obviously dangerous work. Of course, my personal advice is read them all. You’ll do better than this guy did; you’ll actually know what’s in them–then if they’re bad, you’ll actually know what you’re talking about.

    Writer: Have you ever heard of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum? Are you familiar with the idea of a book-burning? The solution is not to put books on lists of dangerous works, but rather to *READ* them. They can’t hurt you. What’s silly is reading only one, or very few, or making claims about them without reading them.

  5. Oleg Kostoglotov

    I don’t understand why books six and seven are on that list, Democracy and Education, and Baby and Childcare. While they may be erroneous in some of their theories I wouldn’t identify them as especially evil. As for book number ten, why is that evil at all? If everyone stopped believing in evolution tomorrow would that result in persecution and mass murder? What surprises me is why Plato’s Republic is not on this list, it’s the great grandfather of a planned, authoritarian, Utopian society ruled by a “Master Race” of philosopher kings, predating Adolf Hitler, Marx, and Margaret Sanger by centuries.
    As for the bible and Qu’ran causing more death and insanity then all of the books on this list, spare me, Hitler’s antics caused the deaths of over 30 million people, including 5 million Germans, over a 12 year period, Communism is estimated to have killed anywhere between 150-500 million over the past century. The highest estimates of death toll from the inquisition range around the 20 million mark over 500 years. But what many forget is that many of the atrocities attributed to Christianity were in fact political acts invoked in the name of Christianity but had little or nothing to do with the bible. Like Edward II of England expelling the Jews for example, the true motivation was to take their property and their money to fight wars in Scotland and Wales.

  6. Quora

    One might argue The Communist Manifesto had a significant negative impact on countries like Russia, Eastern Europe, North Korea, and Cuba. Another book with a negative impact was Uncle Tom’s Cabin which inflamed the tension between slave and non-slave…

  7. Aunty


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