Intercollegiate Studies Institute's "50 Worst Books of the 20th Century" (Non-fiction)

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Earlier this year, the Modern Library published a list styled The Hundred Best Nonfiction Books of the Twentieth Century. A list of significant books can make a compelling statement about how we are to understand an age. In judging the quality of a book, one necessarily judges the perception and the profundity which the book displays, as well as the character of the book’s influence.

Yet many were dissatisfied with the several "Best" lists published in the past year, finding them biased, too contemporary, or simply careless. So the Intercollegiate Review (IR) set out to assemble its own critically serious roster of the Best—and the Worst—Books of the Century. To assist us in this task, we relied on the advice of a group of exceptional academics from a variety of disciplines.

  1. 1.
    The Authoritarian Personality (Studies in prejudice)
    by Theodor W. Adorno

  2. 2.

  3. 4.
    Our Bodies, Our Selves
    by Boston Women's Health Book Collective

  4. 6.
    Soul on Ice
    by Eldridge Cleaver

  5. 7.
    Democracy And Education
    by John Dewey

  6. 9.
    The Promise Of American Life
    by Herbert, Croly

  7. 10.
    by Paul R. Ehrlich

  8. 13.
    The Affluent Society
    by John Kenneth Galbraith

  9. 14.

  10. 15.
    Scoundrel Time
    by Lillian Hellman

  11. 16.
    Recollections of a Life
    by Alger Hiss

  12. 17.
    The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell
    by Aldous Huxley

  13. 18.
    The International Style
    by Henry Russell Hitchcock

  14. 19.
    Profiles in Courage (Perennial Classics)
    by John Fitzgerald Kennedy

  15. 21.
    Sexual Behavior in the Human Male
    by Alfred Charles Kinsey

  16. 22.
    The Politics of Ecstasy (Leary, Timothy)
    by Timothy Leary

  17. 25.
    Only Words
    by Catharine A. MacKinnon

  18. 27.
    The Gnostic Gospels
    by Elaine Pagels

  19. 28.
    The New Basis of Civilization (The John Harvard Library)
    by Simon N. Patten

  20. 30.
    The Open Society and Its Enemies, Vol. 1: The Spell of Plato
    by Karl R. Popper

  21. 31.
    Christianity and the Social Crisis:
    by Walter Rauschenbusch

  22. 32.
    A Theory of Justice
    by John Rawls

  23. 34.
    Greening of America
    by Charles Reich

  24. 36.

  25. 37.
    Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature
    by Richard Rorty

  26. 38.
    Do It
    by Jerry Rubin

  27. 40.
    Woman and the new race
    by Margaret Sanger

  28. 42.
    The Age of Jackson (Back Bay Books (Series))
    by Arthur Meier Schlesinger Jr.

  29. 43.
    Beyond Freedom & Dignity
    by B. F. Skinner

  30. 44.
    Against Interpretation: And Other Essays
    by Susan Sontag

  31. 45.
    The Making of the English Working Class
    by E. P. Thompson

  32. 46.
    The Courage to Be
    by Paul Tillich

  33. 47.

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Created by Robot Co-op on Nov 30, 2005.


Untitled — 6 years ago

anyone who would include The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell

by Aldous Huxley

on a list of worst books is crazy

Untitled — 6 years ago

This list is simply stupid…nuff said.

Untitled — 7 years ago

I don’t know if you guys realise this, but the Intercollegiate Studies Institute is a conservative political organisation, that puts out conservative, political, academic journals, so of course it would appear as though it was written by a conservative.

Untitled — 8 years ago

Come on…really?

Untitled — 8 years ago

Do they really believe that JFK’s Profiles in Courage (#19) is worse than Hitler’s Mein Kampf (not included)?

What an odd bunch!

Untitled — 8 years ago

This seems like the list of books that the Angry White Male does not like.

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