Full disclosure, I have very little experience/knowledge of philosophy. I mean, I took a class in college, but I hated it, and was quite happy to never take another philosophy class.
I chose to listen to this book simply because the title was intriguing to me… I had no idea it was a philosophy book, but really, I don’t think that’s an accurate description. This is really just an anthology of book reports. Which was kind of great. I haven’t actually read many of the books on the list (I think two of them, and even those not since college or high school).
It seems silly to write a summary of a summary, so I won’t. So I’ll just list the books that he reviewed and discuss his ultimate conclusions.
Dr. Wiker discusses the following books: “The Prince,” “Discourse on Method,” “Leviathan (The Matter, Forme and Power of a Commonwealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil),” “Discourse on the Origin and Foundation of Inequality Among Men,” “Manifesto of the Communist Party,” “Utilitarianism,” “The Descent of Man,” “Beyond Good and Evil,” “The State and Revolution,” “The Pivot of Civilization,” “Mein Kampf,” “The Futur of an Illusion,” “Coming of Age in Somoa,” “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male,” and “The Feminine Mystique.”
Before delving into these books Dr. Wiker makes the case that ideas have consequences and that many of the ideas presented in these books influenced later ideas and books. And too often the result of the ideas presented in these books was violence and suffering; even if the books themselves don’t advocate for violence.
And he makes a solid case against each of the books; and in the body of the text he does so from the perspective of a humanistic moral position. It isn’t until the end of the book that he makes an overtly Christian claim against these books. I’m a Christian, so I’m fine with comparing these books against the morality of the Bible.
I think Dr. Wiker is a good writer; he’s eloquent and obviously well-read. And he makes a solid case against the books listed.