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Mein Kampf Paperback – September 15, 1998
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The angry ranting of an obscure, small-party politician, the first volume of Mein Kampf was virtually ignored when it was originally published in 1925. Likewise the second volume, which appeared in 1926. The book details Hitler's childhood, the "betrayal" of Germany in World War I, the desire for revenge against France, the need for lebensraum for the German people, and the means by which the National Socialist party can gain power. It also includes Hitler's racist agenda and his glorification of the "Aryan" race. The few outside the Nazi party who read it dismissed it as nonsense, not believing that anyone could--or would--carry out its radical, terrorist programs. As Hitler and the Nazis gained power, first party members and then the general public were pressured to buy the book. By the time Hitler became chancellor of the Third Reich in 1933, the book stood atop the German bestseller lists. Had the book been taken seriously when it was first published, perhaps the 20th century would have been very different.
Beyond the anger, hatred, bigotry, and self-aggrandizing, Mein Kampf is saddled with tortured prose, meandering narrative, and tangled metaphors (one person was described as "a thorn in the eyes of venal officials"). That said, it is an incredibly important book. It is foolish to think that the Holocaust could not happen again, especially if World War II and its horrors are forgotten. As an Amazon.com reader has pointed out, "If you want to learn about why the Holocaust happened, you can't avoid reading the words of the man who was most responsible for it happening." Mein Kampf, therefore, must be read as a reminder that evil can all too easily grow. --Sunny Delaney
Top Customer Reviews
This translation, The Reynal & Hitchcock is my personal favorite. It was translated by a scholarly committee and is taken directly from the German. I consider it closest to the original and many people agree. There are, however, others who prefer the Murphy translation and yet others who claim the Manheim is superior.
The Reynal & Hitchcock has no negative comments about Hitler. Nor does it appear to endorse his words. On the other hand, the Manheim has a definite bias. I feel that the Reynal & Hitchcock is the most fair and true to the actual words of Hitler.
This book is a difficult read because the Germans don't seem to know what a period is. The sentences go on and on with only a comma now and then. But in the Reynal & Hitchcock you'll find unfamiliar words explained. The notes and annotations are absolutely wonderful.
I own the 1939 edition and love it. One other thing I'll say is this: The name of Henry Ford was taken out of Manheim. I'm not sure if it's in Murphy or not. But it is in Reynal & Hitchcock.
Now a few words about Mein Kampf -- the book. I assume if you're reading this review you already know about Mein Kampf and have perhaps read it or read part of it. But if not, perhaps a few words are in order.
Mein Kampf is an interesting look into the mind of Hitler and it is interesting how we can see some of the same characteristics running in numerous people in office today. If we don't know history, we're apt to repeat it.Read more ›
I have read the 1943 Manheim translation, the 1939 Murphy translation, the 1939 Reynal & Hitchcock translation and the 2009 Ford translation. All have their own particular merits, and all appeal to certain audiences. The Manheim appeals to the scholarly and is indeed a faithful, word-for-word translation of Mein Kampf. However, it is incomplete. Further, following it in places can be very confusing in the English language, and many people I know have simply put it down in frustration. It's obviously a scholar's edition, as the German-language footnotes attest.
The Reynal & Hitchcock edition is a better flowing edition than the Manheim, in my opinion, but has been out of print since 1943, when the Manheim was published by Houghton-Mifflin. Why? Because Houghton-Mifflin did not want to pay royalties to Reynal & Hitchcock for their translation, so Ralph Manheim was commissioned for a new translation, which is, in fact, clumsier than the original.
The Murphy edition is far shorter, a fairly easy read for those who speak/read British English and have a decent vocabulary. However, it is paraphrased - as Murphy read a paragraph and put it into his own words. Not Hitler's words, but in most places, true to the meaning. But in some places, he misses the point (as Ford's book about the MEIN KAMPF translation controversy points out). So if you want Hitler, you won't get it from Murphy...
Onto Ford's translation... The thing I like about this translation is that it strikes me as a true PEOPLE's EDITION of Mein Kampf. It is COMPLETE and TRUE to the original, but being a PEOPLE'S EDITION does NOT mean that it is dumbed-down.Read more ›
James Murphy started the translation. Ford, president of Elite Minds, publisher of the book, says Murphy embellished it, left things out, added things, and used academic words that make it hard to read.
He says he has not changed any wording and he has left all mistakes as they were. He adds, and probably correctly, that much was lost in the translation and that it sounded more like Murphy and less like Hitler. Murphy wrote for the intellectual while Hitler spoke to the working class.
Little needs to be said about the words of Hitler. I enjoy reading Mein Kampf. That certainly is not an endorsement of the man or his movement. Mein Kampf is an interesting look into the mind of this man and it is interesting how we can see some of the same characteristics running in numerous people in office today. If we don't know history, we're apt to repeat it.
Indeed, Hitler might even have won a Nobel Peace Prize based on his promises and the excitement he created in people before they really got to know him had the prize been given in those days! Certainly such greats as JFK and Churchill gave him glowing compliments.
Why did people follow Hitler? Knowing what we do now, it's easy to think the German people were stupid. The truth is the country had suffered a severe punishing war and hyperinflation -- money was worthless. They needed a real leader.
Hitler promised everyone everything. He was just the "right" person for that particular time. If times had been different, he would not have risen to power in all likelihood.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very good copy of the translation of Mein Kampf. The print looks great and doesn't look like a scan from another book. Read morePublished 12 hours ago by HokieScott
It is very difficult to obtain a hard copy of this book but i finally succeeded. I don't know if its because of the subject matter but I hope as a country we have not sunk so far... Read morePublished 2 days ago by David A Villarreal
Hitler wrote a somewhat readable book. I wish there were an audible version. Twisted and tragic. I wonder how popular the book was and how widely it was read.Published 4 days ago by Brian J. Smith
Very well written and expertly translated with footnotes. It is clear that, even in a written format, Hitler was extremely well spoken and moving. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Nationwidepants
I'm a second world war history freak and this book offer an inside look at one of the most controversial minds in history. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
One of Adolf's best accomplishments in his short-lived stint here on earth. Though it still doesn't justify his anti-jews campaign.Published 6 days ago by john trent
Did not like the translation very much but very important book to read to understand world history and what has brought us to the presentPublished 9 days ago by Alejandro Martinez