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Customer Review

28 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's rubbish. You ought to have a look at it, November 9, 2001
This review is from: Mein Kampf (Paperback)
Mein Kampf is a conundrum of a book. Hitler wrote it whilst serving an absurdly truncated prison sentence for attempting to overthrow the democratically elected government of Bavaria. Even with the editorial advice of better-educated friends and sympathisers, it's still a turgid, rambling, humourless (!), frequently mendacious read. Hitler frequently lies about his own life and career (for example, he casually omits to mention that he used to be an Army propagandist for the Social Democrat government, before he ever got interested in the fledgling German Workers Party that would evolve into the Nazi Party). He churns out a lot of stamped-in-tin rhetoric about the evils of democracy, and there's some sub-pornographic BS about curly-haired Jews raping Aryan maidens.
Nevertheless, a lot of very committed and dangerous people think that this book is a masterpiece. This is perhaps because they are too lacking in any sense of justice and human decency to see that the man who wrote this book went on to cause an unimaginably destructive and needless war, destroying the country he claimed to love in the process.
This needs to be said: Hitler was not some supernatural genius. He was a beerhall orator, with unusual gifts of persuasion and a raw tactical skill, who rose to prominence because power interests around him had no faith in anything better coming along. Ian Kershaw's excellent biography makes this clearer than anything I could say. It's worth pointing out that Hitler himself, once he had gained the Chancellery, admitted that if he'd known he was ever going to get that far, he'd never have written this book. It exposes him for the small-minded, unimaginative, hate-ridden racist he was, and he knew as much himself.
It's a bloody awful read, but it remains the best guide there is to the cramped and stuffy little world that is the imagination of the Nazi. Or, for that matter, Neo-Nazi.
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