After 1944, Hitler's notorious book was not widely available until the hardback edition of this version appeared in 1969. This paperback edition is intended primarily for students of 20th century German history seeking to gain insight into its dominant figure from reading his own words. Ostensibly an autobiography, the work comprises a melange of Hitler's political and racial ideas over two volumes, "A Reckoning" and "The Nazi Movement". Described by D.C.Watt in his introduction as "lengthy, dull, bombastic, repetitious and extremely badly written", it is nonetheless Hitler's only major work - and its study is important to an understanding of how his ideas came to hold such sway over the German people.
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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 DelaneyAbout the Author:
Konrad Heiden (7 August 1901 – 18 June 1966) was an influential journalist and historian of the Weimar Republic and Nazi eras, most noted for the first influential biographies of German dictator Adolf Hitler. Often, he wrote under the pseudonym "Klaus Bredow."
Heiden was born in Munich, Germany, on 7 August 1901, and graduated from the University of Munich in 1923. His father was a union organizer, his mother had a Jewish background. At the university, he organized a republican and democratic student body and became a member of the Social Democratic Party.
Heiden was one of the first critical observers of the rise of Nationalsozialism in Germany after he attended a party's meeting in 1920. He worked for the Frankfurter Zeitung and the Vossischen Zeitung, but became a freelancer in 1932. A year later, he went into exile; first to Saarland, then to Switzerland, finally to France.
Heiden's book, "The New Inquisition", published in New York in 1939, includes an eerie and accurate prediction of the Final Solution planned by the Nazi regieme:
"To drive 600,000 people by robbery into hunger, by hunger into desperation, by desperation into wild outbreaks, and by such outbreaks into the waiting knife -- such is the cooly calculated plan. Mass murder is the goal, a massacre such as history has not seen -- certainly not since Tamerlane and Mithridates. We can only venture guesses as to the technical forms these mass executions are to take. In his book Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler suggested that the people to be killed be kept "under poisonous gas"; however, he speaks of a mere twelve to fifteen thousand. Doubtless the destructive instinct in the ruling class of the regieme has grown in the meantime..."
After the occupation of France in 1940, Heiden managed to escape to the United States via Lisbon. Heiden died in New York City on 18 June 1966, having resided in the US for 26 years after fleeing from Germany.
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Book Description Hutchinson, 1972. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 009112431X