Friday, January 10, 2014

Adolf Hitler as Bestselling E-Book Author

I ran across this interesting article by Chris Faraone yesterday: Kindle Führer: "Mein Kampf" Tops Amazon Charts.

Yes, Dear Readers, Adolf Hitler is once again a best-selling author. The man who sparked World War II and was responsible, along with his fellow tyrant Josef Stalin, for tens of millions of deaths and the ruin of Europe, is riding high on the best-seller lists, beating out such literary titans as Glenn Beck. Mr Faraone writes,

"Mein Kampf hasn’t made The New York Times nonfiction chart since its U.S. release in 1939, the same year Germany invaded Poland, and its print sales have fallen steadily ever since. But with a flood of new e-book editions, Hitler’s notorious memoir just clocked a banner digital year."

Why is a book written by one of the most evil and reviled characters in history enjoying such a resurgence? There are a few theories.

One is that it's the equivalent of slowing down on the highway to gawk at a terrible accident ... we know it's the wrong thing to do, but we can't help it.

Another is the "know your enemy" dictum attributed to Sun Tzu*: it is easier to defeat an enemy if you understand how he thinks.

And a third - perhaps the most troubling - is that in troubled and increasingly polarized times, the simplistic rantings of a man who found in the Jews a scapegoat for all the troubles of his country and the world are finding resonance in the minds of people who are unable or unwilling to think for themselves, and who seek simple answers to complex problems.

As a person with a deep interest in the history of the Second World War, I own an English print copy of Mein Kampf and have also read much of it in the original German. I can tell you that it is virtually unreadable in either language ... a stylistically bankrupt hodgepodge of paranoid ramblings and distortions of history, but one that lays out a chilling vision of the future as seen by a man who was determined to shape it to his own evil ends. Unfortunately, there are those who will see it not as unconnected drivel that doesn't make sense, but as holy writ that proves the worst of their ugly fantasies.

Go ahead - read Mein Kampf, if you can stomach it. But understand what it led to, and remember Bilbo's First Law: Don't let anyone else do your thinking for you.

Have a good day. Read more and think more ... you may enjoy it.

See you tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday.


* "If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles."


Duckbutt said...

I shudder at the third possibility. Unfortunately, there are a number of people that are willing to let some other people do their thinking for them.

Sen. John McCain was right about Dennis Rodman: He's an idiot.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

This is a most unfortunate trend. It would be useful to know something about the characteristics of his recent readership.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

At least there will be no sequels from this author!

Mike said...

I was telling Claudia about the book being on the Amazon best seller list. She asked if it was already on Google Books. I checked. It's there, for free, in multiple languages.

Grand Crapaud said...

Now I can get a copy of Mein Kampf in Klingon, perhaps.