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Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

Mein Kampf (1926)

by Adolf Hitler

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,155393,019 (2.83)122
  1. 20
    LTI ( Lingua Tertii Imperii). Notizbuch eines Philologen by Victor Klemperer (2810michael)
  2. 10
    Hitler's Private Library: The Books That Shaped His Life by Timothy W. Ryback (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Having read what he wrote, read what he read.
  3. 01
    The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem by Henry Ford (bertilak)
  4. 01
    Hate: George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party by William H. Schmaltz (HeinousAnnals)
    HeinousAnnals: The book Rockwell obsessed about, and provided the foundation for his anti-Semitic beliefs.
  5. 02
    The Ominous Parallels: The End of Freedom in America by Leonard Peikoff (mcaution)
    mcaution: Find out from this intellectual history what gave rise to Hitler and its remedy to stop the imminent threat it still poses for America today.

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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
No, I am not racist. And I did not like it as some would, but it is a good look into the mind of one of histories monsters. ( )
  aputel | May 18, 2015 |
To begin with, this rating does not validate or support the views of the book, but serves as a marker where the book helps us understand where these ideas originate from.

It is simply impossible to understand intricate evil such as the ideals of 'Mein Kampf' without understanding it thoroughly. Too many views in literature (or in GoodReads reviews on this site) use hand-waving language to describe such ideas as crazy, insane, or stupid, where the evil expressed within is none of these things - but instead a cold, calculating, and complicated mentality of hatred and xenophobia. In other words, without understanding where Hitler is coming from, you can't fully comprehend the magnitude of the evil that was his vision for the world - or how to actively guard against it in the future.

The profound elements of this book are not commonly reported. For starters, Hitler goes into detail on his childhood and early adult years, where he describes himself as viewing anti-Semites as uneducated, uncouth, and stupid. Hitler discusses in intimate detail how, rather than simply being born an anti-Semite and self-declared racial supremacist, he had to learn to become one. Indirectly, we also learn why such ideas were able to take root in the minds of Hitler and others in a similar situation, where Habsburg Austria and WW1 Germany were horrible for the common man. Widespread starvation and commonplace poverty make many susceptible to ideals they would otherwise brush away as wrong.

Later, we come to further understand how the NSDAP formed and organized itself, and tried to make a name for itself in the early 1920s. These details are important for historians to understand how such organizations grow from nothing to govern thousands of members, particularly in an environment of desperation and political uncertainty.

Aside from frequent anti-Semitism, racism, classism, and random exclamations of hatred for non-ethnic Germans, the book is quite overwritten, and repeats itself many times for many points.

To know evil, it is important to understand what it really is, and where it came from. Contrary to what Hollywood may show or what simplistic public school textbooks may try to pawn off, evil does not exist in a vacuum. It evolves and grows from its environment, and can be stopped or healed at various stages of its infancy. Reading Mein Kampf serves two purposes: one, to really understand the evil of Nazism and how it grew, and two, to understand how future movements of a similar nature may be prevented from taking root. Simply disregarding this book due to a vehement distaste for the author only perpetuates the ignorance and misconceptions surrounding the true evil of Nazism - it wasn't inevitable, and instead was slowly learned by millions in an environment that encouraged its growth and a culture that was ambivalent to its rise.

The details of Hitler's early life here may be used to prevent future catastrophes around the world. This book should be read by historians and any students mature and rational enough to read through its propaganda and racism in order to help prevent similar evil from arising in the future. ( )
  bdtrump | May 9, 2015 |
For the most part, this book is good for insomnia. However, it does have its good points. It highlights the injustice of the Treaty of Versailles that ultimately led to the rise of Nazism. Hitler certainly was ludicrous in is myopia toward the Jews, (if they were so intelligent in their 2000 year "scheme" aren't they basically infallible? If so, there is no way to defeat their scheme. If he had focused on the influence of selfish financiers, industrialists and bankers who profited by Germany's defeat in the World War, he would have made more sense.
If only the politicians of the twenties had read this book, they would have seen the future. Hitler disclosed his strategy once he would take over. Millions of lives would have been saved. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
This is a pretty historic book, and I only undertook its reading because it seemed like the universe was telling me to. I just finished reading The Book Thief (which I would recommend more than this), and Mein Kampf played a significant role in that story. Many other references to Hitler popped up in my daily life, to the extent that I couldn't get away from him. So I decided to his about 'his struggle.'

While reading the book, and writing this review, I know that I have the benefit of hindsight--I know what history has written about Hitler, and the many atrocities he committed. I am also not currently living in 1920s-era Germany in the aftermath of the Treaty of Versailles.

I get it, I can't read it as if I would have read it at the time, and perhaps I should not judge it against what I presume I would have thought then. But I cannot travel back in time and be at the period, so I have to review it as a person looking back. Here goes:

This is a two-volume rant of the life and philosophy of Adolf Hitler. As a historical book I believe it fails--it is a selective history, and doesn't give facts so much as it gives his opinions, stated as facts but without being backed up. He makes bold statements, but never proves them or gives the reader the chance know from where he is getting his information. These statements are then carried to the extreme, and used in further examples....but they are all based on these opinions not supported by anything but his own feelings.

He also tends to contradict himself. For example, he will in one sentence mention how horrible Jews are, how they have an international plan to try to take over the world. A few pages later he will describe how unintelligent they are as a reason to rid them from Germany (at least). If they are smart enough to plot to take over the world...how dumb can they be? My point being that he contradicts himself repeatedly--not that anything he has said has any verity.

My biggest question in reading this book was if anyone had ever taken the time to fact-check it. He makes a lot of statements about all the work he did to create and build the National Socialist Party--I'm curious if his recollections are accurate. I think I was looking to understand more about him from this reading, but alas, am just as confused as I was before.

Later in the book he attacks Russia, France and the United States as being horrible nations. He attacks Italy, but praises Mussolini. He states that an alliance with England or Italy is the future of Germany. This is interesting, and I wish I knew more WW2 history. Was this book Hilter's way of pacifying England before the war? Perhaps. Based on the vile things he says about Russia, I am interested in what the facts behind his statements.

While overall I am more curious after reading this...I don't think I am ready to jump into more non-fiction reading on WW2 just yet. I may just retreat back into my love of fiction.

I also have to note the speed in which I read this: less than a week. It is a 700 page book, but I read it quickly because I was embarrassed to read it in public. I wanted to be done as quickly as possible. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
The edition of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf I read was the pre World War 2 english translation by James Murphy (who worked in Goebbels's Ministry of Propaganda from 1934 to 1938), it contains both Volume 1: A Retrospect & Volume 2: The national Socialist Movement. It is fully unexpurgated.

Below I intend to both discuss the book and provide reasoning for the rating of 4 stars. If you disagree with such a rating, the work itself or my review and wish to discuss such, please comment below after reading this.

Onto the review:

To properly appreciate the insight, philosophy and madness that is laid out in Mein Kampf one needs to have a reasonable understanding of Germany & Europe in the 1820-1930 era otherwise you will come away with a flawed viewpoint (as is often the risk with autobiographical works). Today the common misconception is that Hitler's anti-Jewish sentiment was unique and hitherto unknown, however this certainly is not the case. Throughout Europe the Jewish population were not given full rights and faced routine discrimination (such as Prussia's laws against Jewish residents holding certain professions); such discrimination slowly began to be overturned throughout the mid to late 1800s. This led to Jewish residents moving to new towns and into new professions. As a result, natural citizens began to see Jews in areas they previously did not reside, and the successful career opportunities of the assimated Jews saw envy and resentment bubble beneath the surface of society.

This resentment took the form of numerous anti-Jewish newspapers, political parties and a shift in anti-semitism. The focus of anti-semitism went from the Jewish religion to the Jewish race as people began to define themselves by their shared cultural background as opposed to their religions (many European Jews had converted to Christianity).

It is within this background of rising anti-semitism a young Adolf Hitler is educated. In Mein Kampf he relays on the struggles and self-sabotage of his early life: the rejection from art-school with a recommendation to undertake artitecture, however he is unable to due so due to purposely failing classes in order to follow his painting aspirations.

As volume 1 continues, Hitler lays out a rather astute insight into the causes of Germany's loss in world war 1 and a history of the destabilisation of the German nation is covered in both volumes; the first volume being a general history, the second volume being how events lead to policies of the National Socialist Movement.

This first volume is where most hatred of the book generally stems from, but despite being so well known for it's anti-semitism it's religious content is comparatively foreign to most people today. Early on Hitler lays out that he is essentially on a mission from God to kill all the Jews, in his own words: "[The Jews] very existence is an incarnate denial of the beauty of God's image in His creation".

One could mistake such for merely an overly dramatic use of language, however, there are many pages spent on the decay of Christianity due to the rise of European Judaism including the following: "if for reasons of indolence or cowardice this fight is not fought to a finish we may imagine what conditions will be like 500 years hence. Little of God's image will be left in human nature except to mock the Creator". It's rather chilling knowing Hitler was openly advertising his desires to wipe out the Jewish population of Germany as far back as 1920, and yet such a warning was not heeded.

Taking the historical context into account it leaves one wondering if Hitler was a madman by nature or by nuture - merely a product of his environment. Having been rampantly told again and again that Jews were the problem by his Church, his understanding of Christianity, newspapers, intellectuals (such as Arthur De Goineau), society in general and his flawed logical reasoning on racial purity (which was not corrected by a proper education), is it any wonder he sought to go about "solving" the Jewish problem? He even remarks in Mein Kampf how he admires Otto von Bismarck who despite his many positive attributes was also anti-Jewish.

If it were only such flawed logic entailed in Mein Kampf it would be hardly worthy of attention beyond historical value, however such content is not the entire book. Some of its content would probably be supported by most of society today, such as the negative disposition toward sexualised advertising and Hitler's anti-prostitution/pro-marriage stance.

I also found it rather interesting that in light of history, Hitler lays out his belief that disabled and genetically ill people should not be looked upon as a disgrace by society but that their disability/illness is an accident and beyond their control. Yet, he also continues that in order to save future Germans from such accidents the genetically inferior should be sterilised, yet allowed to live a normal life nonetheless.

In addition to such there are also some rather interesting concepts such as Hitler's philosophical thoughts on why society was in a downward spiral: "towns and cities began more and more to lose their character as centres of civilisation and became more and more centres of habitation". That education should be for all citizens and not just the wealthy, that society needs to be corrected from looking down upon physical labour.

One paragraph I found particularly poignant in relation to today's lazy and indifferent societies was: "the state teaches our young men democratic and pacifist ideas and thus deprives millions and millions of their national instincts, poisons their logical sense of patriotism and gradually turns them into a herd of sheep who will patiently follow any arbitrary command". It is rather true, today being patriotic or embracing nationalism is often associated with being racist or somehow close-minded.

Overall, despite the anti-semitism and the rather one sided view of certain events, it is quite an interesting book. If you have a reasonable understanding of European history you will get more from the book and have more enjoyment analysing Hitler's motivations. It's not a wonderous peace-loving book and in some cases is downright chilling, yet it also contains quite a bit of philosophy that is relevant across all walks of life today. ( )
1 vote HenriMoreaux | Oct 15, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hitler, Adolfprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Heiden, KonradIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hirvensalo, LauriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lore, Ludwigsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manheim, RalphTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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On November 9, 1923, at 12:30 in the afternoon, in front of the Feldherrnhalle as well as in the courtyard of the former War Ministry, the following men steadfast in their belief in the resurrection of their people, were killed:

[Names, occupations and birth dates of sixteen (16) men are listed]

So-called national authorities denied these dead heroes a common grave.

Therefore I dedicate to them, for common memory, the first volume of this work, as the blood witnesses of which they may continue to serve as a brilliant example for the followers of our movement.

-- Adolf Hitler, Landsberg on the Lech Prison of the Fortress, October 16, 1924

[Reynal & Hitchcock, New York, 1941 edition published by arrangement with Houghton Mifflin, Boston, Massachusetts
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Today I consider it my good fortune that Fate designated Braunau on the Inn as the place of my birth.

[Reynal & Hitchcock, New York, 1941 edition, published by Houghton Mifflin]
Today I consider it my good fortune that Fate designated Braunau on the Inn as the place of my birth. For this small town is situated on the boarder between those German States, the reunion of which seems, at least to us younger generation, a task to be furthered with every means our lives long. (pg.3)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0395925037, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:41 -0400)

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Stands as Hilter's own stories of his life, his political philosophy, and his thwarted plans for world domination.

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