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Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
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Mein Kampf (1926)

by Adolf Hitler

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,181392,980 (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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» See also 122 mentions

English (32)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  French (1)  Arabic (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
I’m glad to have finally read cover-to-cover what is considered one of the most notorious books ever published. It wasn’t an easy read due to the lack of consistent writing style, boring repetition, and details which would only make sense to someone who was obsessive/compulsive about supposed ‘German’ points of view. I won't reread it ever again. I actually had a good condition hardcover copy in German but since I can’t read German, I sold it for $10. This English copy is valuable as well since it was published in 1939 before the US entered the war. Strangely enough it was published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston Massachusetts. They are still known for academic textbook titles here in the US.
This book is still banned from publication, in Germany, although old copies are still allowed. To this day Germany spends huge amounts of money explaining how Hitler came to power illegitimately and destroyed the country as a despot.
George Orwell wrote a very short and accurate review of Mein Kampf where Hitler said Germany would try to attack Russia first and then England. The reverse happened, since the Stalin was easier to buy off first, says Orwell.
The Oxford Essential Guide to World War II says that Hitler authored the book himself. I have my doubts about that, as there are large sections which leave absent areas which Hitler would have included. Instead there are large sections on propaganda (Joseph Goebbels) or police forces (Heinrich Himmler).
There are many people who try to bash the papacy’s actions during the war. Obviously these people have an axe to grind and have never read Mein Kampf. Hitler blames every German and world problem on the Jews but the biggest existing threat to his plan of German world domination with him as its leader is the Roman Catholic Church. First of all, Hitler saw himself as a Christ figure that needed to be worshiped as a god. His Reich was to last for one thousand years. This is actually stated in the book. Apparently, Hitler would live to be one thousand years old. Hitler said that the Roman church was the only other institution which could exercise absolute power of its people. He meant demand obedience unto death. He also included in this the ability to command priests to be celibate and thereby renew the church everywhere in the world fresh with new ordinations to the priesthood. This is a warped understanding of Catholicism, but everything he says in the book is warped beyond normal reason. This power vested in the papacy, as he saw it, was a threat to his own power as Fuhrer. The main reason he hated Catholics and Rome was that they often shielded Jews by splashing them with baptismal water and thereby hiding them from persecution by the Nazis.
Hitler spends page after page on the why Germany lost World War I. Not surprisingly, Hitler blames the Jews who, he says, started a munitions factory strike which caused them to lose battles as the war was about to be won by Germany. He also says that he was a soldier wounded once and gassed another time. He says he was both at Flanders Field and the Somme. This seems to be fabricated. He gives no details and names of others who were with him. All he says is that all true war heroes remain silent after the war was lost and he did the same. This is absurd but sounds good when you have nothing factually to show for blustering over claims of heroic behavior. Hitler isn’t the first to make up war stories and he won’t be the last. Hitler was awarded an Iron Cross (no details mentioned in the book) but some historians say he wasn’t a soldier at all but merely a dispatch runner. Dubious decorations are another sad aspect of wartime bureaucracy. All of Hitler’s close associates are from his time in prison (where he says he wrote this book) and as a National Socialist community organizer.
I haven’t read Kafka’s Metamorphosis but in Mein Kampf everything is already there. Hitler calls Jews swine, fungus, blood sucking spiders, pimps who bring negroes to the Rhineland, and vipers. He creates a new vocabulary of slander the way Shakespeare did with Richard III. He says some people are subhuman (Communists and Jews) and thus ought to be removed from further diluting the Aryan bloodline. The book is sheer insanity and an artifact of a murderous and diseased mind.
  sacredheart25 | May 23, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hitler, Adolfprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Foxman, AbrahamIntroductionsecondary authorsome 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]
CHAPTER 1
AT HOME
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:32 -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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