For the first time in 65 years, a modern, easy to understand, truly complete, and uncensored edition of Mein Kampf has been released, which reveals more than any past translation. This is also the first translation available in an English language audio format.
Older translations altered passages, omitted passages, mistranslated Hitler's words, and made some parts more sensational while concealing the true meaning of other parts of the book. If you have read one of those older translations of Mein Kampf, then you have not read the real Mein Kampf, which is found only in the Ford Translation.
Mein Kampf is often portrayed as nothing more than an anti-Semitic work; however, only six percent of it references the Jews. The rest contains Hitler's ideas and beliefs about a greater nation and his plan for accomplishing that goal. He outlines his plans for not only world conquest, but the conquest of the universe. The majority of the work involves Hitler's discussion of the German people's difficult times after the First World War, his political theories, and his organization of the Nazi Party, as well as many attacks against his enemies.
Mein Kampf offers an interesting interpretation of politics, people, and foreign-policy matters. To characterize it as only a racist work is to oversimplify.
The Ford Translation offers:
This translation has corrected over 1,000 errors present in past translations and is the only edition so thoroughly researched and verified that it required a separate book (Mein Kampf: A Translation Controversy) to document the changes and corrections made.
©2009 Elite Minds Inc (P)2009 Elite Minds Inc
A driver that likes to listen to books instead of the radio.
The book didn't read like the psychotic I was taught that Hitler was. I do not care for the guy but it seems that his thinking was not that far off of the general thinking of the late 1800's, I have seen Carnegie say some of the same things about England. I guess it was the implementation that really went wrong.
Jumps on his bed while licking the bottom of one foot. He persists in this life affirming act despite interference from the head nurse.
For years I've wondered what this book was like. I finally read the thing. I'm glad I waited because this is a down-to-earth, plebian translation with good footnoted explanations of obscure stuff. The narration, by an Englishman, is quite nice.
There are some fancy-shmansy phrases to explain its methods of persuasion. What strikes me as foremost is "logical fallacies," which is when a person presents chains of logic that wander off into error. Adolph inked a lot of these, despite the book framing him as an exceptional thinker who studied, pondered, and experienced much of life. Hitler never declares himself a genius but hints at it several times.
Here is one example of Hitler's questionable chain of thoughts—Germany has an exploding population; there is a ratio of how many persons a country's lands can support; German expansion inside of Europe is therefore necessary; but Germany is hemmed in by crowded Western countries wishing it ill; Germany's destiny lies to the east where open agricultural land may be populated with German blood; if Germans rid themselves of limiting philosophical shackles, and use their extraordinary blood-borne gifts of force and intelligence, they will take these lands and finally create Greater Germany. His thinking moves point-by-point towards (what we now know was) the cliff's edge. Here is another example—At the center of powerful countries has always been transplanted Arian/Nordic rulers; until Slavic Revolutionaries shot them, Russia had such a Germanic cadre who exercised some skill in governing the country; Russia is now ruled by inferior-blooded Slavs and Jews without the aptitude to govern; Russia's manufacturing base, under Jewish/Communist/Slavic hegemony, is not likely increase or modernize; making an ally of Russia is an idiot's action. Reason-following-reason, Adolf moves on to a mistaken conclusion.
During his time as a Viennese drifter before WW1, Hitler obviously spent time in libraries. The book's pseudo-scholarly conceits echo this as well as the earlier pedantry of German public schools. He name-drops people and events in Hellenistic history. Still, there is no denying that he possessed a truly extraordinary gift for public speaking. Der Fuehrer rose to influence in Germany during a profound vacuum of leadership. Aristotle would call his appearance kairos: in the right place at the right time, saying the right things to the right audiences. Speaking (he writes) for hours, extemporizing brilliantly to the distressed citizens of the Weimar Republic who crowded in to hear him, it is understandable why his message of regained self-esteem and bright hope for the future struck sparks. Here is another fancy term important to the book—subjective validation. That's when a person gives legitimacy to ideas even as idiosyncratic as Hitler's National Socialism, because something inside needs them to be correct. No doubt a fair number of angry and miserable Germans internally legitimized the book's questionable reasoning out of collective emotional need.
Of course, some in Germany were already captivated by the other great logical fallacy of the era that also promised Eden: Communism. Hitler writes a lot about physical confrontations with the Reds, their tactics, what their propaganda did right and what it did wrong. NSDAP members, he writes, were always ready to brawl with Communists and never backed up, even when out-numbered. By the 1920s, Hitler writes, he became a "master propagandist" who usurped the color red from his great adversary's camp for NSDAP ceremonies, and personally designed the swastika flag.
One expects anti-Semitic harangues in Mein Kampf, and they are there, but not as much as expected. They increase in the later, added chapters from 1924. Lil' Adolph's line of anti-Jew argument goes something like—Jews are a nation without land, hence they favor multi-nationalism over patriotism; they stay in touch with one another and act in concert to subvert nations; they plot to bring Germany down and rule it, just as they did Russia, through Communism; Jews work to undermine a state's proper functioning to gain power; a reason for legislative bad decisions and sloth is Jewish influence in the Reichstag; the source of the bad reputations of German Racist parties (there were a number of them) is Jewish-controlled newspapers; Jews have inferior blood and wish to breed with Germans to assimilate blood-borne superiority, in time destroying the Arian through dilution; Jews cannot afford National Socialist success because it would wreck their centuries-old plan of infiltration and a hidden rise to power, to rule over the rubble they created. Judaism, Hitler writes, is the "enzyme of decomposition." It is ironic that the supposed Jewish plan to bring a country down and rule over its ruble is exactly what Hitler and his comrades did to Germany by 1945.
Mein Kampf is worth the reading; I got a better idea of who Hitler actually was. While it's true assistants jotted down his dictation then re-worked it, you can still hear his "voice" in its paragraphs. He was not wrong in everything he complained about, by the way. He was certainly no coward but a genuine war hero. He was a dynamic speaker, adroit propagandist, a Machiavellian manipulator of subordinates, someone who correctly monitored the demeanor of crowds. He was at the same time an eccentric philosopher whose speculative, crackpot ideas were frightening. He was a bright man with strange ideas conceived while living in isolation. One day, low and behold, he actually ran the country and put his "insights" into practice. Within six years of gaining power his country began floundering. But, that's in later books.
There are many things wrong with this book. It appears that Michael Ford did not do a real translation at all, he merely rewrote a new paraphrase based on the earlier, faulty, editions, and self-published it through a print-on-demand scheme. Nothing wrong with that if his intention was to create a readable, rationalized edition with the Murphy and Manheim errors corrected. Alas Ford doesn't even write or proofread English very well, and makes a bad situation worse. He has some bizarre and novel 'translations' of phrases that do not require translation, for example the newspaper 'Volkischer Beobächter', which he turns into 'The Race Watcher.' If you must translate a title like that, something like 'People's Observer' or 'Populist Observer' or even 'Folkish Observer' might be acceptable, but there's no excuse for 'Race Watcher.' (Prof. Randall Bytwerk has written extensively on this and other translation problems, and you should Google that name if you wish to know more.)
What is annoying about the Audible edition is that the translator's footnotes and interlineations pop up frequently and annoyingly, often giving bad information. There should be some way of turning these off, as you turn off pop-ads in a web browser.
The book reveals the self righteous state of mind Hitler was in after WW I wanting someone to blame and being obssesed as a German about their greatnest. Which gives insight into why he found it fairly easy to swing the popular support behind himself and the Nazi party.
Its scary to see simmilar people and ideas still bouncing around the world sphere even today.
I have recommended this to several friends who read a lot of European History and were not aware there was a new translation available.
The author gives a very good prologue telling us that had this book been read earlier by the countries and people it came to affect they would have been all the wiser for it. He says it will not change nor give you prejudices you don't already have. I agree. Hitler did not have any compelling reasoning behind his prejudices that were very convincing. The book was not 'written' by Hitler. It was done in a speech format as someone transcribed his words. Also, This translation is comprehensive and well researched. Where there are references to old cities, historical persons from Prussia, Greek or Roman history or treaties or etc. Mr. Ford's researchers immediately fill you in with the details. Mr. Ford tells us that several dictators have read this book since Hitler's time. I found Hitler's thoughts and ideas on the youth and thier health especially interesting considering the year this was first written, 1927. The German law stated that men must be 21 and women 18 years of age to wed. He wanted the age lowered partially to decrease the need for prostitution. He felt teens should get two hours of exercise daily along with fresh air. He had some good ideas on health and fitness. In other areas his thoughts were rather bizarre, however, until I read this I'd only heard bad things about it. That made me want to read it all the more. Thanks Mr. Ford for making it comprehendable. Now everyone else, pick it up, so you can put it down.
Mr. Smith has an interesting voice. He keeps you alert and wanting to hear more.
Years ago I was in Vienna and went to the Museum where Hitler first applied to art school. There was a Bosch triptych on display. Bosch's art is so bizarre compared to Hitler's quiet building and landscape designs. Hitler tells his own life story in Mein Kampf and speaks of his interest in the arts.
Difficult to follow. Although the original is approaching 90 years old. Please take that into account when purchasing this book. I recommend brushing up on your European history in the early 20th century before tackling this novel. I rate myself an amateur historian and I had some difficulty keeping up with some of the lunatic ranting's. I feel that had I known more about the period in Europe from 1900-1930, I may have taken more from this book. The translation did explain many of the questionable names and events. This helped greatly. When I finished, I wanted to immediately go out and purchase a book covering the early period in Hitler's life.
Adolf Hitler could have died and never written this mess. Michael Ford did a wonderful job in his translation. Outstanding!
James Smith was great. He added personality to the translation as if he were the madman himself.
Definitely so. Brush up on your European history in the early 20th century before hand though.
I really enjoyed listening to this book. The man's voice was very calming and easy to understand. I, however didn't enjoy the girls voice. It comes every once in while to explain further about something but she was fairly louder then the guys and to me a bit annoying. She just ruins the nice tempo and calming of his voice.
Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.
Perhaps Adolf's title should of been "In My Opinion". He is typical of rabble rousers who bring out no facts but just opinion to push their little wagon. Yes he has some good ideas, yes he sounds reasonable at times but DID HE HATE JEWS or what!
Talk about the ultimate conspiracy theory. Sorry to hear some of his arguments are being used against Muslims. This Michael Ford translation is good, but I have never read Mein Kampf so I can't compare. James Smith has an interesting voice and takes a little while to get into, but once done, he is consistent and clear.
If you are a student of the 20th Century, WWII, Nazi period, European history or just want to know how such a man thinks, then you need to listen to this book. It will not turn you into a nazi or make you want to take over Europe but it will help you understand a little better that we need to know to avoid letting this happen again.
I wonder if he had Syphilis?
I am not a serious scholar of WWII or the German language so I can’t comment on this translation it terms of those aspects. I did find this easier to get through than a kindle version. The narrator does a good job of speaking in a not so dry tone. The author with the funny mustache tends to rant a lot and readying it in dry text is tedious.
Generally you’re not supposed to admit that you have read this book in public or even among close friends. You will find your self isolated at dinner parties if you do. But I think it is important that we do so the tragedy that this man caused doesn’t happen again (sadly it has, just on a smaller scale). At dinner parties and over cocktails I hear heard people say that conservatives aren’t real Canadians and shouldn’t be allowed to vote (I live in Toronto). They are polluting the country don't you know. I am sure the same is said about liberals in the conservative heartlands of the U.S. and Canada. “Those people” could be Whites, Blacks, Latinos, Arabs, Tutsis, shop keepers, vegans, etc. You will be shocked how similar that mode of thinking matches the style of this book.
We all need to learn from history and this book is one of those learning moments.
I guess that like most people I was unsure whether a book by Hitler (Mein Kampi) would be really suitable, however I would like to say with an open mind that this audio delivers an informative and intellectual insight into the struggles of European economic and strategic policy from all perspectives.
"Worth listening to for the historic value"
This book was a hard listen but gave a great insight into the man and the politics. It certainly gave me an insight to what the events leading up to the darker days were. There are many lessons to be learnt from this book to ensure that we are aware how damaging one highly intelligent man can be and the thin line between genius and madness.
It is well read, and it's a book better listened to than actually read. It is well researched with plenty of footnotes to explain points that some readers might not understand. Having a different voice for the footnotes was useful.
The translation is a little strange at points. It's useful in the way it explains unfamiliar phrases, but there is some lazy translation, and if you want an accurate translation, you're better off buying a book.
A must read or listen, this gives you a better understanding. Absolutely incredible.. Be prepared!!!
"This guy worries me"
There are racist undertones in this audiobook that really worry me. He seems to think that all of Germany's problems can be attributed to the Jewish. This broad brush approach to politics combined with the propaganda plan he has could end badly for Germany.
Very much so, Well done to the translators for this enjoyable audiobook.
Getting to know the real Adolf from youth to soldier and to hear his views on the world at that stage in his life.
Very well narrated, James Smith made the experience come to life, his co narrator also added to this epic book with her descriptions and extra translations.
The whole book moves you.
Not a chance
Too many interruption by some woman
Yes, it had an off switch, got to chapter 3 and that was 3 chapters too many
I like Hitler documentaries, he was responsible for so many good things, but his book was dull. I want my money back and compensation....
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