Is this history well known?

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Upton_O_Goode
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Is this history well known?

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:59 am

I didn't know this until yesterday, and I'm wondering how I missed it all this time.

Houghton-Mifflin published an English translation of Mein Kampf in 1933. How did that happen? I haven't seen it, but I can't find any innocent explanation for it, unless they prefaced it by saying that they were publishing it as a warning of what Hitler was. People might have voted for Hitler not knowing what he was. But you can't publish Mein Kampf without reading it, I presume, and the book reveals him in all his horror.

The sources I've seen disagree as to whether the full text was published or only a bowdlerized version of it. But bowdlerizing it was even worse than publishing the whole thing. It makes the publisher and the translator complicit in his crimes. (Not that paying him royalties didn't make them complicit.)

Here's the Library of Congress entry for the abridged version:

Personal name
• Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945.
Uniform title
• Mein Kampf. Selections. English
Main title
• My Battle / by Adolf Hitler ; abridged and tran. by E. T. S. Dugdale.
Published/Created
• Boston ; New York : Houghton Mifflin Company, [c1933]

https://lccn.loc.gov/tmp96023010

Not surprisingly, I suppose, H-M (now Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt) makes no mention of this item at its website,
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Re: Is this history well known?

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:55 pm

Yeah, that's well enough known.

More recently: http://www.dw.com/en/annotated-version- ... a-36992415
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Re: Is this history well known?

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:47 pm

I read Mein Kampf years ago and it bored me to tears. I read it as part of a history class on Nazi Germany.

I am thinking about reading it again, the book is available on-line. I need the annoted version, some of the references are a bit obscure. This is understandable considering Hitler wrote this almost 100 years ago.

When I get it I want a print version.
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Re: Is this history well known?

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:49 pm

I just looked this up to refresh my memory, yes, Houghton Mifflin published an abridged version based on a British abridgment/translation (as Upton speculated, it had been cleaned up when published in the UK - the US version simply swapped in a different title and used the British translation); in the late 1930s Houghton Mifflin would license the rights to a NY publisher (which publisher was later bought by the H in HMH - Harcourt), and that company published a new translation, with annotations, of the full text of Mein Kampf for the US market.
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Re: Is this history well known?

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:18 pm

And now I learn that H-M continues to collect fees for this, but donates them to organizations that combat anti-Semitism. So, not really a story here any more.
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

― Frédéric Bastiat (1801–1850), French economist