Customer Review

408 of 491 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book of surprises and incomparably outlandish suggestions, 22 Mar 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Mein Kampf (Hardcover)
`My Struggle’ is a book that few people will want to read. This is because it was written by one of the most reviled men in history and because of the way it was written. The impression of Hitler from films and World War II books is simply a negative one: An evil war mongerer responsible for the deaths of millions. Reading his own book is intriguing and this is part of its relatively small appeal. In a similar way that classic books (e.g. Anna Karenina/Dead Souls) begin, after the first few pages you realise you are reading something created by an exceptional mind. However this book is not a beautiful story. This is not like a magazine article tackling a hard subject with little time which gives the astute reader the impression that he or she knows more about the subject than the writer. The first book `A Reckoning’ is partially a story of Hitler’s life, World War One and much of his theories and philosophy. You enter into a strange world of paragraph long sentences, repetition, constantly twisting and turning. Hitler has a go at politicians, policies, parasites e.t.c. and in a classic way is blind to the concept that his ideas might be as blinkered as those he attacks. He believes anything miserable, weak or cowardly must be eradicated, having no compassion or pity for anything that does not conform to his ideals. Hatred is a large part of this book. This book has more hatred in it than a quarter of a mile long oil tanker has oil. There is hatred for Jews, hatred against anyone who is not ulta-nationalistic or anyone not German. The author gives the impression that if the whole world were wiped out except for Germany this in itself would not be a bad thing. The reader might see from Hitler’s poverty, his misery, the huge bitterness and then a World War that this has formed something rather grotesque. It is intriguing however and there are some gems. His thoughts on history, propaganda, ideas about the state and nature are interesting but it’s not long before we are back to hatred of Marxism or an attack against incompetent politicians or greedy businesses or shopkeepers. Hitler’s solution is to have them shot. Very clear is the determination to use force rather than another means. I didn’t understand much of Mein Kampf, there is no attempt to explain anything clearly and you have to read and re-read sentences to get any impression of what exactly he is trying to say. Like a man prodding an angry dog on the other side of a fence, Mein Kampf draws you into some idea and then changes and swirls mid sentence and then modifies to another idea, all to irritate you and wear you out. I almost think Hitler sets out to confuse, as if to say I don’t really know the answer to all this and so I’ll muddy the waters as much as possible. Much of it is incomprehensible. This is not a book that sets out principles and builds them into a unifying theory. Hitler jumps from one idea to the next, there is little continuity and function is always narrowly beaten into second place by style. Mein Kampf does have a certain elegance and style that draws the reader in. Consistent with this book there are also tedious parts and sustained outbursts. The first book is hard going and the second `The National Socialist Movement’ you think will be even harder and true to form it’s not as theoretical or complicated as the first. The second book is less of a story than the first volume and I found it tedious. It shows you the near anarchy of groups struggling for power and describes marches and sinister fights in the beer halls. Here Hitler sets out his ideas for his party. Hitler’s National Socialism is an extremist workers party, a dictatorship with some distorted policies. This was a revolutionary party or perhaps terrorism on a large scale. This is a cold book, sarcastic, verbose, right on some things, wrong on others with a hefty dose of vileness. This book is an unimaginable creation and callous in the extreme. Symptomatic of the world we live in Mein Kamp offers a rare insight into the mind of a talented man who turns to bad things. This multi-sided book gives us a glimpse of why some things are but also leads you into the cul-de-sac of incorrect suppositions, his machinations going on and on exasperatingly. Hitler is religious, nationalistic, the fatherland is far more important than anyone else on Earth, but also strangely moralistic, family orientated, even faintly comical, dragged down into fine details, you won’t forget the huge impression of reading this book.
For:
Intriguing
Some truth in there
Against:
Vile racism, nationalism and extremism
Very poorly written
Too long for the number of ideas, leading to much repetition
Ideas that are wrong
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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 44 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 May 2008 23:56:26 BDT
Angelcynn says:
You think nationalism is a bad thing? yet it was British nationalism that defeated german nationalism at the expense of millions of British and the commonwealths lives, so it works both ways.

Posted on 23 May 2008 14:51:16 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 6 Jul 2011 08:17:31 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jun 2008 13:12:07 BDT
popeye says:
nationalism is always a bad thing. it is perpetuated by propaganda to stop the masses opposing something as wasteful and horrific as war. im not sure that this nationalism during ww2 created much except hatred. during the falklands we had the national front, now days with this iraqi thing we have the bnp...nationalism creates extremities of prejudice...which is where hitler cam from.
the commonwealth lives?...the commonwealth isnt even relevant anymore.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jun 2008 23:44:40 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 10 Nov 2009 12:00:38 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Sep 2008 02:18:44 BDT
Lev08 says:
And you disgust me. Your second post verges on racism. Daniel Defoe wrote a poem called 'the True-born Englishman' I suggest you read it.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Oct 2008 21:11:24 GMT
Kristin says:
I think Mr England says nationalism when he means patriotism. Patriotism is love of one's country. Nationalism is an increasingly discredited sentiment-based politics sometimes used to justify the unjustifiable and generally encompasses the elevation of one group of people to the exclusion of others. It's a shame he doesn't express himself with either accuracy or good taste.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Feb 2009 14:51:04 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 10 Nov 2009 12:01:16 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Mar 2009 18:26:54 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 10 Mar 2009 18:28:11 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Mar 2009 18:29:07 GMT
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In reply to an earlier post on 10 Mar 2009 18:31:27 GMT
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