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Mein Kampf: The New Ford Translation Paperback – 25 Jul 2009
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Top customer reviews
I have read the 1943 Manheim translation, the 1939 Murphy translation, the 1939 Reynal & Hitchcock translation and the 2009 Ford translation. All have their own particular merits, and all appeal to certain audiences. The Manheim appeals to the scholarly and is indeed a faithful, word-for-word translation of Mein Kampf. However, it is incomplete. Further, following it in places can be very confusing in the English language, and many people I know have simply put it down in frustration. It's obviously a scholar's edition, as the German-language footnotes attest.
The Reynal & Hitchcock edition is a better flowing edition than the Manheim, in my opinion, but has been out of print since 1943, when the Manheim was published by Houghton-Mifflin. Why? Because Houghton-Mifflin did not want to pay royalties to Reynal & Hitchcock for their translation, so Ralph Manheim was commissioned for a new translation, which is, in fact, clumsier than the original.
The Murphy edition is far shorter, a fairly easy read for those who speak/read British English and have a decent vocabulary. However, it is paraphrased - as Murphy read a paragraph and put it into his own words. Not Hitler's words, but in most places, true to the meaning. But in some places, he misses the point (as Ford's book about the MEIN KAMPF translation controversy points out). So if you want Hitler, you won't get it from Murphy...
Onto Ford's translation... The thing I like about this translation is that it strikes me as a true PEOPLE's EDITION of Mein Kampf. It is COMPLETE and TRUE to the original, but being a PEOPLE'S EDITION does NOT mean that it is dumbed-down. It simply means it is readable, flows well and keeps the reader's interest throughout. EVERY READER'S INTEREST. And that was exactly what the author, Adolf Hitler, wanted. He wanted EVERYONE in his country to read his book. Not just the university professor. It wasn't for the elite few. It was for the bus driver, the soldier, the unemployed - it made no difference! It was for everyone. In German, it flowed (and still flows) fine. But when translated to English, it doesn't flow so well, as various translations prove. However, with the Ford translation, it flows VERY WELL. It has been restored to its former status and is once again for EVERYONE.
Couple this with Ford's explanatory notes in the text as well as his added 27 pages of pictures that show key people and places mentioned by Hitler, and this makes an edition of Mein Kampf that has yet to be beaten.
I am pretty anal about everything and I don't buy a book without doing my homework. I did a lot of checking and found out there were several translations or versions of Mein Kampf. I even went to my local library and checked out a copy. The only one they had was Manheim's translation. I immediately saw why everyone kept saying it was boring and hard to read, because it was. From my research it sounded like this translation, the Ford translation, was the best and it turns out it was. It was easy to understand and the inserted notes really helped me follow what was being discussed.
Also get the publisher's other book Mein Kampf A Translation Controversy. It has more information on the book(I would suggest getting it used which is cheaper because the last half is just analysis of old translations). It will really change how you see WWI WWII and world events today.
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There are a number of things which concern me about this book and the author Michael Ford.Read more
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