Mein Kampf. The Story of a Book

Antoine Vitkine

€ 16,00
Publisher: Cairo Editore
Collection: Saggi
Pages: 288
ISBN/EAN: 978-88-6052-286-3

1924. In a cell of the Landsberg prison in Bavaria, a prisoner is furiously pounding the keys on a Remington typewriter. While he’s serving a sentence too lenient for an attempted coup d’état, the man accumulates page after page of a manuscript that will be published a year later. Thanks to a career that is, to say the least, dazzling, less than a decade later that prisoner will become the German Chancellor and his book one of the works that will determine the history of the 20th century. The name of the prisoner: Adolf Hitler. The title of the book: Mein Kampf.

Rivers of ink have been written about the author, but the book has remained aside, obfuscated by themes held to be more crucial historically. Yet this book is the political treatise that has sold the most copies in history. Fascinated by the often paradoxical story of this “global best seller”, the journalist Antoine Vitkine began a profound research on the book, searching the dusty bookshelves of obscure 20th century publishers in order to reconstruct the intricate story.

Do we really know how Mein Kampf was written and what role it played in its author’s rise to power? Why did no one take this Austrian corporal seriously when he wrote black on white about his future crimes? Why did Hitler himself, at various times, hasten to negate the book or publish a different version in France? This enthralling research, rigorous and uncommon, takes us from the cell where Hitler decides to lay out his political philosophy on paper right up to our times – in the Land corridors of Bavaria, from pre-war Paris to modern Turkish bookstores, and in the Neo-Nazi circles. And it helps us to understand how Mein Kampf, a manifesto of extreme nationalism and anti-Semitism, still in these initial years of the 21st century retains all its negative charge of aberrant thought, hanging dangerously over our times.

The author
Antoine Viktine, born in 1977, is a French journalist and documentary maker. His research on Mein Kampf was the result of a TV investigation broadcasted in 2008 by the theme channel “Arte”.

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