Adolph Hitler, a best-selling author, in 2014?
The explosion of e-readers, tablets and smart phones have turned Mein Kampf into a hot commodity.
Two versions of the book are in the Top 20 on “Politics and Current Events” chart on i-tunes, and it’s a hit on Amazon.
Some culture commentators, including an article in Time, speculate that the e-book version of the Nazi manifesto made be riding the same wave of success that propelled 50 Shades of Grey – people are curious enough to read it, but don’t want to be seen reading it.
And let’s face it, between movies, television, books and theater, Adolf Hitler has been the subject of American fascination since at least 1945.
“There is this obsession with Hitler which persists to the present day. I see it among my students all the time, and that is the first reason why people are downloading it,” says Rice University professor of history Dr. Peter Caldwell. “Kids may come into the classroom having heard a lot about Hitler. What I try to do as a class is take them away exactly from what they read in Mein Kampf, which is to a great extent a bunch of lies.”
Caldwell says his students sometimes refer to The History Channel as the Hitler channel. Just last year The History Channel ran a documentary titled, “Mein Kampf: The Story of Adolf Hitler.”
Is there something deeper and darker to be read into the best-selling status of such an infamous book?
“We’re not ready to conclude that the spike in Mein Kampf e-book sales reflects a rise in bigotry or anti-semiticism, but we’re always concerned when large numbers of people are exposed to such hatred.”