New E-Book Bestseller: Hitler's 'Mein Kampf'

One book you’re not likely to find on the year-end “Best Of” lists is, strangely, one of the year’s best selling—Adolf Hitler’s political manifesto, “Mein Kampf,” which saw a surge in sales thanks to its recent release as a downloadable e-book, reports ABC News Business.

Sales of the anti-Semitic text had been stagnant in print form, but as of Wednesday January 8, two electronic versions of “Mein Kampf” ranked both 12th and 15th on the Politics and Current events section of the iTunes book store, perhaps lending credence to theory that siri is a closeted anti-semite. 

Journalist Christ Faraone spotted the trend first, and chalks up the sudden surge in sales to the relative veil of anonymity afforded by buying books online as opposed to in person, in print and in public.

“These are things that people would be embarrassed to read otherwise,” Faraone told ABC. “Books that people would probably be a bit more embarrassed to read or display or buy in public, they are more willing to buy on their Kindle or iPads.”

Faraone likens this trend to the erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which sparked a phenomenon in 2012 when it became the first book  to sell more than 1 million copies on Amazon’s Kindle e-reader alone. For Faraone, “Fifty Shades” is similar to "Mein Kampf" in that both are too embarrassing to read in public.

Many Jewish leaders have, however, expressed alarm over companies profiting from a sudden surge in sales of the Hitler's tome. The implication of the product, they argue, is not worth the profit.

“While the academic study of ‘Mein Kampf’ is certainly legitimate, the spike in ebook sales likely comes from neo-Nazis and skinheads idolizing the greatest monster in history,” World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer told ABC News in a statement. “We think that responsible companies shouldn’t profiteer from the sales of hate books, or at least should donate the profits to help the victims of anti-Semitism, racism and other like bigotries.”

Many, Faraone included, seem quick to combat the claim that the surge in sales is due exclusively to extremists. Elite Minds INC., which publishes the best-selling $0.99 version of the book that landed it on the iTunes list, told ABC News that the company believes that the popularity of the new translation comes from a surge in academic interest in the subject. 

Recently, the German state of Bavaria, which owns the copyright to the book, nixed plans to release an annotated version of the text out of concern that it may offend victims. 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.