Time NewsFeed recently reported that the Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler’s manifesto, Mein Kampf, is topping the charts in eBook sales. Hitler penned the book in 1923 while he was locked away in prison after a failed coup. In this book, he outlines his idea of a global Jewish conspiracy.
Though sales of the print copy of the book remains relatively stagnant, the ebook is on iTunes Politics and Event Charts top 20. The manifesto is among books penned by Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. It is the number one selling book for Propaganda and Political Psychology on Amazon, and the 17th best seller in the company’s Nationalism list.
Chris Faraone explains in a fascinating essay why ebooks are the perfect format for reading controversial material. “Mein Kampf could be following a similar trend to that of smut and romance novels,” Faraone writes. Customers may not want to be seen reading the book, or even want to have the book seen sitting on their shelves. The cheap digital copy can be hidden in a folder, read inconspicuously, and deleted.
There are a number different editions available. Amazon sells 6 ebook versions of Mein Kampf alone, coupled with the increased popularity of ebooks in general, it has boosted the sales.
Farone also points out that Hitler’s autobiography is benefiting from the same market effects as 50 Shades of Grey; instead of erotica, it is for militant racism. You can download the book onto your e-Reader and flip through one of modern history’s most controversial texts without anyone knowing.
Reviewers of the book support the 50 Shades of Grey theory. “I think I waited 45 years to read Hitler’s words… I wish I had read it sooner,” wrote Steven Wagg. “Curiosity killed me to get this book,” said another reviewer. The document also functions as a warning: “People need to understand that if we do not learn from people like this, then we will fall into their traps again,” Ray D’Aguanno wrote on Amazon.
There is a 99 cent edition of Mein Kampf that was published by a company called Elite Minds Inc. “Sales are great,” Elite Minds president Michael Ford told Faraone. Publicizing is a sensitive issue though: “I have not heavily promoted the book and decided, for the most part, to let it spread among those who have a true historical and academic interest naturally.”