Book Travelling Thursdays is hosted by Catia and Danielle on Goodreads. This week’s theme is: Choose A Controversial Book.

The last time I did one of these blog posts, I used my gut-instinct. I’m going to do the same this time; I’ve chosen Mein Kampf, by Adolf Hitler. For obvious reasons, this is a controversial book.

Whilst I haven’t read Mein Kampf, I learnt a little about it during my time studying the Third Reich as part of my A Level History course. It’s an autobiography published by Hitler, the leader of the Nazi Party in Germany, 1925. In Mein Kampf, which literally translates as My Struggle, Hitler outlines his anti-Semitic, militaristic views, political theories, and his plans to make Germany great again (I wonder if any current parallels could be drawn here).

Although Mein Kampf is a book full of controversial and offensive statements, I don’t think people should shy away from reading politically-charged, or historical texts.

I’m fascinated by the history of this period, and I think it would be interesting to experience it from the first-person perspective of Hitler, as the only other sources I’ve read are books by historians, written many years later.

Unusually, I found a Goodreads member, Shane Brooker, who’d given Mein Kampf 5 stars. Here’s what they said:

‘A very interesting read. It gives some insight into the mind and thoughts of one of history’s most infamous men. I feel it is a must read for everyone wishing to know more about the years leading up to the Second World War.’

Here are a few book covers I found of Mein Kampf. I decided to choose book covers from different time periods, rather than different countries – quite frankly I’d been astonished if Mein Kampf was being published worldwide. I believe the first cover is the original, German edition, the second is a 1943 edition and the third is a contemporary edition from 2007:

My Photo [BTT2 1]                         My Photo [BTT2 2]                        My Photo [BTT2 3]

I can’t really say I have a “favourite” cover, although I do think it’s an interesting shift from a plain book cover, to ones that use photos of Hitler looking quite menacing. I wonder what the design choices behind these photographs were.

Do you think we should read more controversial texts, or should some books be left unread?

– Judith


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