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Mein Kampf: The Ford Translation

Narrated by: James Smith
Length: 27 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (231 ratings)

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Summary

For the first time in 65 years, a modern, easy to understand, truly complete, and uncensored edition of Mein Kampf has been released, which reveals more than any past translation. This is also the first translation available in an English language audio format.

Older translations altered passages, omitted passages, mistranslated Hitler's words, and made some parts more sensational while concealing the true meaning of other parts of the book. If you have read one of those older translations of Mein Kampf, then you have not read the real Mein Kampf, which is found only in the Ford Translation.

Mein Kampf is often portrayed as nothing more than an anti-Semitic work; however, only six percent of it references the Jews. The rest contains Hitler's ideas and beliefs about a greater nation and his plan for accomplishing that goal. He outlines his plans for not only world conquest, but the conquest of the universe. The majority of the work involves Hitler's discussion of the German people's difficult times after the First World War, his political theories, and his organization of the Nazi Party, as well as many attacks against his enemies.

Mein Kampf offers an interesting interpretation of politics, people, and foreign-policy matters. To characterize it as only a racist work is to oversimplify.

The Ford Translation offers:

  • The most accurate translation ever produced
  • Phrases that are translated with precision and without translator bias
  • Uncommon words replaced with more common and meaningful terms
  • References to unfamiliar people or places explained in the text
  • All original passages and references restored, including passages omitted from other common translations

This translation has corrected over 1,000 errors present in past translations and is the only edition so thoroughly researched and verified that it required a separate book (Mein Kampf: A Translation Controversy) to document the changes and corrections made.

©2009 Elite Minds Inc (P)2009 Elite Minds Inc

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    4 out of 5 stars

My Understanding

I guess that like most people I was unsure whether a book by Hitler (Mein Kampi) would be really suitable, however I would like to say with an open mind that this audio delivers an informative and intellectual insight into the struggles of European economic and strategic policy from all perspectives.

19 people found this helpful

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Interesting

Interesting book. But It can get quite slow from time to time. I can recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about Hitler.

6 people found this helpful

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Amazing

There is a lot that can be learned from this book. Much of it is even relevant now. It should not be dismissed as just history nor ignored because of the author.

7 people found this helpful

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Worth listening to for the historic value

This book was a hard listen but gave a great insight into the man and the politics. It certainly gave me an insight to what the events leading up to the darker days were. There are many lessons to be learnt from this book to ensure that we are aware how damaging one highly intelligent man can be and the thin line between genius and madness.

11 people found this helpful

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Hitler hero/devil

Been wanting this book for some time,Hitler to me seams to be an intelligent man if he was alive today he would see what is happening in Not so Great Britain and laugh at the country that he admired and wanted as an all ally we need someone with strong patriotic views to put our great nation back on its feet.

5 people found this helpful

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Heavy Political Ideals & History

I've always been fascinated about the history involving WW2. Despite being a monster, it was extremely interesting to read and understand the ideals behind the man, his party, movement and the results & consequences of such a passionate and crazy man.

It was extremely useful to put his story, ideals and political views in perspective with the geopolitical forces, ideals, power, threats and motives for his vision.

Totally worth to listen.

2 people found this helpful

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Insight into a warped mind

Recently I’ve listened to the excellent biography of Adolph Hitler by Ian Kershaw that often refers to Mein Kampf as evidence of Hitler’s long-time aim to turn Germany into a national, socialist state and was interested to go to the source material.

The first part of this very long book is less contentious and is largely Hitler summarising other historical and political writers. His prejudice against the Jews is evident in these early chapters, but not notably divergent from others at the time. However, as the book progresses, and he sets out his ambition to create a powerful German state populated by Aryans, his rhetoric becomes more fevered and venomous against Jews to a ridiculous extreme in which he blames them for everything, including, illogically, Marxism and international Capitalism.

We learn about HItler’s early life and gain insight into his resentment against intellectuals and the elites whom he believed didn’t appreciate his talents. He scorned higher education and believed that men (and it was always men) were destined to greatness from birth. From early on he saw himself on a path to greatness. It is interesting to hear his formula to convert the majority to a belief system: ignore the educated and elites; don’t respond to objections from those who don’t support your cause; have a simple message, say it again and again and direct it to the ordinary people who, in Hitler’s opinion, aren’t interested in facts but as swayed by emotion.

Buried in this book are all the things that were later revealed as the pernicious doctrine of Nazism. Elimination of not just the Jews, but other ‘undesirables’, including the mentally and physically disabled; expanding the territory to accommodate an increasing German population with women’s main role to have many Aryan children.

The book was dictated and it shows as the style is rambling and the same points are made again and again in different words, though that may have been intended, but makes chunks of the book boring. It is difficult to give a star-rating as it has so much odious content, but it is a valuable help in understanding the historical circumstances that enabled the Nazi party to flourish for a time and why the Second World War broke out.

The narrator is excellent and having a contrasting female voice for the footnotes works well.

15 people found this helpful

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How to motivate the modern manager

Great how-to guide on managing people in almost any business sector. Motivating stuff. Slight hints of anti-Semitism, though I may have just imagined it.

13 people found this helpful

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Great insight into Nationalism & Facism

It's a critical read for anyone interested in modern politics and how tactics used by Hitler can be co-opted by any authoritarian government. We can only rid ourselves of these devastating totalitarian ideologies if we understand them and see when they have a mask, whether it be Facism or Progressivism.

1 person found this helpful

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A brilliant book!

After listening to this for 27 hours in a row, I finally have the confidence to build my nation to be a disciplined and controlled people. I finally see the light! Thank you, Mr. Adolf

1 person found this helpful

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  • margot
  • 20-10-13

Annoying Pop-Ups

There are many things wrong with this book. It appears that Michael Ford did not do a real translation at all, he merely rewrote a new paraphrase based on the earlier, faulty, editions, and self-published it through a print-on-demand scheme. Nothing wrong with that if his intention was to create a readable, rationalized edition with the Murphy and Manheim errors corrected. Alas Ford doesn't even write or proofread English very well, and makes a bad situation worse. He has some bizarre and novel 'translations' of phrases that do not require translation, for example the newspaper 'Volkischer Beobächter', which he turns into 'The Race Watcher.' If you must translate a title like that, something like 'People's Observer' or 'Populist Observer' or even 'Folkish Observer' might be acceptable, but there's no excuse for 'Race Watcher.' (Prof. Randall Bytwerk has written extensively on this and other translation problems, and you should Google that name if you wish to know more.)

What is annoying about the Audible edition is that the translator's footnotes and interlineations pop up frequently and annoyingly, often giving bad information. There should be some way of turning these off, as you turn off pop-ads in a web browser.

108 people found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 24-08-15

"Pearls before swine"?

I'm happy there's finally an audio version of Mein Kampf. Sadly, it's this one. I can't speak to the controversy surrounding the translation. I *can* speak to the narration. Or rather "narrations". The translation this is based on "helpfully" includes explanations of some of the references Hitler uses. There are three problems with this. The biggest of which is that in order to do this, they switch to a different narrator, a woman whose voice grates. This seems like it was an afterthought since the transition sounds abrupt and jarring. The main narrator gets cut off in mid-sentence for the explanation and then the narration just as abruptly resume. The second is that the two narrators can't even agree on pronunciation. There should really only be one way to pronounce a German name. That's not the case here and it casts serious doubt on the reputation of the audiobook. Most annoyingly, the inserted explanations assume you're an idiot. Do you really need to explain the meaning of "Pearls before swine"? "Recalcitrant"? Is that really such a "hard" word?

The main narrator does a decent job, He sounds convincingly thuggish though sometimes he seems like he's on the verge of laughing when laughter isn't appropriate. The insert narrator...dear lord...she reminds me of pre-Higgins Eliza Doolittle.

For those who've wanted to listen to this it's your only option on Audible and beggars can't be choosers. (This means that you can't really complain about the situation you're in because there's no other choice than to be in that situation.)

27 people found this helpful

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  • Phillip
  • 15-10-18

Very enlightening and profoundly interesting.

The fascinating other side of the story they dont teach in school. Highly recommend reading this. Take it with a grain of salt, but it provides insight into why our planets most horrific war took place.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mike
  • 23-09-18

The most important book you could read

There are so many misconceptions about Hitler and the German Reich. This book does miracles to dispel the myth and clearly lay out what they were really about. There are so many parallels between Germany of then compared with America of now.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Robert McKee
  • 04-04-13

Story vs Hype

The book didn't read like the psychotic I was taught that Hitler was. I do not care for the guy but it seems that his thinking was not that far off of the general thinking of the late 1800's, I have seen Carnegie say some of the same things about England. I guess it was the implementation that really went wrong.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Erik
  • 05-10-18

Scary read

Obviously not a fan but is was definitely an interesting experience. Well narrated and the inserts worked great without ruining the flow. Nicely done

3 people found this helpful

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  • LovePrayHopeDream
  • 26-09-18

GREAT STUFF!

The author can at times seem to repeat himself or over clarify. I believe this is likely one of the several ways he was able to convert his race. There may be some historical events or places or even litature that is referred to that most people will not understand. This version helps by stopping the story for a short time and explaining the source.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jim
  • 27-03-14

Adolf Thought He Had it Figured

For years I've wondered what this book was like. I finally read the thing. I'm glad I waited because this is a down-to-earth, plebian translation with good footnoted explanations of obscure stuff. The narration, by an Englishman, is quite nice.
There are some fancy-shmansy phrases to explain its methods of persuasion. What strikes me as foremost is "logical fallacies," which is when a person presents chains of logic that wander off into error. Adolph inked a lot of these, despite the book framing him as an exceptional thinker who studied, pondered, and experienced much of life. Hitler never declares himself a genius but hints at it several times.
Here is one example of Hitler's questionable chain of thoughts—Germany has an exploding population; there is a ratio of how many persons a country's lands can support; German expansion inside of Europe is therefore necessary; but Germany is hemmed in by crowded Western countries wishing it ill; Germany's destiny lies to the east where open agricultural land may be populated with German blood; if Germans rid themselves of limiting philosophical shackles, and use their extraordinary blood-borne gifts of force and intelligence, they will take these lands and finally create Greater Germany. His thinking moves point-by-point towards (what we now know was) the cliff's edge. Here is another example—At the center of powerful countries has always been transplanted Arian/Nordic rulers; until Slavic Revolutionaries shot them, Russia had such a Germanic cadre who exercised some skill in governing the country; Russia is now ruled by inferior-blooded Slavs and Jews without the aptitude to govern; Russia's manufacturing base, under Jewish/Communist/Slavic hegemony, is not likely increase or modernize; making an ally of Russia is an idiot's action. Reason-following-reason, Adolf moves on to a mistaken conclusion.
During his time as a Viennese drifter before WW1, Hitler obviously spent time in libraries. The book's pseudo-scholarly conceits echo this as well as the earlier pedantry of German public schools. He name-drops people and events in Hellenistic history. Still, there is no denying that he possessed a truly extraordinary gift for public speaking. Der Fuehrer rose to influence in Germany during a profound vacuum of leadership. Aristotle would call his appearance kairos: in the right place at the right time, saying the right things to the right audiences. Speaking (he writes) for hours, extemporizing brilliantly to the distressed citizens of the Weimar Republic who crowded in to hear him, it is understandable why his message of regained self-esteem and bright hope for the future struck sparks. Here is another fancy term important to the book—subjective validation. That's when a person gives legitimacy to ideas even as idiosyncratic as Hitler's National Socialism, because something inside needs them to be correct. No doubt a fair number of angry and miserable Germans internally legitimized the book's questionable reasoning out of collective emotional need.
Of course, some in Germany were already captivated by the other great logical fallacy of the era that also promised Eden: Communism. Hitler writes a lot about physical confrontations with the Reds, their tactics, what their propaganda did right and what it did wrong. NSDAP members, he writes, were always ready to brawl with Communists and never backed up, even when out-numbered. By the 1920s, Hitler writes, he became a "master propagandist" who usurped the color red from his great adversary's camp for NSDAP ceremonies, and personally designed the swastika flag.
One expects anti-Semitic harangues in Mein Kampf, and they are there, but not as much as expected. They increase in the later, added chapters from 1924. Lil' Adolph's line of anti-Jew argument goes something like—Jews are a nation without land, hence they favor multi-nationalism over patriotism; they stay in touch with one another and act in concert to subvert nations; they plot to bring Germany down and rule it, just as they did Russia, through Communism; Jews work to undermine a state's proper functioning to gain power; a reason for legislative bad decisions and sloth is Jewish influence in the Reichstag; the source of the bad reputations of German Racist parties (there were a number of them) is Jewish-controlled newspapers; Jews have inferior blood and wish to breed with Germans to assimilate blood-borne superiority, in time destroying the Arian through dilution; Jews cannot afford National Socialist success because it would wreck their centuries-old plan of infiltration and a hidden rise to power, to rule over the rubble they created. Judaism, Hitler writes, is the "enzyme of decomposition." It is ironic that the supposed Jewish plan to bring a country down and rule over its ruble is exactly what Hitler and his comrades did to Germany by 1945.
Mein Kampf is worth the reading; I got a better idea of who Hitler actually was. While it's true assistants jotted down his dictation then re-worked it, you can still hear his "voice" in its paragraphs. He was not wrong in everything he complained about, by the way. He was certainly no coward but a genuine war hero. He was a dynamic speaker, adroit propagandist, a Machiavellian manipulator of subordinates, someone who correctly monitored the demeanor of crowds. He was at the same time an eccentric philosopher whose speculative, crackpot ideas were frightening. He was a bright man with strange ideas conceived while living in isolation. One day, low and behold, he actually ran the country and put his "insights" into practice. Within six years of gaining power his country began floundering. But, that's in later books.

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  • Grady
  • 26-05-16

Great reading,

Great reading easy to listen. I really enjoyed the footnotes. I have a completely new understanding of Adolf Hitler.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Jeremy Jacobson
  • 30-03-15

very informative

easy to listen to a bit of history the schools leave out. wish I'd have listened to it sooner.

5 people found this helpful