I find that reports of book sales, especially when in a niche category, can be quite misleading. Look at the sales of some of the truly dreadful titles in recent years simply because America’s answer to I. A. Richards, Oprah Winfrey, selected it for a reading selection associated with her television talk show. But this blurb printed in The Daily Beast does raise a few eyebrows (note: article was originally from Vocativ but has possibly been taken offline).
‘Mein Kampf’ Tops Charts
Is this a sign of the end times? Recently, the e-book version of Adolf Hitler’s manifesto, Mein Kampf, has been rising in the charts. The book, which was first released in the U.S. in 1939, is popular in “Politics & Current Events” on iTunes and topping the “Propaganda & Political Psychology” section on Amazon. The company behind a popular 99 cent Kindle version released last January notes “sales are great,” but is concerned about “a moral dilemma in promotion.”
An article in the Los Angeles Times by Hector Tobar asks:
Why is Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ an e-book bestseller?
Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” has quietly become an e-book bestseller, climbing high on the charts of political books on Apple’s iTunes and Amazon’s Kindle, even as print sales of the 1925 anti-Semitic screed continue to languish.
“‘Mein Kampf” hasn’t made the New York Times’ nonfiction chart since its U.S. release in 1939, the same year Germany invaded Poland, and its print sales have fallen steadily ever since,” Chris Faraone wrote for the website Vocativ. “But with a flood of new e-book editions, Hitler’s notorious memoir just clocked a banner digital year.” …
Faraone compared the Hitler book surge to the sales of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” “These are things that people would be embarrassed to read otherwise,” Faraone told ABC News. “Books that people would probably be a bit more embarrassed to read or display or buy in public, they are more than willing to buy on their Kindle, or iPads. …
“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 Chief Executive 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.”
Hitler dictated “Mein Kampf” to Rudolf Hess while in prison following the failed 1923 Munich Putsch. The book made him rich in Germany during his lifetime and served as a recruiting tool for the Nazi Party as Hitler rose to power in 1933.