Hate online is nothing new. And neither is a best-selling E-book. Adolph Hitler's hate-filled autobiography Mein Kampf has become an unlikely E-book blockbuster.
Journalist Chris Faraone wrote extensively on this "Mein Kampf" e-book phenomenon, an in-depth article you can read here. As reported in that story, a quick search online and you'll find a half dozen Mein Kampf E-books for sale from under a buck to just a couple dollars. Sales for Hitler's anti-semitic manifesto now rank in the top 5 on the politics & current events section on I-Books. On Amazon, it ranks number one in the propaganda and political philosophy section. "There's a big novelty factor, it's so cheap to download it," said Dr. Richard Armstrong, a scholar of German Studies at the University of Houston. "It's a little like historical pornography. You're able to actually get inside a very influential mind, and to see... plotted out over hundreds of pages... see truly awful thoughts, but I think there is value in that," said Dr. Armstrong.
Some believe the anonymity and ease of the internet lessens the stigma of buying it face-to-face in a book store. Fox 26 Facebook fan Kristina writes: "I'd read it out of curiosity.... I do not like Hitler but I love history." Andrew commented on Facebook: "People are crazy! Anyone who buys that book needs help!"
Houston's office of the Anti-Defamation League believes there is cause for concern, whatever the reason for the surge in sales. "Certainly we're concerned about a jump in sales of such a hateful, hateful book," said ADL Associate Regional Director, Dena Marks. "We think that maybe people are motivated out of morbid curiosity and some maybe by latent bigotry."
Is there something more sinister, perhaps a Neo-Nazi blueprint for evil? "I do think it needs to be monitored," said Dr. Armstrong.
Many people online agree with Christy who says "I wonder if people are reading up on the history and possibly comparing notes from Hitler and what's going on today. The gun grabbing, racial tension, and class wars."
To give you even more perspective, paper printed editions of "Mein Kampf" haven't appeared on the New York Times best-selling list since 1939.
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