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'Mein Kampf' Was A 2013 eBook Bestseller

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As of yesterday, Mein Kampf is the top seller in Amazon's Propaganda & Political psychology section, and 12th in the Politics & Current Events section of the iTunes e-book store.

Print sales, however, have remained stagnant; it hasn't been on The New York Times's nonfiction bestseller list since the year of its release.

Why the sudden surge in interest? One explanation is that, while many versions of Mein Kampf exist in various formats, the 99 cent Kindle version was released in January of last year.

Another theory, which also explains the overnight popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey, is that people are more prone to purchasing embarrassing titles on their e-readers than in print.

Mein Kampf was published in two volumes, the first in 1925 and the second in 1926. The first briefly outlines Hitler's childhood before delving into his political involvements after the First World War. Although both volumes detail his anti-Semitic and anti-Communist views, the book is often studied as a work of political theory. Hitler wrote it in 1924 in a Bavarian jail.

The publisher of the 99 cent version asserts that the book is being purchased for academic reasons, stating, "With digital readers, no one faces the stigma of having a copy of Mein Kampf on their bookshelf or risks it being seen on a table and having visitors make false assumptions about their reasons for owning it. They can read it in the subway without fear of being mistaken for a racist just because they want to learn about history."

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