JF Ptak Science Books Post 2469
This "critical" edition of Hitler's Mein Kampf was published in a 32-page tabloid format, editing in the choice bits, and adding critical commentary and interpretation, whittling Hitler's 270,000 words down to 70,000, and including sections that were evidently heinous and omitted from other English versions.
Noram Publishing Company of Greenwich, Connecticut, loudly proclaims "Not One Cent to Hitler" so far as royalties go (and make no mistake he did make a fair amount of money on the book outside of Germany, while making a lot inside Germany). Any profits were to go the refugees of Hitler's Germany.
Interestingly Noram Publishing Company was the creation of journalist and future Senator Alan Cranston and a business associate, Amster Spiro (city editor of William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal-American).
- An interesting account of Cranston's involvement is in this article by attorney John Aquino. Also see here for an article in the Los Angles Times.
The problem was that Mein Kampf was already published in full form in the U.S. by Houghton Miflin (among others), and Noram's shortcut was interfering with their business. And so Houghton Miflin successfully sued Noram1, forcing the company to destroy the 500,000 copies of their tabloid that hadn't yet sold (about half of the print run to that point).
On the other hand Cranston and Spiro did reach at least a half-million people with their version, which importantly discusses the concept of the Big Lie, with "The Only Lie Worth Telling is the Colossal One".
1. "Houghton Mifflin Co. v. Noram Pub. Co., 28 F. Supp. 676 (S.D.N.Y 1939).U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York - 28 F. Supp. 676 (S.D.N.Y 1939)
July 14, 1939
District Court, S. D. New York.
28 F. Supp. 676 (1939)
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN CO.
NORAM PUB. CO., Inc., et al.
*677 Hines, Rearick, Dorr & Hammond, of New York City (Archie O. Dawson and John D. Mooney, both of New York City, of counsel), for plaintiff.
Hoguet, Neary & Campbell, of New York City (Walter H. Free, of New York City, of counsel), for defendants.
CONGER, District Judge.
This is a motion for a temporary injunction to restrain infringement of the copyright which the plaintiff claims to have of the book "Mein Kampf" (author, Adolf Hitler)."