Among the Literati

The Houghton Mifflin Company, which is to publish an English translation of Hitler’s autobiographical “success” story, “My Struggle”, has been in the publishing business a good many years and its members are known as clever and wide-awake bookmen. They realize that the one thing that will assure the success of the book in this country is loud opposition on the part of Jews and Jewish organizations.

Everyone must realize that no legal means are available by which the book may be suppressed. Those in favor of suppression seem to forget that the louder they yell for suppression the more publicity the book will receive. If the book is allowed to appear in the normal routine the maximum sale should not exceed four thousand copies. Houghton Mifflin is a dignified house and will not present the book as a sensational document.

The American public in the past has shown an almost enthusiastic lack of interest in books dealing with politics and politicians, especially the foreign breed. With very few exceptions (Washington Merry Go-Round was a book of personalities and scandal), books of this type have had a negligible sale. Even the anti-Hitler books were “flops” and the public is much more inclined to buy an “anti” rather than a “pro” book. I don’t believe Hitler’s book has a chance. It will be prominently reviewed but that does not mean a big sale. The only thing that can save it will be too much opposition on the part of us Jews.

How suppression helps a book has been indicated so many times that praying members of publishing houses look to Heaven for someone to suppress the tome in question. The Christian Scientists learned their lesson. Every book unfavorable to Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the movement, has sold well because members of the Church insisted upon raising a fuss over it. Last Fall one appeared and the Christian Scientists did nothing about it. It did not sell, and it was the most sensational of all the Eddy books.

Another element against the chances of success for Hitler’s book is that it conflicts with a well-established adage of publishing. You can’t compete with the “front page”, the saying goes. By this is meant that books based on current news events and personages are exhausted by the daily papers and magazines. The public gets so much of it that they are unwilling to buy a book about the person or event.

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