SMGM-3156 Mein Kampf English Translation 1939 First edition, first run by Reynal & Hitchcock
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So based on my limited knowledge of these, this appears to be a first edition first run based on the spine. I know the spines vary with wording and i believe this is the earliest version. If I’m wrong, kindly shoot me an email. The page with all the publishing information is missing so i had to do a bit of hunting just to figure that part out. The boards are in decent worn shape and still well attached to the spine. The spine cover itself has separated from the pages. The book is easy to read and study in its current condition. A desirable copy.
Here is everything to know from Wikipedia:
Reynal and Hitchcock translation
After the Munich crisis in September 1938, the firm of Reynal & Hitchcock decided that it would be imperative to have an unexpurgated edition available to the public. They found that a team of scholars at the New School of Social Research were in the midst of preparing such a translation. Reynal & Hitchcock approached both this committee and Houghton Mifflin about publishing the translation under a license.
However, on 8 December 1938, Stackpole Sons Inc. announced that they would be publishing their own translation of Mein Kampf, arguing that Hitler, as a stateless person in 1925, could not have transferred his copyrights to Eher Verlag and thence to Houghton Mifflin. A conference was held at the office of Reynal & Hitchcock on 12 December 1938, with General Edward Stackpole and William Soskin, executive director of Stackpole Sons, to discuss the matter. Stackpole claimed that Reynal & Hitchcock said that if Stackpole could put the work in the public domain they would not be interested in publishing their own translation. Reynal & Hitchcock claimed to have stated that they had already been working on the project for months, had a translation in hand, backed by a committee of prominent scholars, and were in the process of negotiating the rights with Houghton Mifflin. In any event, Stackpole and Soskin took this to mean that they were allowed to carry on with their translation unperturbed until they were visited at their office by Curtice Hitchcock who informed him that they were going ahead with their translation, which was going to be under license from the exclusive copyright holder, Houghton Mifflin.
The agreement between Reynal and Hitchcock and Houghton Mifflin was finalized on 18 February 1939 and the book was available in stores on 28 February. The contract stipulated that Reynal and Hitchcock would pay Houghton Mifflin 15% royalty on each $3 copy. After one year, Reynal and Hitchcock had the option of releasing a cheaper edition, and the agreement itself would expire after three years. Houghton Mifflin would print and bind the book at its Riverside Press in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was allowed to keep publishing the My Battle abridgement. Notably, Houghton Mifflin agreed to pay all the expenses for seeking a copyright injunction, and subsequent legal fees would be split between the two companies.
To counter Stackpole’s claims that sales of its translation would go to Nazi Germany, Reynal contacted the various boycott committees and pledged all profits above their legitimate expenses would go to a charity for refugees. However, no assets could be touched for the Reynal and Hitchcock edition, including royalties or charitable donations, until the legal issues were settled. As it happened, the legal battle did not finally end until 25 October 1941. After deducting $11,500 for legal costs, Houghton Mifflin was prepared to give $11,500 to Curtis Brown to pay to their client, Eher Verlag. Before this could be done, however, war broke out between the United States and Germany and Eher never received any royalties from this edition. Profits from the book went to a charity, Children’s Crusade for Children, which helped refugees. Included in this was the initial $35,000 for administrative and promotional costs so that all money donated by children in the US would go to the child refugees.
As far as Hitler’s royalties went, they were governed by the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 and put into an account assigned to the Office of Alien Property Custodian, succeeded by the United States Attorney General after the war. As of 31 March 1972 the royalties on Mein Kampf paid to the US government amounted to $92,616.59. The Attorney General also paid a corporation tax on them to the IRS. Today, the profits and proceeds are given to various charities.
The members of the New School committee that edited and translated the book were John Chamberlain, Sidney B. Fay, John Gunther, Carlton J. H. Hayes, Graham Hutton, Alvin Johnson, William L. Langer, Walter Millis, R. de Roussy de Sales, and George N. Shuster.
The book was translated from the two volumes of the first German edition (1925 and 1927), with annotations appended noting any changes made in later editions, which were deemed “not as extensive as popularly supposed”. The translation was made with a view to readability rather than in an effort to rigidly reproduce Hitler’s sometimes idiosyncratic German form. Significantly, the translation marked in the text areas that had been left out of the Dugdale abridgment.
The text was heavily annotated for an American audience with biographical and historical details derived largely from German sources. As the translators deemed the book “a propagandistic essay of a violent partisan”, which “often warps historical truth and sometimes ignores it completely”, the tone of many of these annotations reflected a conscious attempt to provide “factual information that constitutes an extensive critique of the original”.
Apart from the editorial committee there was also a “sponsoring committee” of prominent individuals including Pearl S. Buck, Dorothy Canfield, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Ida Tarbell, Cyrus Adler, Charles A. Beard, Nicholas Murray Butler, Theodore Dreiser, Albert Einstein, Morris Ernst, Rev. Harry Emerson Fosdick, Rev. John Haynes Holmes, James M. Landis, Thomas Mann, Bishop William T. Manning, Eugene O’Neill, Theodore Roosevelt Jr., Mgr. John A. Ryan, Norman Thomas, Walter White, William Allen White and Rabbi Stephen S. Wise.
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