Long and Short Reviews’ blogging challenge this week is ‘A famous book you haven’t read, and why’. Immediately before college and a little during (before assignments took priority), I sought out books that had changed the world for good or ill. I read The Origin of Species, for instance, and The Communist Manifesto. I’d also planned to read Mein Kampf, and started to in connection to a German history course, but either Hitler was a tedious writer or I only had access to a marginal translation, because it was incredibly dull despite my longstanding interest in World War 2. At any rate, a hold for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (then a recent release) came in, and I forgot all about trying to return to the book. I recently found a 1940s English translation in a used bookstore, so I plan to tackle it at some point, both to resume that old mission (to confront influential books) and to see what issues Hitler was using to sell himself to the German people. I’m hoping, in October, to do a little series on Germany between 1917 and 1933. The cover I’m using for this post isn’t the 1940s English edition: I chose this one because it’s one of the few without a swastika or Hitler’s glarey face. His is a prize case of the ugliness inside manifesting itself outwardly.
- Follow Reading Freely on WordPress.com
- Seeking a Little Truth
- Inspire Virtue
- Classics Considered
- With Freedom, Books, Flowers, and the Moon
- The Inquisitive Biologist
- Relevant Obscurity
- Trek Lit Reviews
- Stoic Meditations
- A Pilgrim in Narnia
- Mudpuddle Soup
- Gently Mad
- The Frugal Chariot
- The Social Porcupine
- Gifted w/Thought
- Lydia Schoch
- The Classics Club
- Classical Carousel
- Fanda Classiclit
- Reading In Between the Life
I read The Origin of Species, too, and honestly found it kind of dull. (Granted, I was in high school at the time, so maybe my opinion of it now would be different).
I think I was aided at the time by reading several books around Origin that helped me appreciate it more — an updated version of the book in contemporary language, and then a biography of Darwin that focused on the impact of it. I’m surprised it would be assigned in high school….I don’t think we ever received any nonfiction readings that weren’t plays.
I think AH’s book has the perfect title – “My Struggle” as in a struggle to read it! So, good luck with that one. I’ve heard that it’s VERY very dull and although, like you, I want to read a good few of the worlds influential books, this REALLY didn’t make my list – as in anywhere on the list.
‘Origin’ is definitely going to be read at some point…. eventually….
I imagine it probably doesn’t attract the most enthusiastic of translators! It’s not like say, the Aeneid or the Divine Comedy, where different classicists try to find the perfect balance between accuracy, rhyme, and rhythm.
Good reasons for reading it.
That’s one I was never much interested in reading, though I agree that it could be really educational if you were looking at how AH was trying to position himself at the time.
I haven’t read this one yet, either. For a while now, I’ve thought of reading up on how eugenics (and to an extent, fascism) gained popularity in the UK and the US at the turn of the century. But such a grim topic doesn’t naturally rise to the top of my TBR. I like your idea of grouping like books together and knocking them out in a short time frame.