I have owned a hardbound copy of this book for the last 50 years. I tried to read it 5 times in that period. I failed to get past the first chapter 5 times.
In the interim I have read through many other books – some of them foolish, some stupid, some grim. But none of them have had the cachet of this book. None of them have carried as much disreputable baggage.
Am I a wuss? Am I a fool? Am I an intellectual coward? Very likely I am. But I have read Marx in the meantime…and Chairman Mao…and biographies of Stalin, Mussolini, and Hirohito. I’ve read potted histories of the Soviet Union. I’ve read flying saucer conspiracy/Third Reich astrology/ Henry Ford propaganda crap since. I’ve even read political pamphlets from Fremantle, for Heaven’s sake…and have consigned some of them to the trash without a second thought.
But that damned book still sits there on the shelf and defies me. I dare not burn it – lest I be a book burner. I regard it as I would regard a fused bomb…a very old fused bomb, with unstable filler and detonator. I am loath to touch it.
Perhaps I should just dust it off and send it to someone with best wishes. Who shall it be? I have 204 Facebook friends and some of them are readers…