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Mein Rant - A Summary in Light Verse of 'Mein Kampf'
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Mein Rant - A Summary in Light Verse of 'Mein Kampf' (Hardback)

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R F Paterson was a great fan of Gilbert and Sullivan, and when Germany invaded Poland on 1st September 1939, to reclaim the land they 'lost' after World War One, Britain stood alone against them. R F Paterson wrote a satire of Hitler's Mein Kampf in the style of Gilbert and Sullivan. It was for him the next best thing to fighting, for which he was too old. As impossible as it might seem to us today, within six months of declaring war, Britain was enduring a shattering and devastating experience. And Britain faced massive loss, and surrender. By May 1940 Winston Churchill, then Prime Minister, was being asked to approve plans to evacuate the Government, Royal Family and the Bank of England's gold to Canada. 200,000 British troops stood on the beaches of Dunkirk, unable to get home, while Churchill bartered with the Americans to send destroyers to help. In the previous six months, children had been evacuated from London and cities; men had been called up and mobilised, and women went to work in munitions factory and did men's jobs for the first time. People knew their lives would never be the same again. And propaganda was rife.

Propaganda works best when the enemy is diminished, and portrayed as a manageable entity, certain to be defeated. Much of German propaganda was sinister, especially in the portrayal of Jewish citizens. American propaganda was cautionary and dark. British propaganda, on the other hand, was that the righteous should prevail and that those in the wrong - be they errant schoolboys, bullies, or robbers, or even wartime leaders, should always fail. Rubbishing the enemy, assassinating nasty characters with humorous methods, was a technique people learned from comics. Britain was expert in this area. So enter Heath Robinson, and R F Paterson's "Mein Rant", which we reproduce in this book, with a new introduction by leading comic archivist, Morris Heggie. "Mein Rant" is a clever and funny satire of Hitler's "Mein Kampf", illustrated by Heath Robinson. Today, and since World War One, Heath Robinson's name has been used to describe absurdly complicated inventions that achieved very simple results. Here his work is used to great impact.

"Mein Kampf" ('My Struggle'), Hitler's autobiography, was published in two volumes in 1925 and 1926 which Hitler wrote in Landsberg Prison, and R F Paterson said of it: "Mein Kampf" had neither rhyme nor reason, while my abridgement undoubtedly has rhyme. 'A conversion of Hitler's "Mein Kampf" to a delightful and pungent verse-satire. The result is an absolute triumph of the Comic Muse over intractable, almost hopeless material'. The key points: first published February 1940, humour/nostalgia/war.

History & PoliticsHistory: Chronological20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000History & PoliticsHistory: ChronologicalEarly history: c 500 to c 1450-1500History & PoliticsMilitary HistorySecond World WarHistory & PoliticsRegional & national historyEuropean historyHumourParodies & spoofs Publisher: The Gresham Publishing Co. Ltd Publication Date: 24/08/2009 ISBN-13: 9781849340021  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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R F Paterson was born in Glasgow and worked as an editor. Heath Robinson illustrated many children's books in the 1930s and became famous for his absurdly complex illustrations of machines and inventions that performed simple tasks.

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