|Kenneth Burke, The Rhetoric of Hitler's Battle, The Philosophy of Literary Form, 3rd ed. (1941; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973), 191-220.|
1. Originally published in Southern Review 5 (Summer 1939): 1-21, Burkes essay was the lead article in an issue with several articles on democracy, including R. M. MacIvers The Genius of Democracy and Willmoore Kendells On the Preservation of Democracy for America.
1. Burkes essay was published a few months before the German invasion of Poland (01 Sep 1939), which initiated the second world war. (The US, of course, did not enter the war until the bombing of Pearl Harbor, over two years later.)
2. A year prior to the publication of this essay, Congress created the House Un-American Activities Committee to investigate Nazis, Fascists, Communists, and other un-American groups.
1. The English translation to which Burke refers in his opening sentence is Mein Kampf, Complete and Unabridged, Fully Annotated, editorial sponsors: John Chamberlain, Sidney B. Fay and others (New York, Reynal & Hitchcock, 1939).
2. In his second paragraph, Burke writes that Hitlers book should be studied not merely to discover some grounds for prophesying what political move is to follow Munich (191); this is a reference to the Munich Agreement of September 1938, in which Britain and France acquiesced to Hitlers demand to annex western Czechoslovakia in return for a stable Europe. (The Munich Agreement is the source of British Prime Minister Chamberlains tragically ironic Peace in our time statement.)
3. On p. 193, the reference to Russell is to British philosopher Bertrand Russell and his book Analysis of Mind (1921).
4. On p. 214, Burke quotes a passage from Freuds Totem and Taboo. This passage can be found on p. 50 of Totem and Taboo: Some Points of Agreement between the Mental Lifes of Savages and Neurotics, trans. James Strachey (New York: Norton, 1950).