Everybody Needs an Editor
Tim Foote, Time Magazine
Four and a Half Years of Struggle Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice was the working title of Adolf Hitler's infamous book Mein Kampf.
Hitler chose this prolix title before completing the first volume in 1924.
The following year, after his release from Landsberg Prison where he did most of his writing, the book was published with the more catchy title Mein Kampf (My Struggle). Sales were disappointing since the turgid prose in the rest of the book wasn't given same editorial treatment.
The title Mein Kampf was suggested by Max Amann, the director of the NSDAP's publishing unit Franz Eher Verlag. He was previously Hitler's company sergeant during World War One, and evidentally had Hitler's respect, along with the commerical acumen to know that books titled Four and a Half Years of Struggle Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice wouldn't move. Max Amann had his arm shot off in a hunting accident in 1931. He survived World War Two - and the noose at Nuremburg - but died in poverty in 1957 having had his property confiscated.
'My Struggle' - these two words together impart a story, an adventure and a statement of resolve.
Four and a Half Years of Struggle Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice instead calls to mind the kind of despairing rant a pantomime villain would say, usually in the same whiny breath as "Why am I surrounded by Idiots ?".