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Never more relevant than now, this national bestseller will challenge all who believe that "it can't happen here.""A terrific political novel . . . Sinister, vivid, dreamlike . . . creepily plausible. . . You turn the pages, astonished and frightened." -- The New York Times Book Review In an extraordinary feat of narrative invention, Philip Roth imagines an alternate history where Franklin D. Roosevelt loses the 1940 presidential election to heroic aviator and rabid isolationist Charles A. Lindbergh. Shortly thereafter, Lindbergh negotiates a cordial "understanding" with Adolf Hitler, while the new government embarks on a program of folksy anti-Semitism. For one boy growing up in Newark, Lindbergh's election is the first in a series of ruptures that threaten to destroy his small, safe corner of America-and with it, his mother, his father, and his older brother.
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The Plot Against America is further affirmation of Philip Roth s status as one of the most revered (and accomplished) of American novelists; another in a long line of highly impressive books that makes the days when he was know only for the masturbatory humour of Portnoy's Complaint seem every remote indeed. The new book is an astonishingly ambitious entry in the genre known as alternative history, and its re-imagining of a fascist America is as plausible and terrifying as previous alternative visions by such writers as Len Deighton and Kingsley Amis (not to mention the countless SF novelists such as Philip K Dick, progenitors of the genre, invariably irritated that their concepts are hijacked by more 'literary' novelists).
In The Plot Against America, the celebrated aviator Charles Lindbergh (almost as well known for his admiration for Hitler as for the famous kidnapping of his baby) becomes President of the United States, and history takes a very different course. Roosevelt soundly defeated, Lindbergh inaugurates an isolationist, anti-war regime, as radical social change ensues; not least the growth of anti-Jewish feeling, fanned by the anti-Semitic Lindbergh. Roth s Jewish protagonist, Philip, watches as his parents try to ignore the growing threat around them--initially, family holidays are ruined as hotel rooms become mysteriously unavailable , but soon deportation and worse is the order of the day. Ultimately, a fightback against the new US fascism is slowly engendered.
All of this is handled with the mastery we now routinely expect from Roth, and both characterisation and plotting are structured with total assurance. All the historical detail is terrifyingly plausible, and the final sections (in which Roth reminds us what happened in the real America) seem no more persuasive than what we ve just read. A visionary, turbulent work of literature. --Barry ForshawReview:
"A terrific political novel. . . . Sinister, vivid, dreamlike . . . creepily plausible. . . . You turn the pages, astonished and frightened." -- The New York Times Book Review
"Huge, inflammatory, painfully moving. . . . Far and away the most outward-looking, expansive . . . book Roth has written." -The Washington Post Book World
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