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Roth, Philip The Plot Against America

ISBN 13: 9780099478560

The Plot Against America

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9780099478560: The Plot Against America
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‘In The Plot Against America, Roth precisely described the sinister and chilling nightmare in which the United States now finds itself... America has not read enough of Philip Roth’ Bernard-Henri Lévy

When the renowned aviation hero and rabid isolationist Charles A. Lindbergh defeats Franklin Roosevelt by a landslide in the 1940 presidential election, fear invades every Jewish household in America. Not only has Lindbergh publicly blamed the Jews for pushing America towards a pointless war with Nazi Germany, but, upon taking office as the 33rd president of the United States, he negotiates a cordial 'understanding' with Adolf Hitler, guaranteeing peaceful relations between the two nations.

What then follows is the alternative America of this startling counterfactual novel by Philip Roth, who recounts what it was like for his Newark family during the menacingly anti-Semitic years of the Lindbergh presidency. Jewish families are shaken violently apart, whilst America is oblivious to its own dark metamorphosis.

‘Many passages in The Plot Against America echo feelings voiced today by vulnerable Americans – immigrants and minorities as alarmed by Trump’s election as the Jews of Newark are frightened by Lindbergh’s’ New Yorker

**ONE OF THE GUARDIAN'S 100 BEST BOOKS OF THE 21st CENTURY**

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Review:

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 Forshaw

Review:

"It’s one of the great political novels for its depiction of how alterations in power affect ordinary men and women, and how obedience brings disaster." (Linda Grant New Statesman)

"In his 2004 novel, The Plot Against America, Roth precisely described the sinister and chilling nightmare in which the United States now finds itself... America has not read enough of Philip Roth" (Bernard-Henri Lévy New Statesman)

"A dark, humane masterpiece, Roth is at the peak of his powers" (The Times)

"Another frighteningly intense performance" (Sunday Telegraph)

"The word genius doesn't seem excessive... The Plot Against America creates its reality magisterially, in long, fluid sentences that carry you beyond scepticism" (Guardian)

"Untouchable...he is bequeathing us a body of work that adds up to the most accomplished dissection of American political, social and personal mores" (Observer)

"Magnificent. Roth is writing the best books of his life. He captures better than anyone the collision of public and private, the intrusion of history into the skin, the pores of every individual alive" (Guardian)

"Subtle, persuasive and unsettling. A brilliantly troubling and heartening novel" (Sunday Times)

"Many passages in The Plot Against America echo feelings voiced today by vulnerable Americans – immigrants and minorities as alarmed by Trump’s election as the Jews of Newark are frightened by Lindbergh’s" (New Yorker)

"Dazzling. The most exciting novelist writing today" (Independent on Sunday)

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9781400079490: The Plot Against America (Vintage International)

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