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The Plot Against America (2004)

by Philip Roth

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,889217898 (3.72)476
Fiction. Literature. HTML:

Philip Roth's bestselling alternate history‚??the chilling story of what happens to one family when America elects a charismatic, isolationist president‚??is soon to be an HBO limited series.

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.
"A terrific political novel . . . Sinister, vivid, dreamlike . . . creepily plausible. . . You turn the pages, astonished and frightened." ‚?? The New York Times Book Rev
… (more)

  1. 100
    The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon (ljbwell)
    ljbwell: Alternate history based in the US where WWII has had a different outcome.
  2. 71
    Fatherland by Robert Harris (bertilak)
  3. 62
    The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick (ateolf)
  4. 51
    It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis (TLCrawford)
    TLCrawford: Similar plot written by a winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature at a time when it could, in fact, have happened here. Lewis' wife, journalist Dorthy Thompson was stationed in Berlin during Hitler's early years.
  5. 31
    Farthing by Jo Walton (wisemetis)
  6. 10
    Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman (bertilak)
  7. 33
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (TeeKay)
  8. 00
    K by Daniel Easterman (Anonymous user)
  9. 01
    The Book of Daniel: A Novel by E. L. Doctorow (whirled)
  10. 04
    American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America by Chris Hedges (bertilak)
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» See also 476 mentions

English (184)  French (9)  Dutch (5)  German (3)  Spanish (3)  Catalan (2)  Italian (2)  Danish (2)  Swedish (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hebrew (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (216)
Showing 1-5 of 184 (next | show all)
Story: 6.5 / 10
Characters: 8
Setting: 10
Prose: 7 ( )
  MXMLLN | Jan 12, 2024 |
I went through this weird phase where I read a lot of books about Nazis, including this extremely disturbing book. It's based on a really big What If: FDR isn't reelected and in his place the US gets the Lone Eagle/Nazi sympathizer Charles Lindbergh. (BTW, reading this, you can't help but think that today we're actually living in some version of Roth's hypothetical "what if the wrong guy was president during a crucial time in human history" setting.)

Though this is fiction (or as Nathan shelves it, "lies") you learn a lot about WWII in the reading. There's a lengthy postscript following the narrative wherein Roth backs up a lot of his claims with facts. Spooky. ( )
  LibrarianDest | Jan 3, 2024 |
A very prophetic book given the nightmare America is experiencing under the Trump administration. Want to see just how bad things could get if this continues? Read this book. A masterpiece. ( )
  BenM2023 | Nov 22, 2023 |
I had to keep checking the copyright date, not quite believing this was written 20 years before current events.

Amazingly prescient, terrifying, and I wish it were required reading. ( )
  MaxWebster | Sep 22, 2023 |
I could not finish it - seemed mechanical and repetitive. ( )
  RickGeissal | Aug 16, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 184 (next | show all)
Philip Roth has written a terrific political novel, though in a style his readers might never have predicted ‚ÄĒ a fable of an alternative universe, in which America has gone fascist and ordinary life has been flattened under a steamroller of national politics and mass hatreds.
added by danielx | editNew York Times, Paul Berman (Dec 29, 2014)
 
Young Philip's greatest epiphany is to recognise the difference between history as taught in school - harmless and inevitable - and history as it's lived through, "the relentless unforeseen". His novel is a different kind of history again, an imagined past which, if we learn from it, might save us from a calamitous future. It's not Roth's funniest novel (and there's hardly any sex). But in its sweep and chutzpah, it ranks with his great trilogy of the late-90s. Isn't it time they gave him the Nobel?
added by danielx | editThe Guardian, Blake Morrison (Jan 1, 2004)
 
Philip Roth's huge, inflammatory, painfully moving new novel draws upon a persistent theme in American life: "It can't happen here." That's how we express our longing to believe that our ideals are too strong to be shoved aside by some cruder impulse, and our nagging fear that our democracy is too fragile to withstand assault by the muscle of fascism...
 

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roth, Philipprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kooman, KoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Línek, JosefTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mantovani, VincenzoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Silver, RonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zwart, JannekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To S.F.R.
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Fear presides over these memories, a perpetual fear.
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Et je n'avais jamais aussi bien compris à quel point la vanité éhontée des imbéciles peut faire le malheur d'autrui.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Fiction. Literature. HTML:

Philip Roth's bestselling alternate history‚??the chilling story of what happens to one family when America elects a charismatic, isolationist president‚??is soon to be an HBO limited series.

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.
"A terrific political novel . . . Sinister, vivid, dreamlike . . . creepily plausible. . . You turn the pages, astonished and frightened." ‚?? The New York Times Book Rev

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