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The plot against America
Philip Roth
Adult Fiction ROTH

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From Publishers' Weekly:

During his long career, Roth has shown himself a master at creating fictional doppelgangers. In this stunning novel, he creates a mesmerizing alternate world as well, in which Charles A. Lindbergh defeats FDR in the 1940 presidential election, and Philip, his parents and his brother weather the storm in Newark, N.J. Incorporating Lindbergh's actual radio address in which he accused the British and the Jews of trying to force America into a foreign war, Roth builds an eerily logical narrative that shows how isolationists in and out of government, emboldened by Lindbergh's blatant anti-Semitism (he invites von Rippentrop to the White House, etc.), enact new laws and create an atmosphere of religious hatred that culminates in nationwide pogroms. Historical figures such as Walter Winchell, Fiorello La Guardia and Henry Ford inhabit this chillingly plausible fiction, which is as suspenseful as the best thrillers and illustrates how easily people can be persuaded by self-interest to abandon morality. The novel is, in addition, a moving family drama, in which Philip's fiercely ethical father, Herman, finds himself unable to protect his loved ones, and a family schism develops between those who understand the eventual outcome of Lindbergh's policies and those who are co-opted into abetting their own potential destruction. Many episodes are touching and hilarious: young Philip experiences the usual fears and misapprehensions of a pre-adolescent; locks himself into a neighbor's bathroom; gets into dangerous mischief with a friend; watches his cousin masturbating with no comprehension of the act. In the balance of personal, domestic and national events, the novel is one of Roth's most deft creations, and if the lollapalooza of an ending is bizarre with its revisionist theory about the motives behind Lindbergh's anti-Semitism, it's the subtext about what can happen when government limits religious liberties in the name of the national interest that gives the novel moral authority. Roth's writing has never been so direct and accessible while retaining its stylistic precision and acute insights into human foibles and follies. (Oct. 5) Forecast: With its intriguing premise and thriller-tense plot, it's likely that this novel will broaden Roth's readership while instigating provocative debate. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Asks a big "What if?"--what if America had stayed out of World War II and famed aviator Charles ("Lucky Lindy") Lindbergh, an isolationist and known Hitler admirer, had been elected President? In leading the nation, Lindbergh sets forth a wave of anti-Semitism that culminates in the creation of holding farms where Jews are herded for their own safety under the authority of the government's "Office of American Absorption." As a reimagining of the wrong men at the wrong time, Roth's take on alternative history is crafted with chilling plausibility. A novel of fear and fearful possibility that will stir book group debates. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Charles A. Lindbergh
Male
Aviation hero; isolationist; Aryan supremacist.
President of the United States



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