Another Rave for The Plot Against America

David Gates’ review of Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America concurs with every other one I’ve seen so far. In case you’ve been living under a rock, the book centers around the premise that notorious Nazi sympathizer Charles Lindbergh runs on a Republican ticket in 1940 and defeats FDR for president. As a result, the U.S. stays out of World War II, and Lindbergh begins ‘relocating’ American Jews.

[Roth’s] account of an America sweet-talked into anti-Semitic fascism “It isn’t like living in a normal country anymore,” one character realizes is creepily convincing. While “The Plot Against America” is hardly a coded allegory of current events, Roth’s folksy, evasively plain-spoken Lindbergh can’t help but remind you of another right-wing Republican president in a flight suit. (Roth even gives Lindbergh a scary vice president from the West, the real Montana Sen. Burton K. Wheeler.) At one point Roth’s stubbornly hopeful father insists, “This is our country!” and his mother says, “No, not anymore. It’s Lindbergh’s. It’s the goyim’s. It’s their country.” Roth doesn’t oversell any parallels between his imaginary 1940s and the real present. But anybody who feels hopeless at the ascendancy of today’s Christian right may feel a chill.

Incidentally, MG pal Mark Sarvas also loved the book, adding it to his Recommended list.