The plot against america by philip roth chilling what if scenarioDocument Transcript
The Plot Against America by Philip Roth Chilling What If ScenarioWhat if scenarios are often suspect. They are sometimes thinly veiledtales of the gospel according to the author, taking on the claustrophobic airof a personal fantasia that cant be shared. Such is not the case with PhilipRoths tour de force, The Plot Against America. It is a credible, f ully-realized picture of what could happen anywhere, at any time, if the rightpeople and circumstances come together. The Plot Against Americaexplores a wholly imagined thesis and sees it through to the end: CharlesA. Lindbergh defeats FDR for the Presidency in 1940. Lindbergh, the LoneEagle, captured the countrys imagination by his solo Atlantic crossing in1927 in the monoplane, Spirit of St. Louis, then had the countryssympathy upon the kidnapping and murder of his young son. He was atrue American hero: brave, modest, handsome, a patriot. According tosome reliable sources, he was also a rabid isolationist, Nazi sympathizer,and a crypto-fascist. It is these latter attributes of Lindbergh that inform thenovel. The story is framed in Roths own family history: the family flat inWeequahic, the neighbors, his parents, Bess and Herman, his brother,Sandy and seven-year-old Philip. Jewishness is always the scrim throughwhich Roth examines American contemporary culture. His detractors saythat he sees persecution everywhere, that he is vigilant in Keeping faithwith the certainty of Jewish travail; his less severe critics might cavil abouthis portrayal of Jewish mothers and his sexual obsession, but generallygive him good marks, and his fans read every word he writes and heaphonors upon him. This novel will engage and satisfy every camp. Fearpresides over these memories, a perpetual fear. Of course, no childhood iswithout its terrors, yet I wonder if I would have been a less frighten ed boy ifLindbergh hadnt been president or if I hadnt been the offspring of Jews.This is the opening paragraph of the book, which sets the stage and tonefor all that follows. Fear is palpable throughout; fear of things both real andimagined. A central event of the novel is the relocation effort madethrough the Office of American Absorption, a government programwhereby Jews would be placed, family by family, across the nation,thereby breaking up their neighborhoods--ghettos--and removing themfrom each other and from any kind of ethnic solidarity. The impact thisedict has on Philip and all around him is horrific and life-changing.Throughout the novel, Roth interweaves historical names such as WalterWinchell, who tries to run against Lindbergh. The twist at the end is morethan surprising--it is positively ingenious. Roth has written a magnificentnovel, arguably his best work in a long time. It is tempting to equate his
scenario with current events, but resist, resist. Of course it is a ca utionarytale, but, beyond that, it is a contribution to American letters by a manworking at the top of his powers. --Valerie RyanFeatures:* Click here to view our Condition Guide and Shipping PricesA Nazi sympathizer and American hero Charles Lindbergh pulls off one ofthe greatest upsets in presidential election history and winds up beatingRoosevelt in the 42 election. This is the story of the Roth family and howthey cope with seeing the America that they love and respect go sideways.Kinda reminds me a bit of the 2000 election. This book is tightly writtenfrom the youngest childs viewpoint (I think hes around 12 when the bookstarts) and it just a fascinating re-imagining of faux history and I loved it.Like all of Roths books, the ending is abrupt. When he is done with a book,he ends it. But Im good with that. For More 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price:The Plot Against America by Philip Roth - 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price!