Read It Can't Happen Here (Signet Classics) by Sinclair Lewis Free Online
Book Title: It Can't Happen Here (Signet Classics)|
The author of the book: Sinclair Lewis
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 27.52 MB
Edition: Signet Classics
Date of issue: March 1st 2005
ISBN 13: 9780451529299
Read full description of the books It Can't Happen Here (Signet Classics):A friend of mine that was recently in London told me that all the bookshops there had Roth's The Plot Against America and It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis. Alarmist? Perhaps, but as I already said in my review of The Plot Against America, maybe not.
In It Can't Happen Here, rather than Lindbergh tromping FDR as in The Plot Against America, we have a populist Windrip who takes the Democratic nomination in 1936 by storm on a platform promising $5000 to each American citizen and naturally crushes the Republican opposition. Before becoming President (and subsequently dictator), Windrip wrote a populist book called Zero Hour which was your typical Drumpf-ian boisterous blather about the evils of everyone except himself and espousal of views about making America great again (but not in so many words.) Doremus Jessup is the protagonist, an ageing editor for the Vermont Daily Informer and as events unfold goes from "It Can't Happen Here" to "Oh shit, it has already happened."
Windrip issues a 15-point plan which has some parallels to Drumpf's platform and appoints equally unqualified people to his inner circle. Doremus' characterization of Windrip in Chapter 9 "The Sentator was vulgar, almost illiterate, a public liar almost detected, and in his "ideas" almost idiotic, while his celebrated piety was that of a traveling salesman for church furniture, and yet his more celebrated humor the shy cynicism of a country store" certainly fits Drumpf to an extent.
Worse, Windrip "in between tricks would coldly and almost contemptuously jab his crowds with figures and facts - figures and facts that were inescapable even when, as often happened, they were entirely wrong" which is of course pure "Drumpf on Twitter."
Lewis' book is even more pessimistic than Roth's because America spins out into a mess of mass murders under the Gestopo-like Militia Men (M.M.) corps which are deployed nationwide and terrorise all sectors of the population preferably the educated, Jewish, and anyone even suspecting of whispering slander against the administration. It is a terrifying narrative and - again unlike Roth - does NOT have a happy ending.
We were warned at least twice by our own writers (and also by Orwell and others outside of the US) of letting ignorant populism run away with American politics. I hope that the dire sequence of events under the fictional Windrip will not be echoed by the reality of Drumpf, but then sometimes fact is even stranger and more terrifying than fiction.
I like how Doremus sums it up near the end: "More and more, as I think about history, I am convinced that everything that it is worth while in the world has been accomplished by the free, inquiring critical spirit, and that the preservation of this spirit is more important than any social system whatsoever. But the men of ritual and barbarism are capable of shutting up the men of science and silencing them forever."
A must read.
Unfortunately, gets more real every passing day :/
Read information about the authorAwarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1930 "for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of characters." His works are known for their insightful and critical views of American capitalism and materialism between the wars. He is also respected for his strong characterizations of modern working women. H.L. Mencken wrote of him, "[If] there was ever a novelist among us with an authentic call to the trade...it is this red-haired tornado from the Minnesota wilds."
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