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Doremus Jessup, a newspaper editor, is dismayed to find that many of the people he knows support presidential candidate Berzelius Windrip. The suspiciously fascist Windrip is offering to save the nation from sex, crime, welfare cheats, and a liberal press. But after Windrip wins the election, dissent soon becomes dangerous for Jessup. Windrip forcibly gains control of Congress and the Supreme Court and, with the aid of his personal paramilitary storm troopers, turns the United States into a totalitarian state.
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By David S. Mathew on 11-21-16
The Rise of American Authoritarianism
Written in 1935, Sinclair Lewis' novel follows newspaper man Doremus Jessup as he documents the rise of "Buzz" Windrip to the U.S. presidency. Windrip campaigns on an openly racist, misogynistic, and nationalistic platform promising to make Great Depression era America great again. Windrip's eventually beats FDR in the election and quickly turns the Presidency a violent dictatorship, creating a Nazi Germany clothed in red, white, and blue.
I won't get too political here, but it's not hard to see some similarities to modern times in this novel. Grover Gardner's voice is flawless for this sort of novel and fans of 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and Brave New World will certainly find this story no less fascinating. This is true lost classic and possibly one of the most important novels Americans will ever read. Very highly recommended.
55 of 59 people found this review helpful
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By Patrick on 07-20-16
A story for our times
What made the experience of listening to It Can't Happen Here the most enjoyable?
Though written in 1935 and inspired by the rise of Fascism in Europe this could read as a warning of what can happen when an unscrupulous demagogue takes on the Presidency of the USA.
What other book might you compare It Can't Happen Here to, and why?
It describes a similar kind of scenario as Philip Roths's The Plot against America.
What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?
Very good reader. Really captures the different characters and makes the story live.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Some sections dealing with the mistreatment of prisoners were hard to listen to but worth it in the end.
Any additional comments?
Though there are political and philosophic parts to this book it is never heavy or hard to listen to. Beautifully written.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
By William Hayes on 01-23-18
I kept going, "Wow, this was written in 1935?"
A disturbingly prescient book, not just from its predictions of the current Trump era but also the way it speaks about later developments in 30s and 40s.
It starts off all jolly Americana but rapidly turns into an American 1984.