It Can't Happen Here

  • by Sinclair Lewis
  • Narrated by Grover Gardner
  • 14 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

First published in 1935, when Americans were still largely oblivious to the rise of Hitler in Europe, this prescient novel tells a cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy and offers an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America.
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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- David S. Mathew

Everything that is just and true...

Donald Trump was elected on Tuesday and today it's Saturday and I just finished this book. Why am I starting a book review off with this statement? The point is that even elected officials can ruin countries that were previously run on principles of truth and justice.
Numerous parts of this book made me feel so sad but even beyond sadness was a feeling of "grimness" because actions happening in the book have happened in our world in the not-too-distant-history. But our protagonist, Doremus Jessup, is an American "mensch" and he continues to stand for what is right and true and just despite the world around him sinking into a nationwide pit of injustice and social and moral degradation.
I was eager to get to the end of the book to see how such an overwhelming tale of evil could be neatly wrapped up and, SURPRISE! It wasn't neatly wrapped up. Nonetheless, it was uplifting-- so much so that I burst into tears and I'm still crying writing this review. Without revealing any "spoiler" info, I'll just say the final sentence of the book summed up everything about Doremus Jessup and men and women like him, through the centuries.
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- CLC "Say something about yourself!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-13-2016
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.