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Encyclopedia > The Plot Against America

The Plot Against America: A Novel (ISBN 0-618-50928-3) is a novel by Philip Roth published in 2004. It is an alternate history where Franklin Delano Roosevelt is defeated in the presidential election of 1940 by Charles Lindbergh. The Plot Against America book cover This image is a book cover. ... Philip Roth Philip Milton Roth (born March 19, 1933, Newark, New Jersey) is an American novelist. ... Alternate history (fiction) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... FDR redirects here. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... For the U.S. Representative from Minnesota (1859 – 1924), see Charles August Lindbergh Charles Augustus Lindbergh (February 4, 1902 – August 26, 1974), known as Lucky Lindy and The Lone Eagle, was an American pilot famous for the first solo, non-stop flight from New York to Paris in 1927 in...

Contents

Plot introduction

The novel follows the fortunes of the Roth family during the Lindbergh presidency, as anti-Semitism becomes more accepted in American life and Jewish-American families like the Roths are persecuted on various levels. The narrator and central character in the novel is the young Philip, and the care with which his confusion and terror are rendered makes the novel as much about the mysteries of growing up as about American politics. Roth based his novel on the isolationist ideas espoused by Lindbergh in real life as a spokesman for the America First Committee and his own experiences growing up in Newark, New Jersey. The Eternal Jew: 1937 German poster. ... A Jewish American (also commonly American Jew) is an American (a citizen of the United States) of Jewish descent or religion who maintains a connection to the Jewish community, either through actively practicing Judaism or through cultural and historical affiliation. ... Isolationism is a foreign policy which combines a non-interventionist military and a political policy of economic nationalism (protectionism). ... The America First Committee was the foremost pressure group against American entry into the Second World War. ... Nickname: The Brick City Map of Newark in Essex County Coordinates: County Essex Founded/Incorporated 1666/1836  - Mayor Cory Booker, term of office 2006–2010 Area [1]    - City 67. ...


Allusions/references to other works

Roth has stated that the idea for the novel came to him while reading Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.'s autobiography, in which Schlesinger makes a comment that some of the more radical Republican senators of the day wanted Lindbergh to run against Roosevelt. The title appears to be taken from that of a communist pamphlet published in support of the campaign against Burton K. Wheeler's re-election to the U.S. Senate in 1946. Despite Roth's claim that he was unaware of alternate history prior to writing The Plot Against America, some critics have argued that Roth may have been inspired by Sinclair Lewis's novel It Can't Happen Here (mentioned in Roth's novel American Pastoral by narrator Nathan Zuckerman's father) or by Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle. Robert Harris's Fatherland (1992), depicting a defeated Europe in 1964 under Nazi rule, was the most cited precedent.[1][2][3] Arthur Meier Schlesinger, Jr. ... Communism is an ideology that seeks to establish a classless, stateless social organization, based upon common ownershipmovement]]. Early forms of human social organization have been described as primitive communism by Marxists. ... credited to the United States Senate Historical Office Burton Kendall Wheeler (February 27, 1882 – January 6, 1975) was a Montana politician of the Democratic Party and a United States Senator from 1923 until 1947. ... Seal of the U.S. Senate Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries Politics Portal      Senate composition following 2006 elections The United States Senate is... Alternative history or alternate history can be: A History told from an alternative viewpoint, rather than from the view of imperialist, conqueror, or explorer. ... Sinclair Lewis Sinclair Lewis (February 7, 1885 — January 10, 1951) was an American novelist and playwright. ... Poster for a stage adaptation of It Cant Happen Here, ca. ... American Pastoral is a Philip Roth novel concerning Seymour Swede Levov, an all-around good guy whose life is ruined by the indigenous American berzerk. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 and was included in All-TIME 100 Greatest Novels. ... Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American writer, mostly known for his works of science fiction; additional to forty-four books currently in print, Dick wrote several short stories and minor works published in pulp magazines. ... The Man in the High Castle is a 1962 alternate history novel by science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. ... Fatherland is a bestselling 1992 thriller novel by the English writer and journalist Robert Harris which doubles as a work of alternate history based on the premise of a world in which Nazi Germany was triumphant in World War II, in a similar way to Philip K. Dicks The...


Literary significance & criticism

Roth's plot, which features a rapid rise in anti-Semitism in the United States, has appeared far-fetched to some. However, Roth had written in his autobiography, The Facts, of the racial and anti-Semitic tensions that were a part of his childhood in Newark, New Jersey. Several times in that book he describes children in his neighborhood being set upon simply because they were Jewish. For other uses, see Jew (disambiguation). ...


The novel has been criticized for its portrayal of increasing American anti-Semitism, in particular among Catholics, for the nature of its fictional portrayals of real-life characters like Lindbergh and for its rushed ending, featuring a drastic and odd resolution to the political situation reminiscent of a deus ex machina. Writer Bill Kauffman calls the book "a repellent novel, bigoted and libelous of the dead, dripping with hatred of rural America, of Catholics, of any Middle American who has ever dared stand against the war machine."[4] Taki Theodoracopulos agrees, writing, "One cannot suspend disbelief, as fiction requires, when a hero like Lindbergh is besmirched, no matter what Roth says about not trying to send a message. One cannot suspend disbelief when it was American farm boys who died fighting those who were murdering Jews."[5] Deus ex machina is a Latin phrase that is used to describe an unexpected, artificial, or improbable character, device, or event introduced suddenly in a work of fiction or drama to resolve a situation or untangle a plot (e. ... Bill Kauffman (born November 15, 1959) is an American political writer generally aligned with the paleoconservative movement. ... Taki Theodoracopulos (born August 11, 1937), better known as Taki, is a Greek born conservative journalist and writer, living in the United Kingdom and the United States. ...


Outside the pages of American Conservative magazine, however, the book has fared better. The reviewer for The Washington Post, who explores the book's treatment of Lindbergh in some depth, calls the book "painfully moving" and a "genuinely American story."[6] The New York Times review described the book as "a terrific political novel" as well as "sinister, vivid, dreamlike, preposterous and, at the same time, creepily plausible."[7]


Many supporters and critics of the book alike took it as something of a roman à clef for or against the administration of George W. Bush and his policies [8], but though Roth is opposed to the Bush administration, he has strenuously and repeatedly denied such allegorical interpretations of his novel. A roman à clef or roman à clé (French for novel with a key) is a novel describing real-life events behind a façade of fiction. ... George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the 43rd and current President of the United States, inaugurated on January 20, 2001. ...


In 2005, the novel won the Sidewise Award for Alternate History. 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Sidewise Award for Alternate history was established in 1995 to recognize the best alternate history stories and novels of the year. ...


Historical figures

These are historical figures that are presented in The Plot Against America.

Father Coughlin Father Charles Edward Coughlin (October 25, 1891 – October 27, 1979) was a Canadian-born Roman Catholic priest at Royal Oak, Michigans National Shrine of the Little Flower Church. ... For other persons named Henry Ford, see Henry Ford (disambiguation). ... Fritz Kuhn (May 15, 1896–December 14, 1951) was the leader of the German-American Bund, prior to World War II. He was a naturalized citizen of the United States and a loyal supporter of the German government led by Adolf Hitler. ... Hitler redirects here. ... Fiorello Henry LaGuardia (born Fiorello Enrico LaGuardia December 11, 1882–September 20, 1947) was the Republican Mayor of New York for three terms from 1934 to 1945. ... For the U.S. Representative from Minnesota (1859 – 1924), see Charles August Lindbergh Charles Augustus Lindbergh (February 4, 1902 – August 26, 1974), known as Lucky Lindy and The Lone Eagle, was an American pilot famous for the first solo, non-stop flight from New York to Paris in 1927 in... Joachim von Ribbentrop with his son. ... FDR redirects here. ... credited to the United States Senate Historical Office Burton Kendall Wheeler (February 27, 1882 – January 6, 1975) was a Montana politician of the Democratic Party and a United States Senator from 1923 until 1947. ... Wendell L. Willkie Wendell Lewis Willkie (February 18, 1892 – October 8, 1944) was a lawyer in the United States and the Republican nominee for the 1940 presidential election. ... Walter Winchell (April 7, 1897 – February 20, 1972), an American newspaper and radio commentator, invented the gossip column at the New York Evening Graphic. ...

See also

Fatherland is a bestselling 1992 thriller novel by the English writer and journalist Robert Harris which doubles as a work of alternate history based on the premise of a world in which Nazi Germany was triumphant in World War II, in a similar way to Philip K. Dicks The... This article is 45 kilobytes or more in size. ... Poster for a stage adaptation of It Cant Happen Here, ca. ... It Happened Here is a 1966 British film set during World War II, about the possible effects of a successful German invasion of the United Kingdom. ... The Man in the High Castle is a 1962 alternate history novel by science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. ... ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ Review in The Guardian by Adam Mars Jones, 17 Oct 2004
  2. ^ Associated Content, review by Chris Barsanti
  3. ^ Review in The American Scene by Ross Douthat, Feb, 2005
  4. ^ http://www.amconmag.com/2004_09_27/review.html
  5. ^ http://www.amconmag.com/2004_10_25/taki.html
  6. ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A63751-2004Sep30.html
  7. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/03/books/review/03BERMAN.html
  8. ^ Diana West column, Townhall.com

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
The Plot Against America - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (500 words)
The Plot Against America: A Novel (ISBN 0-618-50928-3) is a novel by Philip Roth published in 2004.
It is an alternate history where Franklin Delano Roosevelt is defeated in the presidential election of 1940 by Charles Lindbergh.
The title appears to be taken from that of a communist pamphlet published in support of the campaign against Burton K. Wheeler's re-election to the U.S. Senate in 1946.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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