The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

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Synopsis

When the renowned aviation hero and rabid isolationist Charles A. Lindbergh defeated Franklin Roosevelt by a landslide in the 1940 presidential election, fear invaded every Jewish household in America. Not only had Lindbergh, in a nationwide radio address, publicly blamed the Jews for selfishly pushing America toward a pointless war with Nazi Germany, but upon taking office as the thirty-third president of the United States, he negotiated a cordial “understanding” with Adolf Hitler, whose conquest of Europe and virulent anti-Semitic policies he appeared to accept without difficulty. What then followed in America is the historical setting for this startling new book by Pulitzer Prize–winner Philip Roth, who recounts what it was like for his Newark family — and for a million such families all over the country — during the menacing years of the Lindbergh presidency, when American citizens who happened to be Jews had every reason to expect the worst.
 

About Philip Roth

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Philip Roth was born in New Jersey in 1933.  He studied literature at Bucknell University and the University of Chicago.  His first book, Goodbye, Columbus, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1960.  He has lived in Rome, London, Chicago, New York City, Princeton, and New England.  Since 1955, he has been on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Princeton University, and the University of Pennsylvania, where is now Adjunct Professor of English.  He is also General Editor of the Penguin Books series "Writers from the Other Europe."  Recently he has been spending half of each year in Europe, traveling and writing.
 
Published October 5, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 418 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences, War. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Plot Against America

The New York Times

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Roth's terrific political novel is a fable of an alternative universe in which America has gone fascist.

Oct 03 2004 | Read Full Review of The Plot Against America

The New York Times

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hroughout his career, Philip Roth has imagined alternate fates for characters very much like himself: bright, sensitive boys who grow up to become self-conscious, conflicted men, torn between duty and desire, a longing to belong and a rage to rebel - artists or academics, estranged from their low...

Sep 21 2004 | Read Full Review of The Plot Against America

The New York Times

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... Philip Roth's new novel, ''The Plot Against America,'' which will be ... The Book
Review asked Roth to write an essay about his new book and how he came .....
Kafka's books played a strong role in the imagination of the Czech ...

Sep 19 2004 | Read Full Review of The Plot Against America

The New York Times

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Philip Roth has written a terrific political novel, though in a style his readers might never have predicted — a fable of an alternative universe, in which America has gone fascist and ordinary life has been flattened under a steamroller of national politics and mass hatreds.

Oct 03 2004 | Read Full Review of The Plot Against America

The Guardian

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The Plot Against America by Philip Roth Cape £16.99, pp391 In the series of novels which has built his colossal late reputation, Philip Roth has examined the traumas of the last half-century of American life: McCarthyism in I Married A Communist, the upheavals of the Sixties in American Pastoral,...

Oct 17 2004 | Read Full Review of The Plot Against America

The Guardian

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The Plot Against America by Philip Roth 391pp, Cape, £16.99 When the hubristic, newly elected US president boasts of America's invulnerability to foreign attack, the sense of imminent calamity is overwhelming.

Oct 02 2004 | Read Full Review of The Plot Against America

Book Reporter

But nowhere in PLOT does Roth mention today's America or current politics, which is one of the strengths of the book.

Sep 26 2005 | Read Full Review of The Plot Against America

Entertainment Weekly

Philip Roth has built his bold but vexing 26th book, The Plot Against America, around a daredevil premise: It's 1940 and anti-Semitic Charles Lindbergh — ''a goyisch idiot flying a stupid plane'' — unseats President Franklin D.

Oct 08 2004 | Read Full Review of The Plot Against America

USA Today

My favorite political novels Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men and Edwin O'Connor's The Last Hurrah spring from the real-life terrain of gloriously flawed politicians, Huey Long's Louisiana and James Michael Curley's Boston.Philip Roth's The Plot Against America is a more ambitious and chi...

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Pajiba

It’s not that that stuff doesn’t happen, it’s just that it feels so far removed from the now that it’s almost false.

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SF Site

The decision to tell the story from the viewpoint of the young Roth (for, as is common for Roth, he inserts himself into the text, this time ostensibly as the narrator) proves largely responsible for the effortless way in which historical and personal events intertwine in the plot.

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About.com

It is clear to Philip's father to be in the first category, but throughout the novel, the Roths run into situations that may or may not be part of a larger undercurrent of discrimination, and Roth (the author) often leaves it up to the reader to determine when anti-Semitism against the Roths is r...

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The Daily Beast

Even before The Plot Against America was published, Philip Roth felt obliged to deny reports that his new novel was an allegorical indictment of George W.

Nov 23 2014 | Read Full Review of The Plot Against America

Bookmarks Magazine

(See our Book by Book profile on Philip Roth, July/Aug 2003.) Plot Against America casts a politico-historical lens on the fear and uncertainty experienced by a young Philip Roth, the semi-fictional narrator.

Sep 14 2007 | Read Full Review of The Plot Against America

New York Magazine

Death and Roth, Roth and Death.

May 21 2005 | Read Full Review of The Plot Against America

New York Magazine

“It is not here, and not now, that the Jew is being slaughtered,” James Baldwin once wrote, “and he is never despised, here, as the Negro is.” That’s never felt truer than in this strange book, where so many of the things Roth imagines happening to the Jews under Lindbergh have in fact happened i...

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New York Magazine

For someone like Irving Howe—who was Roth’s intellectual nemesis in the way that Updike was his writerly one, strong where Roth was weak and weak where Roth was strong—Roth was cut off from the Jewish tradition, and had indeed come to represent, as Howe repeatedly wrote, “the point at which the u...

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John Baker's Blog

It went without saying that Mr. Mawhinney was a Christian, a long-standing member of the great overpowering majority that fought the revolution and founded the nation and conquered the wilderness and subjugated the Indian and enslaved the negro and emancipated the negro and segregated the negro, ...

Mar 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Plot Against America

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