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Absolutely riveting. Though written in the late 1990s, all a person has to do to relate to today's history-in-the-making is replace World War II with COVID-19 and the efforts of the US government to strip people of their rights, freedoms and beliefs during this pandemic. You can put Trump on whatever side you choose. Considering he's not the one issuing mask mandates and shuttering businesses and toying with the idea of mandatory vaccinations and persecuting those who would not be vaccinated, I doubt you could hardly compare him to Lindbergh in this narrative.
Just my thoughts.
An alternative blip in history, it melds a terrifying possibility with the timeline of WWII. It’s worth reading, and I liked it. The ending made me think of the sound a phonograph needle would make if you drug it to the right track. I gave this book 3 stars. I probably would have given it 5 had it not gotten a bit weak towards the end and the author seemed to lose focus of where his story was going. It seemed like he wanted it to end whereas I wanted it to continue on. I recommend this book for anyone who is into the era of World War II, it is a good read and you will enjoy it if those books are your style but other than that you might possibly not want to pick this up. 3/5 stars
@BullahJee of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board
I wish I had the language to praise this book to the extent it deserves. I found it imaginative, thought-provoking, funny, moving and even now 15 years after its publication amazingly prescient. Philip Roth never disappoints and always, always rewards. Thank you, Mr. Roth. RIP.
Philip Roth's depiction of America if FDR had not been elected is quite masterful. Even though it is a fiction book, I learned a great deal about Americans that somehow didn't get into history classes I took. What he wrote inspired me to read further into some of the events he portrays here. The parallels to society today during the Trump administration is sobering.
This book was engaging. The writer's style can be a bit meandering and somewhat anachronistic, but very thoughtful and articulate nonetheless.
It amazes me that this book was written a full decade before the Trump presidency as the parallels are jaw-dropping. This is vital as we tend to think that a secure, established democracy will 'check' our darkest impulses and prevent us from slipping in to tyranny. This shows how indifferent or willfully ignorant voters alongside an army of angry bigots with an axe to grind can make it happen. It also shows that life in an oppressive regime can be surprisingly banal, that just because there aren't secret police on every corner snatching dissidents and shipping them off to forced labour camps, doesn't mean that everything is a-okay.
The book shines when it focuses on the family and the characters. My only gripes are that some of the character archs could have been more fleshed out, and that I wish they'd done more with the alternate timeline. An isolationist US government during WWII could have dramatically changed the course of the war. Depending on where the author went with that, it could have led to a forceful indictment of apathy in the face of tyranny or some other ending more in line with the themes of the story. However, given that the macro-political narrative is a small part of the book, that issue is pretty trivial. On the whole, this book is really well done.
One reader posted an anti-semitic screed under the comments for this title, now labeled as offensive, but still available to read. If any other similarly bigoted people show up here, I'd like to urge them to examine their beliefs, question their validity, and really think about the subject before descending into the realms of hatred. Deborah Lipstadt's book, Antisemitism: Here and Now, would be a good place to start. This book, with its alternative history, is an exploration of what can happen when prejudice and corruption takes over government, something we are beginning to see now.
Has the reader perhaps noticed that the Jews have taken over America and by far most of the rest of the world, too? Note, for one example from among many, that in GM'14 (Gaza Massacre) Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu murdered >500 children together with some 1.5K of the kith & kin, helpless prisoners all. The U.S. Congress responded to this atrocity by promising the Jew State an extra $30 billion (at least) and unique ceremonial honors including 28 Standing O's.
Philip Roth = one of the top literary poobahs of the dominant kosher cabal, which emphasizes cultural control as well as assassination, bribery and other techniques of tyranny. In reality Bernard Baruch --the second king of the Jews, as I have long dubbed him-- shot to death (via agency) democracy in America in September of 1935 in the person of Senator Huey P. Long, the last great white reformer. Twenty-eight years later, the aged Baruch with David Ben Gurion as his XO pulled off the Dallas Jack Whack, that all-time biggest Jew coup d'etat. Competent analysts such as myself finally became aware of the meaning and authorship of the JFK hit only in the backflash of the comparative crudity of JLS--911 (Jewish Lightning Strike) managed by KinkHenKi and his XO the late Aerial Shaboom.
Shall we envision a nighttime woodland love feast with the following parties sitting in a circle around a campfire, taking turns reading out loud from Roth's perverse screed? Namely: T-RumPus45; Sulzberger the Heirhead; Mike Bloomberg; former kibbutznik Bernie Sanders; Green Jill "New Jew Deal" Stein and second generation _shabbos shiksa_ Nancy Pelosi.
Follow-up: A group of shadowy cowards of the AIPAC variety, this time abusing the mask of "the BiblioCommons community", are semi-censoring my review of Roth's PLOT. Herewith a link to my response, together with a positive proposal. Since with invidious discrimination the cabal are graying out my text, the interested reader will have to cut and paste the link below:
SFPL Nameless Apparatchiki Choke On "Offense"
1 post by 1 author
Mar 4 (9 hours ago) [noted on Thursday 03/05 @ 06:36 hrs PST].
It is interesting to read this book in the USA in 2020. It holds up to the time that has passed since it was written.
Very sloppy, baggy writing; unedited; no discipline in shaping materials or sentences. I quit after 50 pp.
A highly imaginative, fiction of the idea that past is prologue. Some readers may dislike Roth's stream of consciousness style, but those that persevere should be rewarded with a better understanding of the struggle of an important minority group in American culture from the beginning of the twentieth century.
I admire the book. It is frightening, especially in the age of Trump. It also has funny moments, like the scary basement. I am a little younger than the narrator, but the world of my childhood was similar: children played outside, everybody listened to the radio, no TV.
Touching description of cousin Alvin, with an amputated leg. One of the reviews mentioned the gruesome stump is a symbol of war.
Although Roth is frequently misogynistic, here he shows a strong, capable woman: Phillip's mother. She handled the crisis with Seldon with dignity and courage.
P. 184 of the hardback describes Lindbergh's reputation as "a no-nonsense realist and plain-talking man of the people." Trump's admirers see him that way, too.
Here are three articles from the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/03/books/review/the-plot-against-america.html
This website has good questions for readers: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/158040/the-plot-against-america-by-philip-roth/9781400079490/readers-guide/
Allegories to the Bush Administration were used when this book was written. A quaint accusation compared to the current president.
I came back to this book when Trump was elected and am horrified at the similarities between a fictional Lindbergh administration and the Trump abomination we're now living.
Substitute Russia for Germany and I defy anyone not see Trump and Pence as the fascists wrapped in religion and cloaked around the American flag.
This book is prescient in the birth of Trump the President and how quickly the slippery slope turns into a dictatorship. A truly terrifying book.
Interesting parallels between what might have happened under Lindburg & what DID happen under Roosevelt.
At times I couldn't tell where this book was going and kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. Despite that feeling, I enjoyed the sidewinding nature of the descriptions of life of the main character. After finishing the book, I realized I'm thinking about it more now than I did when it was in my hands. It left me with a lingering eerie feeling, which is a good thing.
I mentioned this book as part of an ongoing review series called "Literary Counterparts."