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Reviews of Plot Against America, the (2004)

Review by SlowRain (2007-05-17)
What if Franklin Delano Roosevelt didnít win reelection as President of the United States in 1940? What if Charles A. LindbergĖaviator, isolationist, anti-SemiteĖdid? What if America didnít enter World War Two in 1941? This is the premise of The Plot Against America, as experienced by an adolescent Philip Roth.

Although I usually dislike novels told from a childís point of view, this one has the benefit of an adult reminiscing about dark days in his past. It shows the slow rise of anti-Semitism and brings it to Americaís front door, giving a first hand account of something that I think many North Americans have trouble relating to. The characterization of young Philip and his all-too-real family is very detailed, and we see them dealing with, not only racism from the outside, but their own internal breakdown.

I didnít take this book to be so much countering anti-Semitism, as racism as a wholeĖsomething that still affects every country. Would these events have happened in this way? I donít know, but I also donít think thatís the point of the novel. This is a cautionary story about racism, family unity, bigotry, and the influence of a leader on the people. Itís a well-crafted, thought-provoking story.

©Steven Jeffery /, 2017
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