Monday, December 20, 2004

The Plot Against America

Pulitzer Prize winner, Philip Roth, who wrote "American Pastoral," "Our Gang" and "The Human Stain," among others has written a haunting piece of fiction that has to make one stop to shudder in fear. "The Plot Against America" is the story of a nine year old Philip Roth, growing up in a Jewish home, in the Jewish section of Newark, New Jersey in 1940. Charles A. Lindbergh comes out of a virtual nowhere to defeat FDR for the presidency, negotiates a secret agreement with Hitler to keep America out of the European war and establishes a creeping governmental policy of anti-semitism and fascism, slowly becoming a mirror of NAZI Germany.

What makes this story so horrifying is how closely it hits to home. The hidden agendas, religious intolerance, appeasers and collaborators, and the violent discrediting of all dissent are eerily familiar to George Bush's red state America. The fascist tendencies, subtle policy shifts of extremism and the false patriotism of Lindbergh's 1940 America closely resemble Bush's manufactured American everyman-hero.

If you want to read an incredible story that combines real life characters and events with an all-to-possible fictional portrayal, "The Plot Against America" is a must read. It will frighten you as you see what we, Americans, might have become 60 years ago, and what we might be becoming today.

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