First published in 1935, when Americans were still largely oblivious to the rise of Hitler in Europe, this prescient novel tells a cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy and offers an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America.
Doremus Jessup, a newspaper editor, is dismayed to find that many of the people he knows support presidential candidate Berzelius Windrip. The suspiciously fascist Windrip is offering to save the nation from sex, crime, welfare cheats, and a liberal press. But after Windrip wins the election, dissent soon becomes dangerous for Jessup. Windrip forcibly gains control of Congress and the Supreme Court and, with the aid of his personal paramilitary storm troopers, turns the United States into a totalitarian state.
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A story for our times
Though written in 1935 and inspired by the rise of Fascism in Europe this could read as a warning of what can happen when an unscrupulous demagogue takes on the Presidency of the USA.
It describes a similar kind of scenario as Philip Roths's The Plot against America.
Very good reader. Really captures the different characters and makes the story live.
Some sections dealing with the mistreatment of prisoners were hard to listen to but worth it in the end.
Though there are political and philosophic parts to this book it is never heavy or hard to listen to. Beautifully written.
I kept going, "Wow, this was written in 1935?"
- William Hayes