Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Book Review: The Plot Against America

Published in 2004 "The Plot Against America" is a what-if historical novel written by the Pulitzer Prize winning author Philip Roth. Great title, great cover, great premise... but I think he could have done even more with the subject matter.

The Plot is this: factually, Charles Lindbergh, the famed pilot, was often accused in the 1930's of being a Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semite. In Roth's novel, Lindbergh becomes President of the USA in 1940, defeating FDR. The impact on the Jewish community is examined, as the Roth family is literally pulled and dragged in four different directions. An older brother is brainwashed down south, a nephew flees to Canada and then Europe to fight the Germans, an aunt takes up with an older Rabbi and heads to DC. Philip's father rails against Hitler and Lindbergh and almost loses his life. And Philip's mother is constantly in tears as the family is broken up, while all the time President Lindbergh buzzes around in his plane, keeping America from helping the Allies fight the Nazi's.

It was thrilling until the last couple of chapters when it became a bit muddled. I would have like to have seen the Nazi-fication of the US expounded. It covers mostly 1940-42 and would have been even more incredible if carried beyond Pearl Harbour (or does Pearl Harbour even happen in this case?). A very good read. I look forward to picking up some of Roth's other works.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.