'An eerily prescient foreshadowing of current affairs' Guardian 'Not only Lewis's most important book but one of the most important books ever produced in the United States' New Yorker A vain, outlandish, anti-immigrant, fearmongering demagogue runs for President of the United States - and wins. Sinclair Lewis's chilling 1935 bestseller is the story of Buzz Windrip, 'Professional Common Man', who promises poor, angry voters that he will make America proud and prosperous once more, but takes the country down a far ...
'An eerily prescient foreshadowing of current affairs' Guardian 'Not only Lewis's most important book but one of the most important books ever produced in the United States' New Yorker A vain, outlandish, anti-immigrant, fearmongering demagogue runs for President of the United States - and wins. Sinclair Lewis's chilling 1935 bestseller is the story of Buzz Windrip, 'Professional Common Man', who promises poor, angry voters that he will make America proud and prosperous once more, but takes the country down a far darker path. As the new regime slides into authoritarianism, newspaper editor Doremus Jessup can't believe it will last - but is he right? This cautionary tale of liberal complacency in the face of populist tyranny shows it really can happen here.
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A disturbing and dystopian book only a little less so than contemporary reality. Nonetheless, an important cautionary tale with great currency.
Lewis is a great propagandist and satirist, at times too broad, but I love him and his politics none the less.
Jan 26, 2012
Prescient work on the political situation. The main character, Doremus Jessup, is newspaper editor in a Vermont town. He is involved in politics from a media perspective, i.e. trying to be somewhat neutral in coverage, though wary of Buzz Windrip the presidential candidate and his minions who wrested control of the Democratic Party from FDR before WW II. Windrip promised lower taxes and a sizable income for every family, and less regulation. What happened was a totalitarian dictatorship as Windrip installed friends of corporations into government and Corpoism was established. Right to work laws were passed allowing companies to pay workers less and forced labor camps were established from which companies could get workers. Windrip's minions known as Minute Men were the enforcers and though not dressed in black or brown shirts acted like the minions of Hitler and Mussolini. I enjoyed it and feel every American voter should read it bearing in mind that the names have been changed do one needs to look at the policies of the parties,candidates, supporters and especially donors very carefully.
Jul 2, 2009
It can happen anywhere!
I bought this book to replace a long lost copy. Like all Sinclair Lewis books, a few words are dated as Mr. Lewis used 1930ish slang in some of his dialogue (luckily for me, I read this when my mother was alive and she provided definitions). Unfortunately, the chilling story is not outdated, so buy yourself a slang dictionary and read this book.
May 3, 2007
It Can't Happen Here... a phrase often repeated in a book that considers, well, what if it did happen here? A promise of a few thousand dollars to every citizen leads to the election of a dictator and the fallout includes everything from concentration camps to executions. Set in Vermont, this is a powerful novel in which Lewis suggests that it very much can happen here.
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