It Can't Happen Here - Penguin Modern Classics (Paperback)Sinclair Lewis (author)
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It was astonishing. Utterly astonishing. Everyone of them seemed . . . entranced by him. When I told them that he schooled the Senate in how to catch catfish while drinking huge amounts of corn whiskey, and that he performed a hornpipe jig in front of the faculty at Yale, their admiration for him only increased.
It's 1935 and discontent is rife in America.
From the political margins appears Buzz Windrip, charismatic presidential candidate and 'inspired guesser at what political doctrines the people would like'. Sweeping to power amid mass elation, he promises wealth for all and the dawn of a glorious new era.
Small-town newspaper editor Doremus Jessop is worried, especially when the new regime becomes increasingly authoritarian. But what can one individual do to fight an all-powerful state?
Originally published in 1935, It Can’t Happen Here was written against the sinister backdrop of the rise of European fascism and an uneasy national mood in the United States. Sinclair based Buzz on Huey Long, a populist, authoritarian governor of Louisiana, assassinated just before the book was published.
Now republished for a new readership, Sinclair Lewis's terrifying cautionary tale pits liberal complacency against popular fascism and shows: yes, it really can happen here.
‘The novel that foreshadowed Donald Trump’s authoritarian appeal. - Salon
The first writer from the United States to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, Sinclair Lewis was famously described as a ‘red-haired tornado from the Minnesota wilds’ whose impact on twentieth-century American fiction has only recently been properly acknowledged. Sinclair began by writing pot-boilers but his breakthrough novel was Main Street, published in 1920. A contemporary story about public and private issues in small town America, the novel was a huge commercial triumph. Sinclair followed this success with novels including It Can’t Happen Here, his cautionary tale about the rise of American fascism, as well as Arrowsmith (which won him the Pulitzer Prize), Babbitt, Elmer Gantry and Kingsblood Royal which was a strident, early endorsement of the civil rights movement.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 281 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 22 mm
An eerily prescient foreshadowing of current affairs * Guardian *
Eighty years later the novel feels frighteningly contemporary * Salon *
Not only Lewis's most important book but one of the most important books ever produced in the United States * New Yorker *