The new HBO mini series The Plot Against America is based on the Philip Roth novel (2004) by the same name. The novel tells the counterfactual story of Charles Lindberg’s presidency, based on the real man and what might happen if he, with his fascist sympathies, was elected president of the United States around 1940.The US has become increasingly racist and polarized during Donald Trump’s presidency. What is the current situation, and how does it compare to the works of Philip Roth? In this podcast, the American writer and literary critic John Freeman describes the atmosphere of the USA of today, starting from The Plot Against America and the other works by Philip Roth, as well as the American society. What does Roth’s story tell us about the USA of today and the crisis now facing the country?The actual Charles Lindbergh made a name for himself first and foremost by being the first to fly across the Atlantic ocean alone. He did, however, have a darker, political side, with which the actual F. D. Roosevelt confronted him: How deep did Lindbergh’s nazi sympathies lie? How close was the US to actually turning into a fascist state? In the novel, Lindbergh wins the presidency from Roosevelt in 1940s America, allowing for the emergence of a fascist, anti-Semite US, which affects the Jewish Roth family badly. The story is built on Philip Roth’s own experiences growing up in Newark, New Jersey.
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