It Can't Happen Here

Sinclair Lewis Michael R.Meyer

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It Can't Happen Here

It Can t Happen Here The only one of Sinclair Lewis s later novels to match the power of Main Street Babbitt and Arrowsmith It Can t Happen Here is a cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy an alarming eeril

  • Title: It Can't Happen Here
  • Author: Sinclair Lewis Michael R.Meyer
  • ISBN: 9780451216588
  • Page: 136
  • Format: Paperback
  • The only one of Sinclair Lewis s later novels to match the power of Main Street, Babbitt, and Arrowsmith, It Can t Happen Here is a cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy, an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America Written during the Great Depression when America was largely oblivious to Hitler s aggression, it juxtaposes sharp pThe only one of Sinclair Lewis s later novels to match the power of Main Street, Babbitt, and Arrowsmith, It Can t Happen Here is a cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy, an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America Written during the Great Depression when America was largely oblivious to Hitler s aggression, it juxtaposes sharp political satire with the chillingly realistic rise of a President who becomes a dictator to save the nation from welfare cheats, rampant promiscuity, crime, and a liberal press Now finally back in print, It Can t Happen Here remains uniquely important, a shockingly prescient novel that s as fresh and contemporary as today s news.

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      Published :2019-01-23T18:04:58+00:00

    One thought on “It Can't Happen Here

    1. Michael Finocchiaro on said:

      A friend of mine that was recently in London told me that all the bookshops there had Roth's The Plot Against America and It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis. Alarmist? Perhaps, but as I already said in my review of The Plot Against America, maybe not.In It Can't Happen Here, rather than Lindbergh tromping FDR as in The Plot Against America, we have a populist Windrip who takes the Democratic nomination in 1936 by storm on a platform promising $5000 to each American citizen and naturally crus [...]

    2. Lilo on said:

      October 8, 2015:I am just on page 84 of this book but I cannot wait to write a review. So I will write a preliminary review.Sinclair Lewis wrote this meanwhile classic satire in 1936. And I am afraid that fictious history might become true, 80 years after this book has been written.The satiric novel tells about an American presidential candidate who is very belligerent and bombastic. Irony of all irony: Even though he is clearly a fascist, he hitches a ride from the Democratic Party to come to p [...]

    3. Lyn on said:

      It Can’t Happen Here is Sinclair Lewis’ political satire and propagandized account of the rise of an American fascist. Perhaps most compelling is the fact that Lewis wrote the book only a couple of years after Hitler’s rise to power (and 13 years before Orwell’s 1984). Lewis was an astute and keen observer of political power and was a canary in the coal mine for a world that would soon know much grief. Considering that Lewis published this in 1935, it is eerily uncanny the way his fictit [...]

    4. Rick on said:

      I have always thought that if fascism ever came to America it would come clothed in red, white, and blue, with patriotic songs, and quotations from founding fathers. It would be nationalistic. It would extol military endeavors and elevate soldiers to the level of heroes. It would handle the race question in subtle yet effective ways. It would join forces with conservative Christian churches and begin to make life hard for anyone else. It would give free reign to the rich, the powerful, and the p [...]

    5. Susan on said:

      Written in 1935 this novel has had a sudden resurgence due to world events which somehow seem eerily similar. The story tells of the rise of the next President of the United Stated – Berzelius ‘Buzz’ Windrip, mostly through the eyes of small town journalist, Doremus Jessup (there are some very unusual names in this novel!), his family and local community. Obviously, this novel was written during the time of rising fascism in Europe and the author has cleverly taken those events and the com [...]

    6. Julie on said:

      It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis is a 2014 Signet publication. I’ll give you three guesses as to why this book showed up on my TBR list, and two don’t count. Originally published way back in 1935, Sinclair Lewis’s novel seemed to transcend time and is a constant reminder what can happen if we are too complacent or too timid to make our voice heard. There is no need to go over the context of this timeless classic, as it has been analyzed many times over by people far more prolific t [...]

    7. Jim on said:

      This extraordinary novel from 1935 predicts with uncanny accuracy the American political situation of 2016, and has authentic and frightening warnings. Sinclair Lewis satirizes with biting humor the potential for America to fall to populist demagogues with nothing to say but what people want to hear, and of the terrible consequences of the people's naïvete. A must read.

    8. David Schaafsma on said:

      “The conspicuous fault of the Jeffersonian Party, like the personal fault of Senator Trowbridge, was that it represented integrity and reason, in a year when the electorate hungered for frisky emotions, for the peppery sensations associated, usually, not with monetary systems and taxation rates but with baptism by immersion in the creek, straight whisky, angelic orchestras heard soaring down from the full moon, fear of death when an automobile teeters above a canyon, thirst in a desert and que [...]

    9. Bam on said:

      This is a fitting fictional follow-up to the weighty nonfiction book The Origins of Totalitarianism which I've recently read. Written in 1935 in the midst of the Great Depression and the volatile political situation taking place around the world which facilitated the rise of demagogues like Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini, Sinclair Lewis asks the question: CAN IT HAPPEN HERE IN AMERICA? And the answer he provides in this book is YES, IT CAN!Set in Vermont beginning in the year 1936, the main [...]

    10. Jason Koivu on said:

      It can. It is.This book is the Nostradamus of our political past, present and potential future. Check out GoodReads' stats for It Can't Happen Here: /book/stats?If you're viewing those stats in the future, when the graph no longer covers as far back as 11/8/2016, you will have missed the HUGE spike in activity on this site for this book. Prior to the momentous astounding absolutely fucking unbelievable election of 11/9/2016, interest in this book was hauling in pedestrian numbers, being shelved [...]

    11. Maru Kun on said:

      UPDATE: Dorothy Thompson, Sinclair Lewis's wife at the time, wrote an articleWho Goes Nazi?, where she guesses which of her fellow Americans at a party would become Nazis if given the opportunity. Well worth a read and a parlour game well worth reviving.To give you the flavour, looks like Trump was at the party:I think young D over there is the only born Nazi in the room. Young D is the spoiled only son of a doting mother. He has never been crossed in his life. He spends his time at the game of [...]

    12. Mike on said:

      The first thing you might want to be clear about when you pick up this novel is that Sinclair Lewis is not Upton Sinclair. Not many people realize this. About a week after November 8 for example, when I dutifully brought It Can't Happen Here up to a clerk at Barnes & Noble, he remarked, "so you're reading this one and not Oil!, eh?" It wasn't until I got back to my car that I realized his mistake. Some may doubt my hypothesis, but I'm certain they are two different people. Well, almost certa [...]

    13. ALLEN on said:

      Sinclair Lewis's polemic novel, 1935's IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE, foresaw a dystopian 1936 when a demagogic New England politician, Berzelius ("Buzz") Windrip, seized control of the United States of America and ineluctably imposed a fascist-style dictatorship on the nation. To compose this 350-page playout on the theme of "Yes, it CAN happen here, and here's one way it could," Lewis put away the swift, raucous satirical style of his best-known and most commercially successful novels of the 1920s that [...]

    14. Kyriakos Sorokkou on said:

      Ο Σίνκλερ Λιούις ήταν ο πρώτος Αμερικανός συγγραφέας που κέρδισε το βραβείο Νόμπελ Λογοτεχνίας (1930) αλλά λίγο πριν την προεκλογική περίοδο του κυρίου Τραμπ, ήταν άγνωστος στους περισσότερους από εμάς.Με το εκλογή του κυρίου Τραμπ ως προέδρου των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών οι πωλή [...]

    15. Nancy Oakes on said:

      Given what's going on in American politics right now, this book wins my prize for most frightening read of 2016. Sorry if you don't like my use of the "p" word, but it is what it is.To put the novel in its historical perspective, I turn to an article in the New Yorker written by Alexander Nazaryan (October 19th of this year) that says"Sinclair Lewis published the novel as Adolf Hitler was making Germany great again, violating the Treaty of Versailles by establishing the Wehrmacht. Benito Mussoli [...]

    16. Montzalee Wittmann on said:

      Describes our times and predicts a terrifying possibilitymix it with 1984 and it is right on target!

    17. Susan Stuber on said:

      I give this five stars, not because it is particularly well-written, but because it is such an important book that really everyone who is concerned about present current world affairs should read. Apparently, before sitting down to write the book, which he did in less than five months in 1935, Lewis did a lot of intense research on how facism rises and works once it is established. Parts of the book may seem tedious to today's reader, because his fictional political characters are almost all sur [...]

    18. David Sarkies on said:

      The Rise of an American Dictatorship7 April 2012 I discovered this book after reading a collection of interviews by Howard Zinn where he described it as a warning about how the United States could become a fascist dictatorship. Zinn's argument was that the US is already heading down that road, though it has not quite reached that point at the time of the interviews. When comparing the United States as outlined in this book and what we perceive today I would also suggest that we have not yet arri [...]

    19. Holly Wood on said:

      I had a professor tell me once that this is the distilled version of a middle-class academic's fears of what would happen during an American holocaust. More so than anything else, they fear the "ignorance" of the working class, bitter from being stepped on for so long they would quickly embrace anyone promising them any sort of redistribution. The lesson is never to fear the poverty that is the source of social problems, but to fear the symptoms.And you know what? I agree with him. No matter how [...]

    20. Terri Jacobson on said:

      I listened to the audiobook read by Grover Gardener and produced by Blackstone Audio, Inc. This book was written in 1935 and has surged in popularity in America since the election of Donald Trump in 2016.Doremus Jessup, a newspaper editor, is concerned about the upcoming American election. Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip is running on a populist platform, and Doremus is concerned about his campaign. Windrip promises to restore America to glory and world power. He promises to save the people from crime, [...]

    21. Ted on said:

      My guess at sale positions say a couple years ago: ** #25,000 in Books > Literature & Fiction > United States > Classics #5,000 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Political #50,000 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Classics- - - - - - - - - -I guess my rating can stand in for a review at this distance in time since I read it. Anyway, we all understand that the book has achieved a new topicality.Currently (June 2 '17) on : #2 in Books > Liter [...]

    22. Jose Moa on said:

      This novel,with We,1984,Kallocain and Farenheith 451 set up the great totalitarian distopic novels.In this novel written in 1935 ( it really could happen if Huey Long were not killed,Berzelius Windrip can be considered the alter ego of Huey Long governor of Louisiana ) Sinclair Lewis make a excelent disection of the fascist totalitarian system with all its features of populism,censorship,racism,chauvinism,xenofobia,mesianism,,promises of make the country great again, search of interior and exter [...]

    23. Ε.Χ.Γ. ⚓ on said:

      "Για πολλούς ανθρώπους η μόνη τους επανάσταση εξαντλείται στην αναμονή." "Σ' το λέω, κανείς δεν έχει τόσους φίλους όσους ο επαναστάτης. Ούτε και τόσους εχθρούς!"

    24. Jason Pettus on said:

      (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)"Whenever you hear a prominent American called a 'Fascist,' you can usually make up your mind that the man is simply a LOYAL CITIZEN WHO STANDS FOR AMERICANISM." --William Randolph Hearst, October 1935, one month after the release of It Can't Happen HereAlthough it's easily my favorite of all the things I do [...]

    25. Kenneth Grossman on said:

      It Can't Happen Here (1935) is a prescient commentary on American society in the mid-1930s by Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951), a Noble Prize for Literature ​laureate (1930). It Can't Happen Here is the story of a fictional ​fascist government's rise in mid-1930s USA, an ​insecure society deep in ​socio-economic ​turmoil​. ​This thoughtful novel is very rich and requires the reader to be attentive. I highly recommend it, especially for somewhat politically-minded readers. If you are just [...]

    26. Faith on said:

      Written and set in the 1930s, this was brilliant satire, terrifying in its accuracy. A dictator is elected by gullible people based on promises of upholding good old American values, liberty, strength, protecting US interests and giving everyone (excluding negroes of course) $5000. During his campaign he would "ldly and almost contemptuously jab his audience with figures and facts, figures and facts that were inescapable even when, as often happened, they were entirely incorrect."After the despo [...]

    27. C.P. on said:

      A charismatic Democratic candidate whose speeches are more memorable than the content hmmm. Hints of populism to get the support of the most naive voters -- who think the candidate will give them all they need -- with no intention of following through hmmmm Bailing out the big companies in order to control them and the economy hmmm Personality cults. hmmmThe idea is eerily prescient, though it took two parties and two Presidents in real life. I know that I will be labeled a "Republican" or a "co [...]

    28. J.G. Keely on said:

      Lewis' greatest strength as a writer is his sense of social satire, bolstered by his humanist treatment of characters. He sees people as ultimately flawed, always in danger of succumbing to their fears, insecurities, and egos. However, this is no reason to condemn man or his works. Humanists do not expect people to overcome their flaws, like idealists, nor to descend into apologetic guilt in hopes of redemption.The hope for humanists is that we may come to recognize our flaws, and then to limit [...]

    29. Anna Iakovidou on said:

      Το 1935, τα φασιστικά στρατεύματα του Μουσολίνι εισβάλλουν στην Αιθιοπία, η ναζιστική Γερμανία παραβιάζει τη Συνθήκη των Βερσαλλιών, στην Ελλάδα το φιλοβασιλικό κίνημα του Κονδύλη καταλαμβάνει την εξουσία, η Ισπανία βρίσκεται στα πρόθυρα του εμφύλιου πολέμου, και στην Αμερ [...]

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