The Plot Against America – Audio CD Review

The Plot Against America

By: Philip Roth
Read by: Ron Silver

Book on CD

Reviewed by Paul McMahon

I was born in 1935 and so was a contemporary of the children in this book.

I recall what a hero Charles (Lucky Lindy) Lindberg was. I did not hear much about his admiration of Hitler while it was happening, but I learned a lot later.

The assumption in the book is that Lindberg ran against Roosevelt in 1940 and won promising to keep America out of the European War which became World War II. Many veterans of World War I were still around although they were dying off pretty quickly, but we were able to see the costs of that war.

It took the leadership of Roosevelt and Churchill to get the manufacturing might of America to support Britain until the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor to get America into the war and eventually to cook the Fascist/Nazi goose.

This book follows the other path where President Lindbergh flies to Iceland to meet with Hitler and to sign a secret pact. Lindberg comes back and embargoes all equipment and support for the British and the rest of Europe and Russia. Part of the deal is for Lindberg to deal with the “Jewish question” which Hitler was dealing with already in Germany and in the countries which he had taken over.

We meet Walter Winchell a newspaper columnist who had a half hour radio news program every Sunday night. [You have to listen to a recording of one of his programs to realize what a powerful and influential speaker he was.] Winchell was Jewish and was reporting on what was happening to the Jews in Europe.

We meet a Jewish family living in a Jewish neighborhood in Newark New Jersey and going to schools that have a 95% plus Jewish population and who are part of the Newark and New Jersey family.

We begin to see the impact of government sponsored anti-semitism when the family decides to take the long planned for trip to Washington so the boys can see the Nation’s capital and see the American heritage. The get insulted in a restaurant and other verbal hits. When they get back to their hotel after a long day they see their luggage piled in the lobby and are told that there was a mix-up in their registration and that someone else was in the room. The father gets very upset and the police are called. The cops make it very plain that they are supporting the hotel and the family had better put-up and shut-up or else.

Luckily their tour guide rescued them and put them in a hotel nearby who did not accept the anti-semitism.

The story continues with a cousin going to Canada to fight the Nazis in Europe and coming back wounded. The formation of a government sponsored “Just Folks” program which takes Jewish teenagers from the East and puts them in Middle American Christian families to work on the farms and incidentally lose their Jewish traditions — “Pork is really tasty!”

Things get really tough when Lindbergh is running for a second term.

People running against Lindberg were heckled, stoned and even killed. Jews were cursed, attacked and killed, had the windows of their businesses smashed, had their businesses looted and eventually burned. The riots were orchestrated to attack the Jews just like what was happening in Germany.

Just when things could not get worse, they did. Walter Winchell was assassinated in Louisville, Kentucky. Lindbergh flew his plane to a nearby airport and said that at least we were not in a European war — and did not even mention Winchell’s death. He then got in his plane to fly back to Washington and disappeared. A huge land and sea search was set off but he could not he found. The Jews were accused of a plot to take over the country and the rioting got worse.

Ann Morrow Lindbergh, the president’s wife was arrested and locked up in a military hospital and was reported being insane with grief. After several days of turmoil and destruction she broadcasts a message from a hidden transmitter stating that the people who took over the government did not have the right to do it and that the Army, National Guard should stand down and that the police should go back to keeping order and end the riots.

What can I say. It is an exciting and well written book.

I recommend it.

Paul

All kinds of Jews in high positions were arrested and jailed without warrants and chaos reigned.

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