Brian Eshleman's Reviews > It Can't Happen Here

It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
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's review
Aug 23, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: dccc-audio
Read from June 25 to 28, 2013

This was definitely a memorable, thought-provoking book. The author takes considerable time in setting the scene of what a fascist takeover of the United States looks and feels like and to show the vacuum of will that allows this to take place. But then he does improve his characters into action to respond to this turn of events and to reveal their true character. The author's commentary on character and the resulting politics is worth this insightful, fictional read. It still COULD happen here.
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Quotes Brian Liked

Sinclair Lewis
“The author says one character's definition of a classic is any book he'd heard of before he was thirty.”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here

Sinclair Lewis
“Author sees the "congested idealism" of the generally discontent as reservoir that will support centralized power even while disagreeing with many specific provisions.”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here

Sinclair Lewis
“It isn't what you earn but how spend it that fixes your class.”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here

Sinclair Lewis
“So much in a revolution is nothing but waiting.”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here

Sinclair Lewis
“He loved the people just as much as he feared and detested persons.”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here

Sinclair Lewis
“NOW is a fact that cannot be dodged.”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here

Reading Progress

06/25/2013 marked as: currently-reading
06/28/2013 marked as: read
06/28/2013 marked as: currently-reading
07/05/2013 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Jimmy J. Loved this. Saw an interesting comparison to The Tea Party.

Brian Eshleman Might be a little unfair, although anything that reminds me that a particular earthly ideology is not the Gospel itself is helpful. About a 10th of the way through the book, I think Sinclair Lewis is missing an opportunity for a deeper impact on the reader's thinking. The CHARACTERS are such CARICATURES that the reader knows he or she is being preached to. A little more subtlety could get beneath the surface of the reader's thinking. But it is a classic. Who am I to criticize?

Unrelated to this observation, I am putting the book aside for a little bit. I have been given to leadership books to read for work and want to finish those first. Started reading a book called When Fish Fly about the turnaround in outlook and operation of the small business owner in Seattle. Don't suppose you have read it or have had cause to?

message 3: by Jan (new)

Jan Rice Brian wrote, "It still COULD happen here."

I hope not!

Re the caricature-sounding characters, could it not be in part because of when the book was originally published and what we have learned subsequently?

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