Michael's Reviews > The Plot Against America

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
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's review
Aug 18, 2007

liked it
Read in August, 2007

Like others here, I often found this book to be a compelling read (though there were some unnecessary bits), but ultimately, I think Roth (do I need to warn about 'spoilers'?) presents us here with a more sophisticated version of the Dallas 'it was all a bad dream' solution, where all the events of an entirely plausible American support for Nazism in the Second World War -- intelligently illustrating how other countries might also have been seduced by fascism and anti-Semitism -- are nearly completely undone by a neat ending that leaves us with an American history untouched by these flirtations with fascism and implies that really, violence and hatred and anti-Semitism weren't endemic in cultures other than Germany and instead foists the blame on the plotting of that external enemy, Hitler and the Nazis. It also all undermines the more persuasive argument so well articulated throughout the novel of how in-fighting -- within families, ethnic communities, nations and allies -- is always complicit with tyranny.

A good read, but intellectually disappointing, and rather too forgiving?
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