Jessie Smith
Jessie Smith asked:

Does anyone else believe that this based on the actions of Huey P. Long, the former Governor and assassinated Senator from Louisiana? He definitely was a dictator and was going to run for President, he would have been worse any "facist" or "socialist" president we've had. Heck, he almost started a pitched battle between the state police and the Louisiana National Guard!

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Kevin Lots of contemporary events for Lewis to draw on in 1935. Huey Long the demagogue planning to run for president in 1936, Hitler coming to power in Germany, and similar characters/movements in other western democracies. So I would guess Long was a strong influence on Lewis for this novel.
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