When the renowned aviation hero and rabid isolationist Charles A. Lindbergh
defeated Franklin Roosevelt by a landslide in the 1940 presidential election,
fear invaded every Jewish household in America. Not only had Lindbergh, in a
nationwide radio address, publicly blamed the Jews for selfishly pushing America
toward a pointless war with Nazi Germany, but upon taking office as the
thirty-third president of the United States, he negotiated a cordial "understanding"
with Adolf Hitler, whose conquest of Europe and virulent anti-Semitic policies
he appeared to accept without difficulty.
What then followed in America is the historical setting for this startling new book by Pulitzer Prize-winner Philip Roth, who recounts what it was like for his Newark family and for a million such families all over the country during the menacing years of the Lindbergh presidency, when American citizens who happened to be Jews had every reason to expect the worst.
June 1940October 1940
Vote for Lindbergh or Vote for War
Fear presides over these memories, a perpetual fear. Of course no childhood is without its terrors, yet I wonder if I would have been a less frightened boy if Lindbergh hadn't been president or if I hadn't been the offspring of Jews. When the first shock came in June of 1940the nomination for the presidency of Charles A. Lindbergh, America's international aviation hero, by the Republican Convention at Philadelphiamy father was thirty-nine, an insurance agent with a grade school education, earning a little under fifty dollars a week, enough for the basic bills to be paid on time but for little more. My mother who'd wanted to go to teachers' college but couldn't because of the expense, who'd lived at home working as an office secretary after finishing high school, who'd kept us from feeling poor during the worst of the Depression by ...
Interesting Links: If you're interested in knowing more about
Lindbergh's life and how it actually panned out, during the war and up to his
death in 1974, you might find these two sites of interest:
CharlesLindbergh.com (a hobby site) and PBS.org.
If you liked The Plot Against America, try these:
A moving, ambitious and richly conceived novel that summons up the heroics and follies of twentieth-century life.
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