This book has a brilliant premise. What if FDR was not elected to an unprecedented third term? What if the President elect was Charles Lindbergh, an overwhelmingly popular figure, who was also an isolationist and admirer of Hitler?
The book has an overwhelming feeling of oppression and doom, which is undoubtedly the author's intention. The story is not told from a broad prospective, but from the eyes of a nine year old Philip Roth", the authors potential other self. This device gives one a view of history not from a world wide story, but rather from the way history can impact a very small part of the world.
Many parallels can be drawn between this alternate' history, and much of what has happened with the past 2 Presidential elections, with the division between Red & Blue states. Clearly using the divisions of pre WW II and the divisions going on today was one of the authors' intentions. A provocative view of what if, that is an eye opening parable for people who shake many things off, saying it could never happen here.
The ending of the book at times felt rushed, and an absolution of certain of the power players in the story, however I recommend this book very highly.
Read this book for class, but am sooo glad I did. Until the ending, the writing was fast-paced, breathtaking, frightening, and entangling. Living in a very Jewish area, the premise was intensely horrifying, and although the end was an epic disappointment, the middle more than makes up for it.
Appeals to a wider audience than the traditional Roth readers. Interesting what-if historical fiction. It led to stimulating and interesting discussions --- about Philip Roth, Lindbergh, Winchell, the era, anti-Semitism, and more --- in my book discussion group.
The book drew me in right away. There was a point about 3/4 of the way through where it seemed a bit contrived, but I forgave Roth because I could not stop talking about the premise. The underlying facts were well-researched, and the alternate political reality was believable enough to be scarier than anything by Stephen King.
Intriguing premise of what the US would have been like had Lindburgh been elected president in 1940. The reader has to get past thinking of the actual historical events and read the book like the work of fiction it is. Excellant read.