One of our best journalists, Paul Berman, reviews the new novel by one of our best fiction writers, Philip Roth.
The Plot Against America is an alternate history. What if the United States joined the Fascist Axis in the 1930s? Berman insists this novel is not a cheap political allegory, that Roth is not in any way trying to compare the current political climate to the fictional one that takes place in his book. But he does say this:
Still, after you have had a chance to inhabit his landscape for a while and overhear the arguments about war and fascism and the Jews, ”The Plot Against America” begins to rock almost violently in your lap — as if a second novel, something from our own time, had been locked inside and was banging furiously on the walls, trying to get out.
(Post-script: I don’t want anyone to misunderstand why I posted this. I do not think the United States is on the road to fascism. Not in any way whatsoever.)