The Plot Against America

I recently finished The Plot Against America by Phillip Roth. It is set between about 1940 and the end of 1942 in the United States and a counter-factual account of what could have happened if FDR hadn’t gotten a third presidency and instead Lindbergh (apparently an anti-Semite, I didn’t know) had gotten voted overwhelmingly into office.

You can read all the in depth reviews, but my point is that I appreciated how the last fifth of the book was structured. His structure ratcheted up the suspense, then quickly wrapped it up, managing the plot and our expectations. He then returned us to a smaller and more detailed story. This had the effect of imposing a story of what happens to individuals on top of capital H history.

I still think he needs an editor to take a stronger hand…


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