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It Can't Happen Here

416 pages, 2014

arts & entertainment

arts & entertainment

401 books
economics & politics

economics & politics

987 books
Takeaways
Description
Sinclair Lewis' satirical novel, published in 1935 during the Great Depression and written before World War II, looks at a frightening future in which an opportunistic leader, who was elected to save his country from welfare cheats, sex crimes and especially the liberal press, turns into dictator. "A message to thinking Americans" read the headline of Springfield Republican. The book is still as fresh as today's news due to its sharp political satire and chilling realism about how fascism could achieve power in America. Michael Meyer offers an introduction and Gary Scharnhorst writes about the novel  in an afterward.
The Fragility of Democracy

Sinclair Lewis paints a vivid picture of how easily democracy can be undermined. He shows us that even in a country like the United States, a charismatic leader can manipulate the masses and seize power. It's a reminder to always stay vigilant and protect our democratic values.

The Power of Fear

In 'It Can't Happen Here', Lewis explores how fear can be used as a powerful tool to control and manipulate people. The book shows us that when people are scared, they can be led to support policies and leaders that they might otherwise reject.

The Role of Media

The book gives us a chance to see how media can be used to shape public opinion and control information. It's a call to always question what we read and hear, and to seek out diverse sources of information.

The Importance of Individual Action

Lewis's book reminds us that every individual has a role to play in protecting democracy. The protagonist, Doremus Jessup, stands up against the authoritarian regime despite the risks, showing us the power of individual action.

The Danger of Complacency

One of the key messages in 'It Can't Happen Here' is the danger of complacency. Lewis shows us that it's not enough to assume that our democratic institutions will protect us. We need to actively participate and engage in our democracy to keep it strong.

Quotes 5

Sinclair Lewis' 'It Can't Happen Here' is a chilling depiction of a society that succumbs to fascism. It's a stark reminder of the fragility of democracy.

George OrwellGeorge Orwell - 1984, Animal Farm

Lewis' 'It Can't Happen Here' is a timeless warning about the dangers of demagoguery and the erosion of democratic norms.

Doris Kearns GoodwinDoris Kearns Goodwin - Presidential Historian

'It Can't Happen Here' is a terrifyingly relevant book. Lewis' portrayal of a society in the grip of a tyrant is a cautionary tale for our times.

Stephen KingStephen King - Horror Novelist

Lewis' 'It Can't Happen Here' is a powerful exploration of the dangers of unchecked power and the erosion of democratic values.

Philip RothPhilip Roth - American Novelist

'It Can't Happen Here' is a chilling reminder of the fragility of democracy and the dangers of unchecked power.

Margaret AtwoodMargaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale
George OrwellDoris Kearns GoodwinStephen KingPhilip RothMargaret Atwood

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