Fresh Paint
Sunday, July 03, 2005
Pre-Holiday Report
Yes, hello, here I am. Somehow I managed to bang up my left foot, so won't be marching in the parade tomorrow, but that shouldn't stop you. Our Democratic leaders need your love and support in these trying times, and must be encouraged to keep on believing that speaking out is Good, standing up is Good, Liberal policies are Good, and most media is Bad. Luckily, people are beginning to figure it out for themselves that they've been lied to. It's beginning to unravel.

So march with them, will ya? I might make it to the DPOE picnic with camera, but that's probably it for this year, unfortunately.

So have been reading Philip Roth's The Plot Against America pretty much all weekend. Really good book, scary, interesting structure, too.

If you don't know it, Roth imagines what might have happened if isolationist and fascist-leaning Charles Lindbergh had defeated Roosevelt for a third term and formed an alliance with Germany. America is encouraged to enrich its "Americanness" through programs that break apart Jewish communities and dilute the Jewish voting bloc by transporting families out of the cities. Radio commentator and columnist Walter Winchell is the only one speaking out against it all with tragic results. We get riots, Jews escaping to Canada, plus a terrific coming-of-age tale.

The interesting structure is that it's told from the pov of a 7-9 year old child, a young Philip Roth, living in his very own lightly fictionalized family.

The political solution at the end is tied up a little too neatly at the end, but only after huge damage to the country has already been done.

Definitely worth a read if you're into alternate histories and things. I'd forgotten what a good, meat and potatoes writer Roth is. I've rarely been gripped by a narrative for nearly 400 pages during nice weather like this.

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