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The Plot Against America

Written by Philip Roth

The Plot Against America
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Category: Fiction - Literary; Fiction - Alternative History; Fiction - Jewish
Imprint: Vintage
Format: Trade Paperback
Pub Date: September 2005
Price: $16.00
Can. Price: $22.00
ISBN: 978-1-4000-7949-0 (1-4000-7949-7)
Pages: 416

Winner of the James Fennimore Cooper Prize
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award

Philip Roth asserts his enduring stature as our most ambitious and inventive writer with this stunning new novel, which re-imagines American history and traces its ominous impact on one Jewish family.

In 1940 Charles A. Lindbergh, heroic aviator and rabid isolationist, is elected President. Shortly thereafter, he negotiates a cordial "understanding" with Adolf Hitler and the new government embarks on a program of folksy anti-Semitism. For 7-year-old Philip Roth of Newark, these developments are just the first in a series of ruptures that will threaten to destroy his small, safe corner of America, and with it his family. The Plot Against America is a brave, revelatory, enthralling work that seems to break down the barrier between the past and our endangered present.

“A terrific political novel. . . . Sinister, vivid, dreamlike . . . creepily plausible. . . . You turn the pages, astonished and frightened.” — The New York Times Book Review

“Huge, inflammatory, painfully moving. . . . Far and away the most outward-looking, expansive . . . book Roth has written.” —The Washington Post Book World

“Roth’s most powerful book to date. Confounding and illuminating, enraging and discomfiting, imaginative and utterly—terrifyingly—believable.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Once again, Philip Roth has published a novel that you must read–now . . . . A stunning work.” —The Christian Science Monitor

“It’s not a prophecy; it’s a nightmare, and it becomes more nightmarish–and also funnier and more bizarre–as is goes along. . . . [A] sinuous and brilliant book, with its extreme sweetness, its black pain, and its low, ceaseless cackle.” —The New Yorker

“Intimately observed characters in situations fraught with society’s deepest, most bitter tensions. . . . Too ingeniously excruciating to put down.” —Newsweek

“Never has [Roth’s voice] been more nuanced . . . beautifully particularized. . . . [A] novelist who for 45 years has been continuously reinventing himself, never more notably than in The Plot Against America.” —The Boston Globe

“Ingenious . . . Roth’s gorgeous and forceful prose, which swirls and dances and rages . . . has never seemed more precise and lucid.” —Star-Telegram (Dallas/Fort Worth)

“Raises the stakes as high as a patriotic novel can take them. . . . Effortlessly, it seems, Roth has led us to suspend disbelief; then he makes us believe; then he suspends this belief and finally removes it. . . . A fabulous yarn.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Roth takes readers on a harrowing safari across interdimensional borders into a bizarre version of his hometown. . . . [His] delivery is so matter-of-fact, so documentary deadpan that when we’re 10 pages into the book our own world starts to seem like a flimsy fantasy.” —Time

“The most compelling of living writers. . . . [His] every book is like a dispatch from the deepest recesses of the national mind.” —New York Magazine

“A richly terrifying historical novel. . . . [Roth is] the greatest fiction writer America has ever produced.” —Esquire

Provocative. . . . At times, deeply affecting. . . . An intimate glimpse of one family's harrowing encounter with history.” —The New York Times

“A harrowing novel of political psychology. . . . It may be the saddest book Roth has written and the most frightening.” —The Village Voice

“The newest triumph in what is surely the most prolific late blossoming in literary history. Roth is writing the best books of his life, chronicling the American century…Today’s artists need to tell us about our world, but maybe they need to do it in camouflage. Philip Roth, an old master, has shown the way.” —Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian

“At 71, Roth has produced a sensation with The Plot Against America, casting the post-September 11 era in a chilling new light.” —The Sunday Times

“One of the world's most brilliant writers… In the end it comes down to words, to Roth's mastery of language...His words fly off the page, his sentences gathering a momentum that hauls the reader along to a place beyond mere critical appraisal.” —Sean O'Hagan, The Observer

“He is without doubt the greatest novelist writing in English today. Anyone, anywhere, interested in construction of a sentence would have to admire, and be enthralled by his writing. Plus, his themes are so significant: the arc of a man's life, the destructive force of history, and all against the backdrop that spans his own lifetime. It's an enormous undertaking, and, more than any other writer, he has the command of language and form required to pull it off….there are times when his prose just ignites and roars into life like a match to a boiler and you are caught up and carried along in a way that is so rare in this age of novelistic detachment and irony. It's literally breathtaking, and often you are left thinking, this is something, this is really something.” —Linda Grant

“Roth was one of the few, if not the only writer, who made me put the book down because the laughter was exploding in my chest.” —Howard Jacobson

“He makes people laugh more than anyone else in the world.” —Hermione Lee

“In The Plot against America, Philip Roth has reasserted the supremacy of the novel over all other literary forms. This is the first fictional masterpiece of the 21st century, and it rings entirely true.” —Norman Lebrecht, Evening Standard

“The high comic seriousness of his enterprise, the verbal exuberance and deftness, the will to give pleasure. He is a tyrannical master of his fictions and his readers.” —David Flusfeder, The Daily Telegraph

“. . . an epic built—painstakingly, passionately, nearly perfectly—of the small structures of the particular. . . . Roth is at the peak of his powers, and he may have more for us yet.” —Erica Wagner, The Times

“Another frighteningly intense performance' from Roth.” —Christopher Tayler, The Sunday Telegraph

“Philip Roth just knocked me on my ass.” —Bruce Springsteen


WINNER 2005 - James Fennimore Cooper Prize
WINNER - New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
FINALIST - National Book Critics Circle Awards


In the 1990s Philip Roth won America's four major literary awards in succession: the National Book Critics Circle Award for Patrimony (1991), the PEN/Faulkner Award for Operation Shylock (1993), the National Book Award for Sabbath's Theater (1995), and the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for American Pastoral (1997). He won the Ambassador Book Award of the English-Speaking Union for I Married a Communist (1998); in the same year he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House. Previously he won the National Book Critics Circle Award for The Counterlife (1986) and the National Book Award for his first book, Goodbye, Columbus (1959). In 2000 he published The Human Stain, concluding a trilogy that depicts the ideological ethos of postwar America. For The Human Stain Roth received his second PEN/Faulkner Award as well as Britain's W. H. Smith Award for the Best Book of the Year. In 2001 he received the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in fiction, given every six years "for the entire work of the recipient."