Reading Group: It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis (1935)


It Can't Happen Here is a semi-satirical 1935 political novel by American author Sinclair Lewis, and a 1936 play adapted from the novel by Lewis and John C. Moffitt. Published during the rise of fascism in Europe, the novel describes the rise of Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip, a Democrat and United States Senator who is elected to the presidency after fomenting fear and promising drastic economic and social reforms while promoting a return to patriotism and "traditional" values. After his election, Windrip takes complete control of the government and imposes a plutocratic/totalitarian rule with the help of a ruthless paramilitary force, in the manner of Adolf Hitler and the SS. The novel's plot centers on journalist Doremus Jessup's opposition to the new regime and his subsequent struggle against it as part of a liberal rebellion.  (Wikipedia)

Join us in reading and discussing Lewis' prescient 1935 satirical novel--in its own right, in the context of its time, and in light of the election of Donald Trump to be President of the United States.

Whether you read the book in print form or on this site, we recommend that, as you complete each chapter, you join the discussion on that chapter by clicking on the appropriate chapter link below.

To read and reply to comments made by others OR to enter your own comments, scroll to the bottom of each chapter's text.

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Chapter 1  Chapter 2   Chapter 3  Chapter 4  Chapter 5  Chapter 6  Chapter 7  Chapter 8  Chapter 9 Chapter 10  Chapter 11  Chapter 12  Chapter 13  Chapter 14  Chapter 15  Chapter 16  Chapter 17 Chapter 18  Chapter 19  Chapter 20  Chapter 21  Chapter 22  Chapter 23  Chapter 24  Chapter 25
Chapter 26  Chapter 27  Chapter 28  Chapter 29  Chapter 30  Chapter 31   Chapter 32  Chapter 33
Chapter 34  Chapter 35   Chapter 36  Chapter 37  Chapter 38

Afterward: Overall discussion of the book and the issues it raises



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