Episode 8: Philip Roth's "The Plot Against America" and Its Relevance to American Politics Today with Dr. Fletcher McClellan

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The JayPod: A High Library Production

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In his 2004 novel, The Plot Against America, the late author Philip Roth explores an alternate version of American history from 1940-1942 in which FDR loses the 1940 presidential election against the isolationist, celebrity aviator Charles Lindbergh, leading to serious consequences for the country, particularly for the Jewish population.

Etown College Professor of Political Science, Dr. Fletcher McClellan has used the novel in his senior seminar in recent years as a way to explore parallels between the fictional Lindbergh presidency of Roth's novel and the Trump presidency, focusing on the similarities between the isolationist, nativist ideology behind the America First movement of the early 40s and the MAGA movement. In this month's JayPod episode, we discuss these and other parallels and how the novel might inform discussions of current American politics and the state of our democracy. In November 2022, Dr. McClellan published an article, href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15512169.2022.2148533>"It Almost Happened (And Might Still Happen) Here: Philip Roth's The Plot Against America" in the Journal of Political Science Education on how he has used the novel in his senior seminars.