But all if this is simply American fiction, the product of Sinclair Lewis’ powerful imagination. Just a tale from the 1930’s. Fantasy. It can’t happen here.
If you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.
January 19, 2017 | Donald Trump’s ascendency to the American Presidency is strikingly similar to the rise of Buzz Windrip, a fictional politician in Sinclair Lewis’ novel It Can’t Happen Here (1935). The first half of Lewis’ story describes the social conditions that contributed to Buzz Windrip’s improbable rise, while the second half of the book outlines the devastating impacts of his revolutionary leadership.
Sinclair Lewis, the first American novelist to win the Nobel Prize, wrote It Can’t Happen Here during the early 1930’s, at the heart of the Great Depression and the rise of fascism in Europe. The main character of this story, Buzz Windrip, is an unconventional politician who upsets FDR and the Democratic Party establishment. He wins the presidential primary by tapping economic and social fears of common citizens.
Lee Miller graduated from Cornell University and has taught writing for over thirteen years at the secondary and post-secondary levels. This column examines current events through the lens of quality literature.