It Can't Happen Here Spiral-Bound | January 7, 2014
Sinclair Lewis, Michael Meyer (Introduction by), Gary Scharnhorst (Afterword by)
★★★☆☆+ from 10,001 to 50,000 ratings
It Can't Happen Here
It Can’t Happen Here is the only one of Sinclair Lewis’s later novels to match the power of Main Street, Babbitt, and Arrowsmith. A cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy, it is an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America.
Written during the Great Depression, when the country was largely oblivious to Hitler’s aggression, it juxtaposes sharp political satire with the chillingly realistic rise of a president who becomes a dictator to save the nation from welfare cheats, sex, crime, and a liberal press.
Called “a message to thinking Americans” by the Springfield Republican when it was published in 1935, It Can’t Happen Here is a shockingly prescient novel that remains as fresh and contemporary as today’s news.
With an Introduction by Michael Meyer
and an Afterword by Gary Scharnhorst
“Not only [Lewis's] most important book but one of the most important books ever produced in this country.”—The New Yorker
Michael Meyer, PhD, a professor of English at the University of Connecticut, previously taught at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the College of William and Mary. His scholarly articles have appeared in such periodicals as American Literature, Studies in the American Renaissance, and Virginia Quarterly Review. An internationally recognized authority on Henry David Thoreau, he is a former president of the Thoreau Society and the coauthor of The New Thoreau Handbook, a standard reference. His first book, Several More Lives to Live: Thoreau’s Political Reputation in America, was awarded the Ralph Henry Gabriel Prize by the American Studies Association. In addition to The Bedford Introduction to Literature, his edited volumes include Frederick Douglass: The Narrative and Selected Writings.
Gary Scharnhorst is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico, editor of American Literary Realism, and editor in alternating years of American Literary Scholarship.