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Download It Can’t Happen Here Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample It Can’t Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,498 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sinclair Lewis Narrator: Grover Gardner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2016 ISBN: 9781504768221
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First published in 1935, when Americans were still largely oblivious to the rise of Hitler in Europe, this prescient novel tells a cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy and offers an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America.

Doremus Jessup, a newspaper editor, is dismayed to find that many of the people he knows support presidential candidate Berzelius Windrip. The suspiciously fascist Windrip is offering to save the nation from sex, crime, welfare cheats, and a liberal press. But after Windrip wins the election, dissent soon becomes dangerous for Jessup. Windrip forcibly gains control of Congress and the Supreme Court and, with the aid of his personal paramilitary storm troopers, turns the United States into a totalitarian state.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Not only [Lewis’] most important book but one of the most important books ever produced in this country.”

    New Yorker

  • “The novel that foreshadowed Donald Trump’s authoritarian appeal.”

    Salon

  • “Written at white heat.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “A message to thinking Americans.”

    Springfield Republican

  • “A cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy…It juxtaposes sharp political satire with the chillingly realistic rise of a President who becomes a dictator to save the nation from welfare cheats, rampant promiscuity, crime, and a liberal press. Now finally back in print, It Can’t Happen Here remains uniquely important, a shockingly prescient novel that’s as fresh and contemporary as today’s news.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “This audio version of the Sinclair Lewis classic keeps listeners riveted to Grover Gardner’s restrained yet powerful delivery. The 1935 novel, which predicts a dystopian future, is truly crafted for listening. Gardner is masterful at bringing listeners into the workings of protagonist Doremus Jessup’s worried mind…Lewis’ satirical vision of an America mired in the Depression and bereft of hope is chillingly understated and stays with the listener long after the production ends.”

    AudioFile

  • An NPR Pick for What Do Contested Conventions Look Like?
  • An Amazon.com Bestseller
  • Audible.com Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jacob Ferrington | 2/19/2014

    " Message received. Over dramatized and accelerated but worth reading. I believe I am a bit of an early D. Jessup only in that I think I self justify my own political inaction in similar ways. It will take more than this hastily written work to nudge me from that. I did enjoy it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Algot Runeman | 2/16/2014

    " 1930s political satire that seems all too possible today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 2/14/2014

    " This is the story of a fascist America. It is frightening, horrifying, and a terribly good read if you can handle some of the violence. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liv | 2/10/2014

    " The plot and characters are not especially interesting, but the insights in American political culture are brilliant and as relevant as ever. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Corné | 1/23/2014

    " This was such a big and positive surprise. Bought in a bookstore in Kiev, Ukraine, amongst very few English language options. But on my way out of the Ukraine, I was already captivated by the novel. It is so well put on the back of the book: "It really didn't take much to kill democracy in America...". At least for any American (but basically any complacent person), this should be required reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karoline | 1/21/2014

    " Very interesting book - what is amazing is that a lot of what the author writes about in 1935 actually happens in Germany leading up to and during WWII. It's a typical book of this time period, lots of extra words to get to a point, but good nonetheless! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jon | 1/19/2014

    " Read this after Ron Paul mentioned that Huckabee was like Sinclair's character where fascism will come riding in draped in a flag and carrying a cross. Had to read the reference book for this. Hard to read, but good story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susanna | 1/15/2014

    " This is, by far, the best dystopia I have ever read, though it started off rather boring. It's more realistic and relevant to American life and history than any other dystopia, and therefore more chilling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sam Jasper | 11/30/2013

    " Prescient (written in 1935) and a little scary given today's political climate. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jack Dixon | 11/26/2013

    " Funny how little things really change, contrary to our perceptions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Benjamin | 11/19/2013

    " For 1935, the book shows a very clear understanding of Nazi politics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam | 10/25/2013

    " Scary in it's relevance. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pete | 3/6/2013

    " It Can't Happen Here is a distopian novel about a right-wing takeover of the United States. Though written in the 1930s, Lewis (who called his reactionary stalwarts "Minutemen") seems to have anticipated the Teac Party movement in 2010. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 1/31/2013

    " Excellent! Some things never seem to change, including people and politics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eva Kamm | 12/29/2012

    " Witty, inventive and frightening story, where the good old New England gradually turns into a concentration camp. A fine example of political satire. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeffrey | 10/11/2012

    " An excellent book about how fascism could have risen in the US in 1936. Spookily familiar to the current political climate. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lizzie | 5/10/2012

    " OMG!! Every thinking person should read this. Plot and story constructing could be a little thin at times but the writing is brilliant and the content is just as relevant today as it was 90 years ago. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lori | 10/18/2011

    " Good story, but cannot get into the book. Very wordy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) | 5/4/2011

    " While it's not as great as his other famous works and the plot is a bit of a mess, Lewis manages to create a creepy, paranoid fascist American state that isn't exactly made up out of whole cloth. He could see it happening, and to some degree, it has - though so much more benignly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justin | 4/5/2011

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this. The fact it was written in the early 1930's makes it that much better. It's easy for us to look back and see how the Nazi's came to power. Lewis was able to look forward and see it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ginni | 3/7/2011

    " This is an important book because it shows how it can happen. I gave it three stars because the writing was not as good as I would have expected from Sinclair Lewis. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Call Me | 1/13/2011

    " ISBN-10: 045121658X


    It might remind you of Bush, Cheney, Lott, Greenspan, Summers, etc. I also might remind you of yourself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Louise | 12/30/2010

    " Read this book in 2008. I would read it again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jack | 11/6/2010

    " Funny how little things really change, contrary to our perceptions. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Caroline | 10/29/2010

    " Subject matter: good. Literary quality: bad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pete | 9/17/2010

    " It Can't Happen Here is a distopian novel about a right-wing takeover of the United States. Though written in the 1930s, Lewis (who called his reactionary stalwarts "Minutemen") seems to have anticipated the Teac Party movement in 2010. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marley | 7/30/2010

    " "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross."

    Read "It Can't Happen Here" with Chris Hedges no essay The World Liberal Opportunists Made and you seek amerikka kin 5 years.

    I can't recommend this enough. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susanna | 7/20/2010

    " This is, by far, the best dystopia I have ever read, though it started off rather boring. It's more realistic and relevant to American life and history than any other dystopia, and therefore more chilling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Drora | 7/18/2010

    " Much as I love 1984, Orwell has certainly read this one before writing it. Amazingly, was written in 1935.
    Author is a Nobel Prize recipient. "

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