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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:
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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

  • “Written at white heat.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “A message to thinking Americans.”

    Springfield Republican

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


  • “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.”


  • An NPR Pick for What Do Contested Conventions Look Like?

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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