Course Details

962: Philip Roth: The Plot Against America

February 4, 6, and 8, 2019
1:45 PM - 3:15 PM

In The Plot Against America (2004), Philip Roth imagines that the rightwing isolationist Charles Lindbergh was elected president in 1940, and that American Jews, like Roth's real family in Newark, faced the threat of anti-Semitism and fascism. Nightmarish, ingenious, funny, and affecting, it's one of Roth's greatest novels, and horribly timely now; David Simon is writing a six-part adaptation for HBO. We'll read it and discuss it, three chapters at a time, over three days, and I'll be supplying background and context about Roth's fiction. This course is for Roth fans, Roth newcomers, and WWII buffs. I suggest you read the book ahead of the class meeting — at least the first three chapters by day one.

Class Format: Reading and Discussion

Hours of Reading: 1-2 hours/session

Study Group Leader(s):

Elaine Showalter
Elaine Showalter is Professor Emerita of English at Princeton University. She is the author of ten books and a frequent reviewer of books for periodicals in the US and UK.

Reading List:

The Plot Against America, Philip Roth. Vintage, Date Unknown, ISBN: 978-1-4000-7949-0.