It Can't Happen Here

It Can't Happen Here

Reprint published 1935 by Sun Dial Press. 

Hardcover with Dust Jacket. Condition Very Good. Binding firm. Covers and pages clean. Dust Jacket in good condition, with some edgewear. Tape previously applied to inside top and bottom of Dust Jacket. Tape stains on inside corners of book covers.

$150.00



It Can't Happen Here

Published 1935 by Doubleday, Doran & Company. First Edition.

Hardcover. No Dust Jacket. Condition Very Good. Handsome black boards with gold gilt lettering on spine and low relief mace embossed on front cover. Spine has slight fading with some edgewear at top and bottom. Binding firm. Interior pages very clean. Previous owner's name stamped on first leaf.

$150.00



It Can't Happen Here is a satirical political novel by Sinclair Lewis published in 1935 following Hitler’s rise to power in Germany. The novel describes the rise of a populist politician in the United States who creates his own militia called the Minute Men or "MM", paralleling Hitler's "SS" and who takes unconstitutional power after winning election, mirroring what Hitler was doing in Germany at the time of writing. The novel's plot centers around newspaperman Doremus Jessup's belated realization of what is happening, and his subsequent struggle against the fascist regime of President Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip.

Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip, a charismatic and power-hungry politician, is elected President of the United States on a populist platform promising to restore the country to prosperity and greatness. Once in power he becomes a dictator: He outlaws dissent and puts his political enemies in concentration camps. One of his first acts as President is to make changes to the Constitution which give him sole power over the country. Windrip declares a state of martial law and, with the help of his Minute Men, throws protesters in jail. As Windrip dismantles democracy, most Americans either support him and his regime wholeheartedly or reassure themselves that fascism "can't happen" in America (hence the book's title).

The few who openly oppose Windrip's regime form a secret organization called The New Underground joined by journalist Doremus Jessup, Windrip's loudest detractor. Jailed in one of the concentration camps, Jessup escapes and flees to Canada to join a resistance movement.

In time, Windrip's hold on power begins to weaken; the economic prosperity he promised has not materialized, and more and more people are fleeing to Canada to escape his government's brutality. An attempt to stir up patriotic fervor by staging an invasion of Mexico backfires. The story ends with Jessup in Minnesota working with the opposition movement to end the fascist regime's hold on the American people.