A couple of days ago, a good friend of mine photographed the back cover blurb on the Penguin Classics issue of the Sinclair Lewis novel, IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE. Here is some of what was written:
"Vulgar, almost illiterate, a public liar easily detected ... He was an actor of genius."
A vain, outlandish, anti-immigrant, tear-mongering demagogue runs for President of the United States -- and wins. Sinclair Lewis's chilling 1935 bestseller is the story of Buzz Windrip, who promises poor, angry voters that he will make America proud and prosperous once more, but takes the country down a far darker path. As the new regime slides into authoritarianism, newspaper editor Doremus Jessop can't believe it will last -- but is he right? This cautionary tale of liberal complacency in the face of populist tyranny shows it really can happen here.I miss the Old Hollywood, the Hollywood of my youth, when important books by noted authors were adapted into smart and entertaining socially conscious films that the public went to see. Come September, when the fluffy, fun summer films conclude their run and make way for the more mature offerings of the fall, I wish there was a good, stinging adaptation of IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE ready to hit movie screens all across the country.
I think I may buy myself a copy of the book for summer reading. IT CANT HAPPEN HERE ... a 1935 bestseller.