Some voters—shell-shocked by the results of the 2016 presidential election—are rushing to buy the book that Donald Trump’s critics say may have predicted his rise 80 years ago.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s election, copies of Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 satirical political novel It Can’t Happen Here has sold out on some major online book retailers, including Amazon and Books-a-Million. The novel—which was written as Adolf Hitler rose to power in Nazi Germany—tells the story of a fascist takeover in America.
The main character, Buzz Windrip, appeals to voters with a mix of crass language and nativist ideology. Once elected, he solidifies his power by energizing his base against immigrants, people on welfare, and the liberal press. The novel has been called “frighteningly contemporary” in the wake of the Trump campaign and election. As Slate wrote in September 2015:
With his careful mix of plainspoken honesty and reactionary delusion, Trump is following an old rhetorical playbook, one defined and employed successfully in the 1936 presidential campaign of [Windrip].
If you’d like to read the novel, you can still order it through Barnes & Noble, or by checking to see if your local brick-and-mortar bookstore has it in stock (or by going to the library!). You can also place an order for the novel on Amazon and the online retailer will ship it to you once it restocks its copies.