In 1935, as fascism cast a shadow over the world, Nobel-winning novelist Sinclair Lewis cranked out a short, dystopian novel about the rise of a demagogue to become America’s first dictator. It Can’t Happen Here became an enormous best-seller, which Lewis adapted into a hit Broadway play for the following election year (as our Joe Conason recounted in his 2007 book, It Can Happen Here.) With the rise of an authoritarian candidate 80 years later, Jake Gyllenhaal and Jon Hamm performed a scene from the play at a recent Broadway fundraiser for the Clinton campaign. It is still powerful and compelling. Just click.
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