Philip Roth’s Self-Indulgent Paranoia Comes to the Small Screen

March 19 2020

Monday saw the premiere of a miniseries based on Philip Roth’s 2004 novel, The Plot against America. The novel presents an alternative version of U.S. history—and of the author’s own childhood—in which Charles Lindbergh defeats Roosevelt in the 1940 presidential election, allies with Hitler, and begins persecuting Jews. Ruth R. Wisse, reviewing the book in Commentary when it first appeared, wrote that “Roth’s lack of conviction about his own central plot device is palpable throughout.” Despite his statement that he wrote the book because he “wanted America’s Jews to feel the pressure of a genuine anti-Semitic threat,” Wisse found that the novel actually shied away from taking such a threat seriously—and was left wondering why Roth wrote the book at all:

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Read more at Commentary

More about: American Jewish literature, Anti-Semitism, Fascism, Holocaust, Philip Roth, Television

The American Association of University Professors Celebrates Anti-Semitism

Last week, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), an influential academic organization, announced that Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi of San Francisco State University would receive one of its annual awards, citing her “courage, persistence, political foresight, and concern for human rights . . . in her scholarship, teaching, [and] public advocacy” as well as her efforts to “advance the agenda for social change in Palestine, the United States, and internationally.” Those efforts, notes Jonathan Marks, include supporting the exclusion of the Jewish campus group Hillel from a university-wide event, and lambasting the school’s president for apologizing for that exclusion:

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More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus