ᥧ Reading ᖼ It Can't Happen Here quotes ᦗ Author Sinclair Lewis ᧎

ᥧ Reading ᖼ It Can't Happen Here quotes ᦗ Author Sinclair Lewis ᧎ ᥧ Reading ᖼ It Can't Happen Here quotes ᦗ Author Sinclair Lewis ᧎ SINCLAIR LEWISIT CANTHAPPEN HERE With an Introductionby Michael Meyerand a New Afterwordby Gary ScharnhorstTable of ContentsIntroductionSinclair Lewis enjoyed a brilliant career in the 1920s portraying and satirizing what he regarded as the mediocrity, materialism, corruption, and hypocrisy of middle class life in the United States His five major novels of the twenties Main Street 1920 , Babbitt 1922 , Arrowsmith 1925 , Elmer Gantry 1927 , and Dodsworth 1929 were all bestsellers that served to hold a mirror up to the parochialism and provincialism of that decade A good many Americans winced at their own reflections in those novels, but they eagerly bought Lewiss iconoclastic books, because, however much they flinched at his representations of their middle class lives, they were finally snugly, if not smugly, comfortable in the economic security that produced their prosperous confidence.After the stock market crash of 1929, however, there wasnt much left of the middle class of the early 1930s Many who were previously solid, respectable breadwinners found themselves on bread lines, soup lines, and relief rolls Normalcy, a twenties password synonymous with security, gave way to the jitters as profitless corporations laid off millions of workers who drifted across the country like Oklahoma farm dust The popular song and exuberant theme of the twenties Aint We Got Fun changed its tune to Brother Can You Spare a Dime during the Great Depression Although Franklin Delano Roosevelts first inaugural address in 1933 promised a New Deal, he also let his countrymen know what the score was in grim tones Values have shrunken to fantastic levels taxes have risen our ability to pay has fallen government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side farmers find no markets for their produce the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.Not surprisingly, the middle class was no longer interested in being discounted by bankers or by satirists Lewis had to find new material.Given the stormy economic and social climate of the early 1930s, Lewis had plenty of other topics to consider that were relevant than middle class predispositions to be foolish and venal He found a ready made plot in the nervous undercurrent that accompanied the volatile politics of the period With the rise of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Europe and the alarming popularity of a variety of demagogues from both the left and right in the United States, there was widespread concern that the country could be taken over by a fascist dictatorship Lewis placed these fears at the center of It Cant Happen Here.Published in October of 1935, the novel gave shape to the free floating anxieties that had consumed worried citizens for several years as the country stumbled through economic turmoil desperately seeking solutions Lewis was intimately familiar with these concerns because Dorothy Thompson, his second wife, had interviewed Hitler as a foreign correspondent in Berlin and had written a series of articles between 1931 and 1935 warning Americans about the Nazi propaganda machine that masked the vicious persecution of Jews and the growing number of concentration camps designed to annihilate them In addition to what he heard at his breakfast table, Lewis was very much aware of the many debates swirling around him in newspapers, journals, and books In September of 1934, for example, The Modern Monthly featured a symposium titled Will Fascism Come to America that featured a number of leading intellectuals such as Theodore Dreiser, Norman Thomas, Charles A Beard, and Waldo Frank debating the question, and in early 1935, the Nation ran a series of articles on forerunners of American Fascism Although Lewis is often credited with coining the phrase it cant happen here, Herschel Brickell points out in his review of the novel in North American Review December 1935 that the book actually takes its title from the typical American remark concerning the possibility of a dictatorship in this country a quick search of the Internet demonstrates that the phrase continues to be used by a wide range of political perspectives to evoke the various tyrannies Lewis describes Echoing Brickell, another contemporary reviewer, Benjamin Stolberg, aptly notes that the novel has successfully plagiarized our social atmosphere Books, October 1935 Lewiss take, however, is that it can happen here.The threat of fascism in America captured his readers attention It Cant Happen Here quickly became a national bestseller than 320,000 copies were sold , and it has become by now part of the same thirties social and political fabric that Lewis wove into the novel While Lewiss contemporaries were thirsty for the successfully plagiarized details about the 1930s that saturate the novel, twenty first century readers may sometimes feel as if theyre in over their head owing to the books deep topical nature The novel is a kind of Sears, Roebuck catalogue of early 1930s American political figures, events, and movements both central and peripheral to the decades issues Scores of historical figures populate the book, such as Huey Long, Father Charles Coughlin, William Randolph Hearst, Upton Sinclair, William Allen White, Mike Gold, and for a remarkable example, thirteen actual working journalists whose names appear on page 219 Although lots of these names are perhaps unfamiliar to many readers today, Lewiss plot and characterizations are not wholly dependent upon historical knowledge for readers to understand and appreciate the novels conflicts The names, as well as political events and movements, certainly form the major portion of the books highly detailed political scenery, but theres little, if any, doubt about how Lewis wants us to think about them.Although Lewiss protagonist, Doremus Jessup, is a mild, rather indolent and somewhat sentimental Liberal p 46 who is slow to respond to the rise of an American version of a fascist dictatorship, Lewis responded quickly and intensely to the fascist threats he saw all around him He wrote and revised the entire novel in fewer than four months while he summered in Vermont in 1935 His preparation for the book took longer than its writing he had been simmering with materials for several years as he recognized with increasing alarm the dangers that threatened democratic institutions Unfortunately, his writing displays the haste in which he wroteand so do the books reviews R P Blackmur laments that there is hardly a literary question that it does not fail to raise and there is hardly a rule for the good conduct of novels that it does not break Nation, October 1935 Despite the many reviewers who complained about the novels loose melodramatic plot, flat and even corny characters, weak clichd dialogue, padded political discourse, awkward sentimentality, and heavy handed satire and irony, many also judged the book to be a timely caveat and applauded its propagandistic value against fascism Clifton Fadiman pronounced it to be one of the most important books ever produced in this country New Yorker, October 1935 , a book that all Americans should read to help save the country from impending political failures and potential tyrannies.In March of 1935, two months before Sinclair Lewis began writing It Cant Happen Here, Walter Lippmann lamented in a popular magazine that the United States had come to a period of discouragement Pollyanna is silenced and Cassandra is doing all the talking There was much for Cassandra to talk about the administration of the New Deal seemed hopelessly bogged down and the fierce strident polemics of popular leaders such as Huey Long and Father Coughlin seemed to speak directly than the president to the poor, the dispossessed, the frustrated, and the angry Neither the Louisiana Kingfish nor the populist radio priest freighted their remedies for the countrys ills with feasible ideas or coherent programs Immediate solutions were too important to be burdened with details and troublesome facts it was enough for Long simply to announce the justice of a 5,000 homestead allowance coupled with an annual income of at least 2,000 for every American family The Kingfish was long on proposals but short on perceiving potential problems Who cares, he said, what consequences may come following the mandates of the Lord, of the Pilgrims, of Jefferson, Webster and Lincoln He who falls in this fight falls in the radiance of the future.The liberals who worried about the possible consequences that attended this future brave new world were particularly wary because the Old World had already produced Hitler and Mussolini Fascism was becoming fashionable, a fact manifested by the Brown Shirts, Black Shirts, Khaki Shirts, White Shirts, and Silver Shirtscomplete with matching bootsthat came out of closets all over Europe and the United States In October of 1935, the month It Cant Happen Here was published, William Randolph Hearst encapsuled the problem with a statement that delighted shirt makers but terrified liberals He counseled his fellow citizens Whenever you hear a prominent American called a Fascist, you can usually make up your mind that the man is simply a LOYAL CITIZEN WHO STANDS FOR AMERICANISM.Lewis transforms this advice into a warning in his novel by showing how Americans elect as their president Berzelius Windrip, a folksy New England version of the dictatorial Kingfish who ushers in a fascistic regime of suppression, terror, and totalitarianismall draped in red, white, and blue bunting Invoking the highest patriotic principles, Windrip disguises his fascism in the historical trappings of the Republic his Gestapo, for example, is called the Minute Men Lewis projects a dire version of the immediate futurethe story begins in 1936 and ends in 1939by creating fictional equivalents of the trepidations liberals experienced in the mid thirties Although Lewis looks to the future for the actualization of what liberals feared might happen, he turns to the past for the antidote to a poisoned America To combat Windrips deceptive use of a past that is employed to corrupt the present, Lewis draws upon a national heritage of individualistic and democratic values in order to redeem the country from the fascism masquerading in a patriotic costume.There is a distinct nostalgic quality to Lewiss hero, Doremus Jessup, born in 1876, an independent, liberal Vermont newspaper editor who stands up to Windrips vicious regime Lewis proudly presents him as a nineteenth century individualist rather than a twentieth century automaton He sports a beard, which his detractors say makes him high brow, different, and artistic instead of one of the boys His reading confirms their suspicions about his beard he subscribes to, among other things, the Congressional Record, the New Yorker, Time, the Nation, the New Republic, and the New Masses Although Jessup is articulate and liberal than most of Lewiss protagonists, he is confronted with essentially the same kind of phenomena, even if extreme, that chronically thwart and deny the individual in Lewiss fiction At various opportune moments in the novel, Lewis uses Jessup as a spokesman to denounce and satirize the DAR, the KKK, Aimee McPherson, Mary Baker Eddy, Billy Sunday, Father Coughlin, William Jennings Bryan, Huey Long, Tammany graft, Chicago gangsters, Prohibition, lynchings, anti Semitism, racism, militarism, concentration camps, torture, and political assassinations Jessups announced values are not fundamentally different from some of Lewiss other famous characters Whether the vague dissatisfactions festering in George F Babbitt, the unrealistic impulses toward reform fluttering in Carol Kennicott, or the linear, though uncertain, determination of a Martin Arrowsmith, Lewiss most interesting characters want, as Carol Kennicott puts it in Main Street, a conscious life, were tired of seeing just a few people able to be individualists Lewis clearly admired and identified with Jessupso much so that he played the role of Jessup in a dramatic adaptation by the South Shore Players in Cohasset, Massachusetts, one of many of the plays productions sponsored by the Federal Theater Project throughout the country in the wake of the novels popularity.Jessup is a nineteenth century styled individualist who has fallen into history hes fallen into a world in which his allegiance to predominant American values such as self reliance and independence mark him as a political subversive Recalling the achievement of men such as Thaddeus Stevens and Stephen A Douglas, he compares them to what he describes as the wishy washy young people today, and he wonders aloudif were breeding up any paladins like those stout, grouchy old devils if were producing em anywhere in New England anywhere in America anywhere in the world They had guts Independence Did what they wanted to and thought what they liked, and everybody could go to hell p 13 Jessup subscribes to these values, and though they are implicitly subversive in a politically repressive atmosphere, Lewis describes him as understanding himself too well to consider himself a left wing radical instead he is a tentative liberal who basically wants to be left alone to enjoy his small town life and newspaper work.One of the few calm and contented moments of the novel consists of a gathering of Jessups family and friends for a country picnic where there was nothing modern and neurotic, writes Lewis, nothing savoring of Freud, Adler, Marx, Bertrand Russell, or any other divinity of the 1930s p 38 From the perspective of the complex, mechanized, modernized, psychologized, and homogenized thirties, Jessup longs for an era now lost There is no going back to the past, a fact that makes it doubly attractive and no less important to Jessupor to Lewis Yet Jessups sense of social duty p 104 does not permit him to ignore the present, nor does he abandon the past because finally it will be a means by which he will attempt to reshape the present.Jessups sense of social duty is informed by his individualism He does not believe in collective modes of reform because he views them as absolutist and dogmatic, and he objects to any group insisting that it has the final and perfect solution for societys ills Neither Fascists, Communists, American Constitutionalists, Monarchists, nor preachers have the answer, because, according to Jessup, There is no Solution There will never be a state of society anything like perfect p 112 He reflects Lewiss own values when he insists that All the UtopiasBrook Farm, Robert Owens sanctuary of chatter, Upton Sinclairs Helicon Halland their regulation end in scandal, feuds, poverty, griminess, disillusion p 114 And when they dont immediately end in failure such collective activities are perilous for individualists because they may turn fanatical and violent Blessed be they thinks Jessup who are not Patriots and Idealists, and who do not feel they must dash right in and Do Something About It, something so immediately important that all doubters must be liquidatedtorturedslaughtered Good old murder, that since the slaying of Abel by Cain has always been the new device by which all oligarchies and dictators have, for all future ages to come, removed opposition p 114 Jessup, like Lewis, shrinks from political activism and believes that a man minding his own business rather than insisting upon saving the masses is a true idealist.Lewiss attraction to this kind of individualism is evident in a 1937 review he wrote for Newsweek of an edition of Henry Thoreaus Walden, another Yankee who minded his own business mostly Lewis entitled the review One Man Revolution, a title particularly aimed at the collectivist reforms of that decade This is the first sentence of the piece Once upon a time in America there was a scholar who conducted a one man revolution and won it.There is hardly anything in all of Lewiss fiction as direct and as happy as thatnot in forty years of writing For Lewis, Thoreaus success has almost a fabulous quality to it Once upon a time and Lewis is grateful for the story while implicitly identifying with him In the context of the late thirties, when America was menaced by Italy, Germany, and Japan, Lewis suggests making Thoreau the supreme Duce as an answer to those imposing forms of oppression Jessup shares this supremely independent perspective but discovers that as conditions grow worse, as individuals become frequent targets of Windrips goons and bullies, he must take a stand.Although Jessups family and friends urge him to keep a low profile and not publish an editorial condemning the outrages of Windrips regime, his mistress, Lorinda Pike, an activist, supports him Once the editorial appears, Jessup is immediately hauled off to jail, where he reconsiders his earlier negative attitudes toward violence and wonders if his own conscientious respectabilitythat is, minding his own businesshasnt been one of the primary reasons why fascism has succeeded in America It is, he thinks, the Jessups who have let the demagogues wriggle in, without fierce enough protest p 186.Despite these reflections Jessup is extraordinarily wary of taking any extreme action He had been brought up to revere Abolitionists such as Wendell Phillips and Harriet Beecher Stowe, but his father had considered John Brown insane and a menace p 117 Jessups liberal roots firmly place him in a relatively passive and pacifistic political tradition Even after his son in law is taken out to be shot and Jessup hears of grotesque atrocities including mass executions and concentration camp horrors, he only reluctantly agrees to light out for the territory aheadCanada is once again the goal of a new underground railroad where Americans seek refuge from slavery But his effort to escape with his family is unsuccessful and he returns enraged, muttering, Now I know why men like John Brown became crazy killers p 234 On the heels of his failure to escape, he returns home to find his son justifying book burnings and the violent suppression of dissenters Jessup is outraged by his sons bland rationale that you cant make an omelet without breaking eggs p 238 , and he promptly throws him out After much chronic indecisiveness and resolutions undercut by irresolutionprecisely the strategies Lewis uses in the plots and characterizations of Main Street, Babbitt, and ArrowsmithJessup is moved to action and works to publish the Vermont Vigilance, a seditious underground paper that exposes the villainy and corruption of the American Corporate State and Patriotic Party Jessups widowed daughter enthusiastically tucks these pamphlets inside copies of the Readers Digest at the drugstore, while his younger daughter serves as a secret agent in the enemy camp and fends off lewd advances.On July 4, 1938, with a terrible thunderstorm as the background, the Minute Men descend upon Jessups house, wreck it, and take him away to a concentration camp, where he is nearly beaten to death As a result of enduring the horrible conditions of the camp, Jessup feels a sense of camaraderie with the other prisoners and what Lewis describes as a murderous hatred of their oppressors so that they, men of peace all of them, would gladly have hanged every Corpo, mild or vicious Doremus understood John Brown much better p.312 But that camaraderie does not mean that he is prepared to become a communist and abandon his individualism What I want, says Jessup, is mass action by just one member, alone on a hilltop Im a great optimist I still hope America may some day rise to the standards of Kit Carson p 311 Eventually, Jessup escapes from the camp and he works for the underground again, this time as a secret agent in Minnesota coordinating raids against the Minute Men posts Although he is engaged in an organized response to fascism, he remains ideologically aloof, conducting what is essentially a one man revolution Jessup, writes Lewis, saw now that he must remain alone, a Liberal, scorned by all the noisier prophets for refusing to be a willing cat for the busy monkeys of either fascism or communism p 359 He participates in the popular rebellion against the Corpo regime but the values he fights for are associated with the individual rather than with collective action I am convinced, he insists, that everything that is worth while in the world has been accomplished by the free, inquiring, critical spirit, and that the preservation of this spirit is important than any social system whatsoever p 359.To many readers in the 1930s, this essentially nineteenth century evocation of self reliant virtues was attractive, but it provided only the vaguest kind of political solutions to pressing political issues Lewiss response to a potential fascist dictatorship offered no specific remedies this was, however, not a fault but a strategy, because he was writing a satirical novel rather than a five year plan framed by an inaugural address Instead, he successfully aroused a generation of Americans to the dangers that swirled around them Many of his readers recognized that though his answers to contemporary political issues might have been provisional, the questions he raised about liberty and justice remain perennial He believed that dissenteven a cranky, erratic, eccentric, old fashioned version of itwas not disloyalty but at the heart of an American democratic identity Engulfed in the complexities and vulnerabilities of our post September 11 world, Americans of nearly all political persuasions are likely to find that It Cant Happen Here, though firmly anchored in the politics of the 1930s, surfaces as a revealing and disturbing read.MICHAEL MEYER1THE HANDSOME DINING ROOM of the Hotel Wessex, with its gilded plaster shields and the mural depicting the Green Mountains, had been reserved for the Ladies Night Dinner of the Fort Beulah Rotary Club.Here in Vermont the affair was not so picturesque as it might have been on the Western prairies Oh, it had its points there was a skit in which Medary Cole grist mill feed store and Louis Rotenstern custom tailoringpressing cleaning announced that they were those historic Vermonters, Brigham Young and Joseph Smith, and with their jokes about imaginary plural wives they got in ever so many funny digs at the ladies present But the occasion was essentially serious All of America was serious now, after the seven years of depression since 1929 It was just long enough after the Great War of 1914 18 for the young people who had been born in 1917 to be ready to go to collegeor to another war, almost any old war that might be handy.The features of this night among the Rotarians were nothing funny, at least not obviously funny, for they were the patriotic addresses of Brigadier General Herbert Y Edgeways, U.S.A ret , who dealt angrily with the topic Peace through DefenseMillions for Arms but Not One Cent for Tribute, and of Mrs Adelaide Tarr Gimmitchshe who was no renowned for her gallant anti suffrage campaigning way back in 1919 than she was for having, during the Great War, kept the American soldiers entirely out of French cafs by the clever trick of sending them ten thousand sets of dominoes.Nor could any social minded patriot sneeze at her recent somewhat unappreciated effort to maintain the purity of the American Home by barring from the motion picture industry all persons, actors or directors or cameramen, who had a ever been divorced b been born in any foreign countryexcept Great Britain, since Mrs Gimmitch thought very highly of Queen Mary, or c declined to take an oath to revere the Flag, the Constitution, the Bible, and all other peculiarly American institutions.The Annual Ladies Dinner was a most respectable gatheringthe flower of Fort Beulah Most of the ladies and than half of the gentlemen wore evening clothes, and it was rud that before the feast the inner circle had had cocktails, privily served in Room 289 of the hotel The tables, arranged on three sides of a hollow square, were bright with candles, cut glass dishes of candy and slightly tough almonds, figurines of Mickey Mouse, brass Rotary wheels, and small silk American flags stuck in gilded hard boiled eggs On the wall was a banner lettered Service Before Self, and the menuthe celery, cream of tomato soup, broiled haddock, chicken croquettes, peas, and tutti frutti ice creamwas up to the highest standards of the Hotel Wessex.They were all listening, agape General Edgeways was completing his manly yet mystical rhapsody on nationalism for these United States, alone among the great powers, have no desire for foreign conquest Our highest ambition is to be darned well let alone Our only genuine relationship to Europe is in our arduous task of having to try and educate the crass and ignorant masses that Europe has wished onto us up to something like a semblance of American culture and good manners But, as I explained to you, we must be prepared to defend our shores against all the alien gangs of international racketeers that call themselves governments, and that with such feverish envy are always eyeing our inexhaustible mines, our towering forests, our titanic and luxurious cities, our fair and far flung fields.For the first time in all history, a great nation must go on arming itself and , not for conquestnot for jealousynot for warbut for peace Pray God it may never be necessary, but if foreign nations dont sharply heed our warning, there will, as when the proverbial dragons teeth were sowed, spring up an armed and fearless warrior upon every square foot of these United States, so arduously cultivated and defended by our pioneer fathers, whose sword girded images we must beor we shall perish The applause was cyclonic Professor Emil Staubmeyer, the superintendent of schools, popped up to scream, Three cheers for the Generalhip, hip, hooray All the audience made their faces to shine upon the General and Mr Staubmeyerall save a couple of crank pacifist women, and one Doremus Jessup, editor of the Fort Beulah Daily Informer, locally considered a pretty smart fella but kind of a cynic, who whispered to his friend the Reverend Mr Falck, Our pioneer fathers did rather of a skimpy job in arduously cultivating some of the square feet in Arizona The culminating glory of the dinner was the address of Mrs Adelaide Tarr Gimmitch, known throughout the country as the Unkies Girl, because during the Great War she had advocated calling our boys in the A.E.F the Unkies She hadnt merely given them dominoes indeed her first notion had been far imaginative She wanted to send to every soldier at the Front a canary in a cage Think what it would have meant to them in the way of companionship and inducing memories of home and mother A dear little canary And who knowsmaybe you could train em to hunt cooties Seething with the notion, she got herself clear into the office of the Quartermaster General, but that stuffy machine minded official refused her or, really, refused the poor lads, so lonely there in the mud , muttering in a cowardly way some foolishness about lack of transport for canaries It is said that her eyes flashed real fire, and that she faced the Jack in office like Joan of Arc with eyeglasses while she gave him a piece of her mind that he never forgot In those good days women really had a chance They were encouraged to send their menfolks, or anybody elses menfolks, off to war Mrs Gimmitch addressed every soldier she metand she saw to it that she met any of them who ventured within two blocks of heras My own dear boy It is fabled that she thus saluted a colonel of marines who had come up from the ranks and who answered, We own dear boys are certainly getting a lot of mothers these days Personally, Id rather have a few mistresses And the fable continues that she did not stop her remarks on the occasion, except to cough, for one hour and seventeen minutes, by the Colonels wrist watch.But her social services were not all confined to prehistoric eras It was as recently as 1935 that she had taken up purifying the films, and before that she had first advocated and then fought Prohibition She had also since the vote had been forced on her been a Republican Committeewoman in 1932, and sent to President Hoover daily a lengthy telegram of advice.And, though herself unfortunately childless, she was esteemed as a lecturer and writer about Child Culture, and she was the author of a volume of nursery lyrics, including the immortal couplet All of the Roundies are resting in rows,With roundy roundies around their toes.But always, 1917 or 1936, she was a raging member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.The D.A.R reflected the cynic, Doremus Jessup, that evening is a somewhat confusing organizationas confusing as Theosophy, Relativity, or the Hindu Vanishing Boy Trick, all three of which it resembles It is composed of females who spend one half their waking hours boasting of being descended from the seditious American colonists of 1776, and the other and ardent half in attacking all contemporaries who believe in precisely the principles for which those ancestors struggled.The D.A.R reflected Doremus has become as sacrosanct, as beyond criticism, as even the Catholic Church or the Salvation Army And there is this to be said it has provided hearty and innocent laughter for the judicious, since it has contrived to be just as ridiculous as the unhappily defunct Kuklux Klan, without any need of wearing, like the K.K.K., high dunces caps and public nightshirts.So, whether Mrs Adelaide Tarr Gimmitch was called in to inspire military morale, or to persuade Lithuanian choral societies to begin their program with Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean, always she was a D.A.R., and you could tell it as you listened to her with the Fort Beulah Rotarians on this happy May evening.She was short, plump, and pert of nose Her luxuriant gray hair she was sixty now, just the age of the sarcastic editor, Doremus Jessup could be seen below her youthful, floppy Leghorn hat she wore a silk print dress with an enormous string of crystal beads, and pinned above her ripe bosom was an orchid among lilies of the valley She was full of friendliness toward all the men present she wriggled at them, she cuddled at them, as in a voice full of flute sounds and chocolate sauce she poured out her oration on How You Boys Can Help Us Girls.Women, she pointed out, had done nothing with the vote If the United States had only listened to her back in 1919 she could have saved them all this trouble No Certainly not No votes In fact, Woman must resume her place in the Home and As that great author and scientist, Mr Arthur Brisbane, has pointed out, what every woman ought to do is to have six children.At this second there was a shocking, an appalling interruption.One Lorinda Pike, widow of a notorious Unitarian preacher, was the manager of a country super boarding house that called itself The Beulah Valley Tavern She was a deceptively Madonna like, youngish woman, with calm eyes, smooth chestnut hair parted in the middle, and a soft voice often colored with laughter But on a public platform her voice became brassy, her eyes filled with embarrassing fury She was the village scold, the village crank She was constantly poking into things that were none of her business, and at town meetings she criticized every substantial interest in the whole country the electric companys rates, the salaries of the schoolteachers, the Ministerial Associations high minded censorship of books for the public library Now, at this moment when everything should have been all Service and Sunshine, Mrs Lorinda Pike cracked the spell by jeering Three cheers for Brisbane But what if a poor gal cant hook a man Have her six kids out of wedlock Then the good old war horse, Gimmitch, veteran of a hundred campaigns against subversive Reds, trained to ridicule out of existence the cant of Socialist hecklers and turn the laugh against them, swung into gallant action My dear good woman, if a gal, as you call it, has any real charm and womanliness, she wont have to hook a manshell find em lined up ten deep on her doorstep Laughter and applause The lady hoodlum had merely stirred Mrs Gimmitch into noble passion She did not cuddle at them now She tore into it I tell you, my friends, the trouble with this whole country is that so many are selfish Heres a hundred and twenty million people, with 95 per cent of em only thinking of self, instead of turning to and helping the responsible business men to bring back prosperity All these corrupt and self seeking labor unions Money grubbers Thinking only of how much wages they can extort out of their unfortunate employer, with all the responsibilities he has to bear What this country needs is Discipline Peace is a great dream, but maybe sometimes its only a pipe dream Im not so surenow this will shock you, but I want you to listen to one woman who will tell you the unadulterated hard truth instead of a lot of sentimental taffy, and Im not sure but that we need to be in a real war again, in order to learn Discipline We dont want all this highbrow intellectuality, all this book learning Thats good enough in its way, but isnt it, after all, just a nice toy for grownups No, what we all of us must have, if this great land is going to go on maintaining its high position among the Congress of Nations, is DisciplineWill PowerCharacter She turned prettily then toward General Edgeways and laughed Youve been telling us about how to secure peace, but come on, now, Generaljust among us Rotarians and Rotary Annsfess up With your great experience, dont you honest, cross your heart, think that perhapsjust maybewhen a country has gone money mad, like all our labor unions and workmen, with their propaganda to hoist income taxes, so that the thrifty and industrious have to pay for the shiftless neer do wells, then maybe, to save their lazy souls and get some iron into them, a war might be a good thing Come on, now, tell your real middle name, Mong General Dramatically she sat down, and the sound of clapping filled the room like a cloud of downy feathers The crowd bellowed, Come on, General Stand up and Shes called your bluffwhat you got or just a tolerant, Attaboy, Gen The General was short and globular, and his red face was smooth as a babys bottom and adorned with white gold framed spectacles But he had the military snort and a virile chuckle.Well, sir he guffawed, on his feet, shaking a chummy forefinger at Mrs Gimmitch, since you folks are bound and determined to drag the secrets out of a poor soldier, I better confess that while I do abhor war, yet there are worse things Ah, my friends, far worse A state of so called peace, in which labor organizations are riddled, as by plague germs, with insane notions out of anarchistic Red Russia A state in which college professors, newspapermen, and notorious authors are secretly promulgating these same seditious attacks on the grand old Constitution A state in which, as a result of being fed with these mental drugs, the People are flabby, cowardly, grasping, and lacking in the fierce pride of the warrior No, such a state is far worse than war at its most monstrous I guess maybe some of the things I said in my former speech were kind of a little bit obvious and what we used to call old hat when my brigade was quartered in England About the United States only wanting peace, and freedom from all foreign entanglements No What Id really like us to do would be to come out and tell the whole world Now you boys never mind about the moral side of this We have power, and power is its own excuse I dont altogether admire everything Germany and Italy have done, but youve got to hand it to em, theyve been honest enough and realistic enough to say to the other nations, Just tend to your own business, will you Weve got strength and will, and for whomever has those divine qualities its not only a right, its a duty, to use em Nobody in Gods world ever loved a weaklingincluding that weakling himself And Ive got good news for you This gospel of clean and aggressive strength is spreading everywhere in this country among the finest type of youth Why today, in 1936, theres less than 7 per cent of collegiate institutions that do not have military training units under discipline as rigorous as the Nazis, and where once it was forced upon them by the authorities, now it is the strong young men and women who themselves demand the right to be trained in warlike virtues and skillfor, mark you, the girls, with their instruction in nursing and the manufacture of gas masks and the like, are becoming every whit as zealous as their brothers And all the really thinking type of professors are right with em Why, here, as recently as three years ago, a sickeningly big percentage of students were blatant pacifists, wanting to knife their own native land in the dark But now, when the shameless fools and the advocates of Communism try to hold pacifist meetingswhy, my friends, in the past five months, since January first, no less than seventy six such exhibitionistic orgies have been raided by their fellow students, and no less than fifty nine disloyal Red students have received their just deserts by being beaten up so severely that never again will they raise in this free country the bloodstained banner of anarchism That, my friends, is NEWS As the General sat down, amid ecstasies of applause, the village trouble maker, Mrs Lorinda Pike, leaped up and again interrupted the love feast Look here, Mr Edgeways, if you think you can get away with this sadistic nonsense withoutShe got no farther Francis Tasbrough, the quarry owner, the most substantial industrialist in Fort Beulah, stood grandly up, quieted Lorinda with an outstretched arm, and rumbled in his Jerusalem the Golden basso, A moment please, my dear lady All of us here locally have got used to your political principles But as chairman, it is my unfortunate duty to remind you that General Edgeways and Mrs Gimmitch have been invited by the club to address us, whereas you, if you will excuse my saying so, are not even related to any Rotarian but merely here as the guest of the Reverend Falck, than whom there is no one whom we honor So, if you will be so good Ah, I thank you, madame Lorinda Pike had slumped into her chair with her fuse still burning Mr Francis Tasbrough it rhymed with low did not slump he sat like the Archbishop of Canterbury on the archiepiscopal throne.And Doremus Jessup popped up to soothe them all, being an intimate of Lorinda, and having, since milkiest boyhood, chummed with and detested Francis Tasbrough.This Doremus Jessup, publisher of the Daily Informer, for all that he was a competent business man and a writer of editorials not without wit and good New England earthiness, was yet considered the prime eccentric of Fort Beulah He was on the school board, the library board, and he introduced people like Oswald Garrison Villard, Norman Thomas, and Admiral Byrd when they came to town lecturing.Jessup was a littlish man, skinny, smiling, well tanned, with a small gray mustache, a small and well trimmed gray beardin a community where to sport a beard was to confess ones self a farmer, a Civil War veteran, or a Seventh Day Adventist Doremuss detractors said that he maintained the beard just to be highbrow and different, to try to appear artistic Possibly they were right Anyway, he skipped up now and murmured Well, all the birdies in their nest agree My friend, Mrs Pike, ought to know that freedom of speech becomes mere license when it goes so far as to criticize the Army, differ with the D.A.R., and advocate the rights of the Mob So, Lorinda, I think you ought to apologize to the General, to whom we should be grateful for explaining to us what the ruling classes of the country really want Come on now, my friendjump up and make your excuses.He was looking down on Lorinda with sternness, yet Medary Cole, president of Rotary, wondered if Doremus wasnt kidding them He had been known to Yesnohe must be wrong, for Mrs Lorinda Pike was without rising caroling, Oh yes I do apologize, General Thank you for your revelatory speech The General raised his plump hand with a Masonic ring as well as a West Point ring on the sausage shaped fingers he bowed like Galahad or a head waiter he shouted with parade ground maleness Not at all, not at all, madame We old campaigners never mind a healthy scrap Glad when anybodys enough interested in our fool ideas to go and get sore at us, huh, huh, huh And everybody laughed and sweetness reigned The program wound up with Louis Rotensterns singing of a group of patriotic ditties Marching through Georgia and Tenting on the Old Campground and Dixie and Old Black Joe and Im Only a Poor Cowboy and I Know I Done Wrong.Louis Rotenstern was by all of Fort Beulah classed as a good fellow, a caste just below that of real, old fashioned gentleman Doremus Jessup liked to go fishing with him, and partridge hunting and he considered that no Fifth Avenue tailor could do anything tastier in the way of a seersucker outfit But Louis was a jingo He explained, and rather often, that it was not he nor his father who had been born in the ghetto in Prussian Poland, but his grandfather whose name, Doremus suspected, had been something less stylish and Nordic than Rotenstern Louiss pocket heroes were Calvin Coolidge, Leonard Wood, Dwight L Moody, and Admiral Dewey and Dewey was a born Vermonter, rejoiced Louis, who himself had been born in Flatbush, Long Island.He was not only 100 per cent American he exacted 40 per cent of chauvinistic interest on top of the principal He was on every occasion heard to say, We ought to keep all these foreigners out of the country, and what I mean, the Kikes just as much as the Wops and Hunkies and Chinks Louis was altogether convinced that if the ignorant politicians would keep their dirty hands off banking and the stock exchange and hours of labor for salesmen in department stores, then everyone in the country would profit, as beneficiaries of increased business, and all of them including the retail clerks be rich as Aga Khan.So Louis put into his melodies not only his burning voice of a Bydgoszcz cantor but all his nationalistic fervor, so that every one joined in the choruses, particularly Mrs Adelaide Tarr Gimmitch, with her celebrated train callers contralto.The dinner broke up in cataract like sounds of happy adieux, and Doremus Jessup muttered to his goodwife Emma, a solid, kindly, worried soul, who liked knitting, solitaire, and the novels of Kathleen Norris Was I terrible butting in that way Oh, no, Dormouse, you did just right I am fond of Lorinda Pike, but why does she have to show off and parade all her silly Socialist ideas You old Tory said Doremus Dont you want to invite the Siamese elephant, the Gimmitch, to drop in and have a drink I do not said Emma Jessup.And in the end, as the Rotarians shuffled and dealt themselves and their innumerable motorcars, it was Frank Tasbrough who invited the choicer males, including Doremus, home for an after party.2AS HE TOOK HIS WIFE home and drove up Pleasant Hill to Tasbroughs, Doremus Jessup meditated upon the epidemic patriotism of General Edgeways But he broke it off to let himself be absorbed in the hills, as it had been his habit for the fifty three years, out of his sixty years of life, that he had spent in Fort Beulah, Vermont.Legally a city, Fort Beulah was a comfortable village of old red brick, old granite workshops, and houses of white clapboards or gray shingles, with a few smug little modern bungalows, yellow or seal brown There was but little manufacturing a small woolen mill, a sash and door factory, a pump works The granite which was its chief produce came from quarries four miles away in Fort Beulah itself were only the officesall the moneythe meager shacks of most of the quarry workers It was a town of perhaps ten thousand souls, inhabiting about twenty thousand bodiesthe proportion of soul possession may be too high.There was but one comparative skyscraper in town the six story Tasbrough Building, with the offices of the Tasbrough Scarlett Granite Quarries the offices of Doremuss son in law, Fowler Greenhill, M.D., and his partner, old Dr Olmsted, of Lawyer Mungo Kitterick, of Harry Kindermann, agent for maple syrup and dairying supplies, and of thirty or forty other village samurai.It was a downy town, a drowsy town, a town of security and tradition, which still believed in Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and to which May Day was not an occasion for labor parades but for distributing small baskets of flowers.It was a May nightlate in May of 1936with a three quarter moon Doremuss house was a mile from the business center of Fort Beulah, on Pleasant Hill, which was a spur thrust like a reaching hand out from the dark rearing mass of Mount Terror Upland meadows, moon glistening, he could see, among the wildernesses of spruce and maple and poplar on the ridges far above him and below, as his car climbed, was Ethan Creek flowing through the meadows Deep woodsrearing mountain bulwarksthe air like spring waterserene clapboarded houses that remembered the War of 1812 and the boyhoods of those errant Vermonters, Stephen A Douglas, the Little Giant, and Hiram Powers and Thaddeus Stevens and Brigham Young and President Chester Alan Arthur.NoPowers and Arthurthey were weak sisters, pondered Doremus But Douglas and Thad Stevens and Brigham, the old stallionI wonder if were breeding up any paladins like those stout, grouchy old devils if were producing em anywhere in New England anywhere in America anywhere in the world They had guts Independence Did what they wanted to and thought what they liked, and everybody could go to hell The youngsters today Oh, the aviators have plenty of nerve The physicists, these twenty five year old Ph.D.s that violate the inviolable atom, theyre pioneers But most of the wishy washy young people today Going seventy miles an hour but not going anywherenot enough imagination to want to go anywhere Getting their music by turning a dial Getting their phrases from the comic strips instead of from Shakespeare and the Bible and Veblen and Old Bill Sumner Pap fed flabs Like this smug pup Malcolm Tasbrough, hanging around Sissy Aah Wouldnt it be hell if that stuffed shirt, Edgeways, and that political Mae West, Gimmitch, were right, and we need all these military monkeyshines and maybe a fool war to conquer some sticky hot country we dont want on a bet to put some starch and git into these marionettes we call our children Aah But rats These hills Castle walls And this air They can keep their Cotswolds and Harz Mountains and Rockies D Jessuptopographical patriot And I am aDormouse, would you mind driving on the right hand side of the roadon curves, anyway said his wife peaceably. An upland hollow and mist beneath the moona veil of mist over apple blossoms and the heavy bloom of an ancient lilac bush beside the ruin of a farmhouse burned these sixty years and . Mr Francis Tasbrough was the president, general manager, and chief owner of the Tasbrough Scarlett Granite Quarries, at West Beulah, four miles from the Fort He was rich, persuasive, and he had constant labor troubles He lived in a new Georgian brick house on Pleasant Hill, a little beyond Doremus Jessups, and in that house he maintained a private barroom luxurious as that of a motor companys advertising manager at Grosse Point It was no the traditional New England than was the Catholic part of Boston and Frank himself boasted that, though his family had for six generations lived in New England, he was no tight Yankee but in his Efficiency, his Salesmanship, the complete Pan American Business Executive.He was a tall man, Tasbrough, with a yellow mustache and a monotonously emphatic voice He was fifty four, six years younger than Doremus Jessup, and when he had been four, Doremus had protected him from the results of his singularly unpopular habit of hitting the other small boys over the head with thingsall kinds of thingssticks and toy wagons and lunch boxes and dry cow flops.Assembled in his private barroom tonight, after the Rotarian Dinner, were Frank himself, Doremus Jessup, Medary Cole, the Miller, Superintendent of Schools Emil Staubmeyer, R C CrowleyRoscoe Conkling Crowley, the weightiest banker in Fort Beulahand, rather surprisingly, Tasbroughs pastor, the Episcopal minister, the Rev Mr Falck, his old hands as delicate as porcelain, his wilderness of hair silk soft and white, his unfleshly face betokening the Good Life Mr Falck came from a solid Knickerbocker family, and he had studied in Edinburgh and Oxford along with the General Theological Seminary of New York and in all of the Beulah Valley there was, aside from Doremus, no one who contentedly hid away in the shelter of the hills.The barroom had been professionally interior decorated by a young New York gentleman with the habit of standing with the back of his right hand against his hip It had a stainless steel bar, framed illustrations from La Vie Parisienne, silvered metal tables, and chromium plated aluminum chairs with scarlet leather cushions.All of them except Tasbrough, Medary Cole a social climber to whom the favors of Frank Tasbrough were as honey and fresh ripened figs , and Professor Emil Staubmeyer were uncomfortable in this parrot cage elegance, but none of them, including Mr Falck, seemed to dislike Franks soda and excellent Scotch or the sardine sandwiches.And I wonder if Thad Stevens would of liked this, either considered Doremus Hed of snarled Old cornered catamount But probably not at the whisky Doremus, demanded Tasbrough, why dont you take a tumble to yourself All these years youve had a lot of fun criticizingalways being agin the governmentkidding everybodyposing as such a Liberal that youll stand for all these subversive elements Time for you to quit playing tag with crazy ideas and come in and join the family These are serious timesmaybe twenty eight million on relief, and beginning to get uglythinking theyve got a vested right now to be supported.And the Jew Communists and Jew financiers plotting together to control the country I can understand how, as a younger fellow, you could pump up a little sympathy for the unions and even for the Jewsthough, as you know, Ill never get over being sore at you for taking the side of the strikers when those thugs were trying to ruin my whole businessburn down my polishing and cutting shopswhy, you were even friendly with that alien murderer Karl Pascal, who started the whole strikemaybe I didnt enjoy firing him when it was all over But anyway, these labor racketeers are getting together now, with Communist leaders, and determined to run the countryto tell men like me how to run our business and just like General Edgeways said, theyll refuse to serve their country if we should happen to get dragged into some war Yessir, a mighty serious hour, and its time for you to cut the cackle and join the really responsible citizens.Said Doremus, Hm Yes, I agree its a serious time With all the discontent there is in the country to wash him into office, Senator Windrip has got an excellent chance to be elected President, next November, and if he is, probably his gang of buzzards will get us into some war, just to grease their insane vanity and show the world that were the huskiest nation going And then I, the Liberal and you, the Plutocrat, the bogus Tory, will be led out and shot at 3 A.M Serious Huh Rats Youre exaggerating said R C Crowley.Doremus went on If Bishop Prang, our Savonarola in a Cadillac 16, swings his radio audience and his League of Forgotten Men to Buzz Windrip, Buzz will win People will think theyre electing him to create economic security Then watch the Terror God knows theres been enough indication that we can have tyranny in Americathe fix of the Southern share croppers, the working conditions of the miners and garment makers, and our keeping Mooney in prison so many years But wait till Windrip shows us how to say it with machine guns Democracyhere and in Britain and France, it hasnt been so universal a sniveling slavery as Naziism in Germany, such an imagination hating, pharisaic materialism as Russiaeven if it has produced industrialists like you, Frank, and bankers like you, R.C., and given you altogether too much power and money On the whole, with scandalous exceptions, Democracys given the ordinary worker dignity than he ever had That may be menaced now by Windripall the Windrips All right Maybe well have to fight paternal dictatorship with a little sound patricidefight machine guns with machine guns Wait till Buzz takes charge of us A real Fascist dictatorship Nonsense Nonsense snorted Tasbrough That couldnt happen here in America, not possibly Were a country of freemen.The answer to that, suggested Doremus Jessup, if Mr Falck will forgive me, is the hell it cant Why, theres no country in the world that can get hystericalyes, or obsequious than America Look how Huey Long became absolute monarch over Louisiana, and how the Right Honorable Mr Senator Berzelius Windrip owns his State Listen to Bishop Prang and Father Coughlin on the radiodivine oracles, to millions Remember how casually most Americans have accepted Tammany grafting and Chicago gangs and the crookedness of so many of President Hardings appointees Could Hitlers bunch, or Windrips, be worse Remember the Kuklux Klan Remember our war hysteria, when we called sauerkraut Liberty cabbage and somebody actually proposed calling German measles Liberty measles And wartime censorship of honest papers Bad as Russia Remember our kissing thewell, the feet of Billy Sunday, the million dollar evangelist, and of Aime McPherson, who swam from the Pacific Ocean clear into the Arizona desert and got away with it Remember Voliva and Mother Eddy Remember our Red scares and our Catholic scares, when all well informed people knew that the O.G.P.U were hiding out in Oskaloosa, and the Republicans campaigning against Al Smith told the Carolina mountaineers that if Al won the Pope would illegitimatize their children Remember Tom Heflin and Tom Dixon Remember when the hick legislators in certain states, in obedience to William Jennings Bryan, who learned his biology from his pious old grandma, set up shop as scientific experts and made the whole world laugh itself sick by forbidding the teaching of evolution Remember the Kentucky night riders Remember how trainloads of people have gone to enjoy lynchings Not happen here Prohibitionshooting down people just because they might be transporting liquorno, that couldnt happen in America Why, where in all history has there ever been a people so ripe for a dictatorship as ours Were ready to start on a Childrens Crusadeonly of adultsright now, and the Right Reverend Abbots Windrip and Prang are all ready to lead it Well, what if they are protested R C Crowley It might not be so bad I dont like all these irresponsible attacks on us bankers all the time Of course, Senator Windrip has to pretend publicly to bawl the banks out, but once he gets into power hell give the banks their proper influence in the administration and take our expert financial advice Yes Why are you so afraid of the word Fascism, Doremus Just a wordjust a word And might not be so bad, with all the lazy bums we got panhandling relief nowadays, and living on my income tax and yoursnot so worse to have a real Strong Man, like Hitler or Mussolinilike Napoleon or Bismarck in the good old daysand have em really run the country and make it efficient and prosperous again Nother words, have a doctor who wont take any back chat, but really boss the patient and make him get well whether he likes it or not Yes said Emil Staubmeyer Didnt Hitler save Germany from the Red Plague of Marxism I got cousins there I know Hm, said Doremus, as often Doremus did say it Cure the evils of Democracy by the evils of Fascism Funny therapeutics Ive heard of their curing syphilis by giving the patient malaria, but Ive never heard of their curing malaria by giving the patient syphilis Think thats nice language to use in the presence of the Reverend Falck raged Tasbrough.Mr Falck piped up, I think its quite nice language, and an interesting suggestion, Brother Jessup Besides, said Tasbrough, this chewing the rag is all nonsense, anyway As Crowley says, might be a good thing to have a strong man in the saddle, butit just cant happen here in America.And it seemed to Doremus that the softly moving lips of the Reverend Mr Falck were framing, The hell it cant 3DOREMUS JESSUP, editor and proprietor of the Daily Informer, the Bible of the conservative Vermont farmers up and down the Beulah Valley, was born in Fort Beulah in 1876, only son of an impecunious Universalist pastor, the Reverend Loren Jessup His mother was no less than a Bass, of Massachusetts The Reverend Loren, a bookish man fond of flowers, merry but not noticeably witty, used to chant Alas, alas, that a Bass of Mass should marry a minister prone to gas, and he would insist that she was all wrong ichthyologicallyshe should have been a cod, not a bass There was in the parsonage little meat but plenty of books, not all theological by any means, so that before he was twelve Doremus knew the profane writings of Scott, Dickens, Thackeray, Jane Austen, Tennyson, Byron, Keats, Shelley, Tolstoy, Balzac He graduated from Isaiah Collegeonce a bold Unitarian venture but by 1894 an interdenominational outfit with nebulous trinitarian yearnings, a small and rustic stable of learning, in North Beulah, thirteen miles from the Fort.But Isaiah College has come up in the world todayexcepting educationallyfor in 1931 it held the Dartmouth football team down to 64 to 6.During college, Doremus wrote a great deal of bad poetry and became an incurable book addict, but he was a fair track athlete Naturally, he corresponded for papers in Boston and Springfield, and after graduation he was a reporter in Rutland and Worcester, with one glorious year in Boston, whose grimy beauty and shards of the past were to him what London would be to a young Yorkshireman He was excited by concerts, art galleries, and bookshops thrice a week he had a twenty five cent seat in the upper balcony of some theater and for two months he roomed with a fellow reporter who had actually had a short story in The Century and who could talk about authors and technique like the very dickens But Doremus was not particularly beefy or enduring, and the noise, the traffic, the bustle of assignments, exhausted him, and in 1901, three years after his graduation from college, when his widowed father died and left him 2980.00 and his library, Doremus went home to Fort Beulah and bought a quarter interest in the Informer, then a weekly.By 1936 it was a daily, and he owned all of itwith a perceptible mortgage.He was an equable and sympathetic boss an imaginative news detective he was, even in this ironbound Republican state, independent in politics and in his editorials against graft and injustice, though they were not fanatically chronic, he could slash like a dog whip.He was a third cousin of Calvin Coolidge, who had considered him sound domestically but loose politically Doremus considered himself just the opposite.He had married his wife, Emma, out of Fort Beulah She was the daughter of a wagon manufacturer, a placid, prettyish, broad shouldered girl with whom he had gone to high school.Now, in 1936, of their three children, Philip Dartmouth and Harvard Law School was married and ambitiously practicing law in Worcester Mary was the wife of Fowler Greenhill, M.D., of Fort Beulah, a gay and hustling medico, a choleric and red headed young man, who was a wonder worker in typhoid, acute appendicitis, obstetrics, compound fractures, and diets for anemic children Fowler and Mary had one son, Doremuss only grandchild, the bonny David, who at eight was a timid, inventive, affectionate child with such mourning hound dog eyes and such red gold hair that his picture might well have been hung at a National Academy show or even been reproduced on the cover of a Womens Magazine with 2,500,000 circulation The Greenhills neighbors inevitably said of the boy, My, Davys got such an imagination, hasnt he I guess hell be a Writer, just like his Grampa Third of Doremuss children was the gay, the pert, the dancing Cecilia, known as Sissy, aged eighteen, where her brother Philip was thirty two and Mary, Mrs Greenhill, turned thirty She rejoiced the heart of Doremus by consenting to stay home while she was finishing high school, though she talked vigorously of going off to study architecture and simply make millions, my dear, by planning and erecting miraculous small homes.Mrs Jessup was lavishly and quite erroneously certain that her Philip was the spit and image of the Prince of Wales Philips wife, Merilla the fair daughter of Worcester, Massachusetts , curiously like the Princess Marina that Mary would by any stranger be taken for Katharine Hepburn that Sissy was a dryad and David a medieval page and that Doremus though she knew him better than she did those changelings, her children amazingly resembled that naval hero, Winfield Scott Schley, as he looked in 1898.She was a loyal woman, Emma Jessup, warmly generous, a cordon bleu at making lemon meringue pie, a parochial Tory, an orthodox Episcopalian, and completely innocent of any humor Doremus was perpetually tickled by her kind solemnity, and it was to be chalked down to him as a singular act of grace that he refrained from pretending that he had become a working Communist and was thinking of leaving for Moscow immediately. Doremus looked depressed, looked old, when he lifted himself, as from an invalids chair, out of the Chrysler, in his hideous garage of cement and galvanized iron But it was a proud two car garage besides the four year old Chrysler, they had a new Ford convertible coupe, which Doremus hoped to drive some day when Sissy wasnt using it He cursed competently as, on the cement walk from the garage to the kitchen, he barked his shins on the lawnmower, left there by his hired man, one Oscar Ledue, known always as Shad, a large and red faced, a sulky and surly Irish Canuck peasant Shad always did things like leaving lawnmowers about to snap at the shins of decent people He was entirely incompetent and vicious He never edged up the flower beds, he kept his stinking old cap on his head when he brought in logs for the fireplace, he did not scythe the dandelions in the meadow till they had gone to seed, he delighted in failing to tell cook that the peas were now ripe, and he was given to shooting cats, stray dogs, chipmunks, and honey voiced blackbirds At least twice a day, Doremus resolved to fire him, but Perhaps he was telling himself the truth when he insisted that it was amusing to try to civilize this prize bull.Doremus trotted into the kitchen, decided that he did not want some cold chicken and a glass of milk from the ice box, nor even a wedge of the celebrated cocoanut layer cake made by their cook general, Mrs Candy, and mounted to his study, on the third, the attic floor.His house was an ample, white, clapboarded structure of the vintage of 1880, a square bulk with a mansard roof and, in front, a long porch with insignificant square white pillars Doremus declared that the house was ugly, but ugly in a nice way.His study, up there, was his one perfect refuge from annoyances and bustle It was the only room in the house that Mrs Candy quiet, grimly competent, thoroughly literate, once a Vermont country schoolteacher was never allowed to clean It was an endearing mess of novels, copies of the Congressional Record, of the New Yorker, Time, Nation, New Republic, New Masses, and Speculum cloistral organ of the Medieval Society , treatises on taxation and monetary systems, road maps, volumes on exploration in Abyssinia and the Antarctic, chewed stubs of pencils, a shaky portable typewriter, fishing tackle, rumpled carbon paper, two comfortable old leather chairs, a Windsor chair at his desk, the complete works of Thomas Jefferson, his chief hero, a microscope and a collection of Vermont butterflies, Indian arrowheads, exiguous volumes of Vermont village poetry printed in local newspaper offices, the Bible, the Koran, the Book of Mormon, Science and Health, Selections from the Mahabharata, the poetry of Sandburg, Frost, Masters, Jeffers, Ogden Nash, Edgar Guest, Omar Khayym, and Milton, a shotgun and a.22 repeating rifle, an Isaiah College banner, faded, the complete Oxford Dictionary, five fountain pens of which two would work, a vase from Crete dating from 327 B.C.very uglythe World Almanac for year before last, with the cover suggesting that it had been chewed by a dog, odd pairs of horn rimmed spectacles and of rimless eyeglasses, none of which now suited his eyes, a fine, reputedly Tudor oak cabinet from Devonshire, portraits of Ethan Allen and Thaddeus Stevens, rubber wading boots, senile red morocco slippers, a poster issued by the Vermont Mercury at Woodstock, on September 2, 1840, announcing a glorious Whig victory, twenty four boxes of safety matches one by one stolen from the kitchen, assorted yellow scratch pads, seven books on Russia and Bolshevismextraordinarily pro or extraordinarily cona signed photograph of Theodore Roosevelt, six cigarette cartons, all half empty according to the tradition of journalistic eccentrics, Doremus should have smoked a Good Old Pipe, but he detested the slimy ooze of nicotine soaked spittle , a rag carpet on the floor, a withered sprig of holly with a silver Christmas ribbon, a case of seven unused genuine Sheffield razors, dictionaries in French, German, Italian, and Spanishthe first of which languages he really could reada canary in a Bavarian gilded wicker cage, a worn linen bound copy of Old Hearthside Songs for Home and Picnic whose selections he was wont to croon, holding the book on his knee, and an old cast iron Franklin stove Everything, indeed, that was proper for a hermit and improper for impious domestic hands.Before switching on the light he squinted through a dormer window at the bulk of mountains cutting the welter of stars In the center were the last lights of Fort Beulah, far below, and on the left, unseen, the soft meadows, the old farmhouses, the great dairy barns of the Ethan Mowing It was a kind country, cool and clear as a shaft of light and, he meditated, he loved it every quiet year of his freedom from city towers and city clamor.One of the few times when Mrs Candy, their housekeeper, was permitted to enter his hermits cell was to leave there, on the long table, his mail He picked it up and started to read briskly, standing by the table Time to go to bed Too much chatter and bellyaching, this evening Good Lord Past midnight He sighed then, and sat in his Windsor chair, leaning his elbows on the table and studiously reading the first letter over again.It was from Victor Loveland, one of the younger, international minded teachers in Doremuss old school, Isaiah College. DEAR DR JESSUP Hm Dr Jessup Not me, m lad The only honorary degree Ill ever getll be Master in Veterinary Surgery or Laureate in Embalming A very dangerous situation has arisen here at Isaiah and those of us who are trying to advocate something like integrity and modernity are seriously worriednot, probably, that we need to be long, as we shall probably all get fired Where two years ago most of our students just laughed at any idea of military drilling, they have gone warlike in a big way, with undergrads drilling with rifles, machine guns, and cute little blueprints of tanks and planes all over the place Two of them, voluntarily, are going down to Rutland every week to take training in flying, avowedly to get ready for wartime aviation When I cautiously ask them what the dickens war they are preparing for they just scratch and indicate they dont care much, so long as they can get a chance to show what virile proud gents they are. Well, weve got used to that But just this afternoonthe newspapers havent got this yetthe Board of Trustees, including Mr Francis Tasbrough and our president, Dr Owen Peaseley, met and voted a resolution thatnow listen to this, will you, Dr JessupAny member of the faculty or student body of Isaiah who shall in any way, publicly or privately, in print, writing, or by the spoken word, adversely criticize military training at or by Isaiah College, or in any other institution of learning in the United States, or by the state militias, federal forces, or other officially recognized military organizations in this country, shall be liable to immediate dismissal from this college, and any student who shall, with full and proper proof, bring to the attention of the President or any Trustee of the college such malign criticism by any person whatever connected in any way with the institution shall receive extra credits in his course in military training, such credits to apply to the number of credits necessary for graduation. What can we do with such fast exploding Fascism VICTOR LOVELAND. And Loveland, teacher of Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit two lone students , had never till now meddled in any politics of recent date than A.D 180. So Frank was there at Trustees meeting, and didnt dare tell me, Doremus sighed Encouraging them to become spies Gestapo Oh, my dear Frank, this is a serious time You, my good bonehead, for once you said it President Owen J Peaseley, the bagged faced, pious, racketeering, damned hedge schoolmaster But what can I do Ohwrite another editorial viewing with alarm, I suppose He plumped into a deep chair and sat fidgeting, like a bright eyed, apprehensive little bird.On the door was a tearing sound, imperious, demanding.He opened to admit Foolish, the family dog Foolish was a reliable combination of English setter, Airedale, cocker spaniel, wistful doe, and rearing hyena He gave one abrupt snort of welcome and nuzzled his brown satin head against Doremuss knee His bark awakened the canary, under the absurd old blue sweater that covered its cage, and it automatically caroled that it was noon, summer noon, among the pear trees in the green Harz hills, none of which was true But the birds trilling, the dependable presence of Foolish, comforted Doremus, made military drill and belching politicians seem unimportant and in security he dropped asleep in the worn brown leather chair.4ALL THIS JUNE WEEK, Doremus was waiting for 2 P.M on Saturday, the divinely appointed hour of the weekly prophetic broadcast by Bishop Paul Peter Prang.Now, six weeks before the 1936 national conventions, it was probable that neither Franklin Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Senator Vandenberg, Ogden Mills, General Hugh Johnson, Colonel Frank Knox, nor Senator Borah would be nominated for President by either party, and that the Republican standard bearermeaning the one man who never has to lug a large, bothersome, and somewhat ridiculous standardwould be that loyal yet strangely honest old line Senator, Walt Trowbridge, a man with a touch of Lincoln in him, dashes of Will Rogers and George W Norris, a suspected trace of Jim Farley, but all the rest plain, bulky, placidly defiant Walt Trowbridge.Few men doubted that the Democratic candidate would be that sky rocket, Senator Berzelius Windripthat is to say, Windrip as the mask and bellowing voice, with his satanic secretary, Lee Sarason, as the brain behind.Senator Windrips father was a small town Western druggist, equally ambitious and unsuccessful, and had named him Berzelius after the Swedish chemist Usually he was known as Buzz He had worked his way through a Southern Baptist college, of approximately the same academic standing as a Jersey City business college, and through a Chicago law school, and settled down to practice in his native state and to enliven local politics He was a tireless traveler, a boisterous and humorous speaker, an inspired guesser at what political doctrines the people would like, a warm handshaker, and willing to lend money He drank Coca Cola with the Methodists, beer with the Lutherans, California white wine with the Jewish village merchantsand, when they were safe from observation, white mule corn whisky with all of them.Within twenty years he was as absolute a ruler of his state as ever a sultan was of Turkey.He was never governor he had shrewdly seen that his reputation for research among planters punch recipes, varieties of poker, and the psychology of girl stenographers might cause his defeat by the church people, so he had contented himself with coaxing to the gubernatorial shearing a trained baa lamb of a country schoolmaster whom he had gayly led on a wide blue ribbon The state was certain that he had given it a good administration, and they knew that it was Buzz Windrip who was responsible, not the Governor.Windrip caused the building of impressive highroads and of consolidated country schools he made the state buy tractors and combines and lend them to the farmers at cost He was certain that some day America would have vast business dealings with the Russians and, though he detested all Slavs, he made the State University put in the first course in the Russian language that had been known in all that part of the West His most original invention was quadrupling the state militia and rewarding the best soldiers in it with training in agriculture, aviation, and radio and automobile engineering.The militiamen considered him their general and their god, and when the state attorney general announced that he was going to have Windrip indicted for having grafted 200,000 of tax money, the militia rose to Buzz Windrips orders as though they were his private army and, occupying the legislative chambers and all the state offices, and covering the streets leading to the Capitol with machine guns, they herded Buzzs enemies out of town.He took the United States Senatorship as though it were his manorial right, and for six years, his only rival as the most bouncing and feverish man in the Senate had been the late Huey Long of Louisiana.He preached the comforting gospel of so redistributing wealth that every person in the country would have several thousand dollars a year monthly Buzz changed his prediction as to how many thousand , while all the rich men were nevertheless to be allowed enough to get along, on a maximum of 500,000 a year So everybody was happy in the prospect of Windrips becoming president.The Reverend Dr Egerton Schlemil, dean of St Agnes Cathedral, San Antonio, Texas, stated once in a sermon, once in the slightly variant mimeographed press handout on the sermon, and seven times in interviews that Buzzs coming into power would be like the Heaven blest fall of revivifying rain upon a parched and thirsty land Dr Schlemil did not say anything about what happened when the blest rain came and kept falling steadily for four years.Written at white heat Chicago TribuneNot only Lewis s most important book but one of the most important books ever produced in this country The New Yorker It can t happen It happened Catholic Archbishop Dolan Can We never, Kim, want to go through what we ve had do just it personally Happen Here Signet Classics Sinclair Lewis is the only one of s later novels match power Main Street, Babbitt, and Arrowsmith A cautionary tale about fragility democracy, an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America Wikipedia a semi satirical political novel by American author Lewis, play adapted from John C Moffitt Soucheray You think your neighborhood Other voices Facing Facebook Google Without fairer market, quality news thrive November am CHICAGO often deliver frank advice members Congress Can Article The Free That football, that again my career certainly next season Grant loves life Boro but not Championship He was fit young man guarantee acute injury no doctor world Charlie Major To Me YouTube Mar , This feature available right now Please try Goodreads prescient commentary on society mid Noble Prize for Literature laureate story fictional fascist government rise USA, insecure deep socio economic turmoil FACT CHECK Fascism America Claim said quot When comes will be wrapped flag carrying crossquot weeklystandard Sales Here, America, increased dramatically, as did those George Orwell dystopian masterpiece Nineteen Eighty Lyrics Genius Lyrics I friend didn make home last night went out town himself time leaving, he much too tight Reading Classic Novel Predicted Trump New Jan second wife, journalist Dorothy Thompson, provided inspiration In she interviewed Hitler, scoffing his startling That Anthony Rizzo fumes umpire after Aug major leagues, Wrigley Field, any field Hernandez call wasn blame Cubs losing splitting four game series with worst team have spoken some length things you don Now let consider good If are willing pay price success, things, even great you, beyond fondest dreams It Can't Happen Here


    • It Can't Happen Here
    • 1.2
    • 31
    • Format Kindle
    • 416 pages
    • 0451465644
    • Sinclair Lewis
    • Anglais
    • 22 June 2017

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