The real history behind HBO’s ‘The Plot Against America’

JEWISH TELEGRAPH AGENCY

The new TV show based on Philip Roth‘s novel “The Plot Against America,” helmed by David Simon, the Jewish creator of “The Wire,” has premiered on HBO and made a splash with critics and fans. The eerily captivating series, which borrows details from the iconic Jewish author’s life and a crucial moment in American history, depicts an alternative reality in which isolationist Charles Lindbergh defeats Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1940 presidential election and encourages anti-Semitic attitudes throughout the country. The story follows the Jewish Levin family — young Philip, his brother Sandy and his parents, Bess and Herman — caught in an America that’s veering toward fascism, where anti-Semitism has become mainstream and commonplace. While “The Plot Against America” is a work of fiction, it features many real newsreels from the period and involves several true stories. Let’s separate fact from fiction and explore the real historical figures and events behind “The Plot Against America,” with some help from the JTA archive.

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