The USA has suffered several bouts of fear that American democracy might one day fall to fascists. Fear percolates through fiction: It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis, The Plot Against America by Philip Roth. After spending time in the USA, Margaret Atwood imagined The Handmaid’s Tale. Now, after one harrowing year under the Trump regime, anxious Americans ask: how did we get stuck with this guy? Why didn’t we see it coming? Has it actually happened here after all? The answers are not to be found in the daily Trump twitter-storms but in the deep hidden history of the USA, from propertied founders to corporate “donors.”
Americans ask, Can we ever put things right? The answer just might be No.