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"It Can't Happen Here" and "The Assassination Bureau"


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In 1936 Sinclair Lewis published his novel, "It Can't Happen Here". The book is about Berzelius Windrip, who is elected President of the United States on a populist platform. He promises to restore the country to prosperity and greatness. Once in power, however, he becomes a dictator; outlawing dissent, putting his political enemies in concentration camps, and creating a paramilitary force called the Minute Men who terrorize the citizens. As Windrip dismantles democracy, most Americans either support him or reassure themselves that fascism "can't happen" in America.

1982 director–producer Kenneth Johnson wrote an adaptation of "It Can't Happen Here" entitled Storm Warnings. The script was presented to NBC, for production as a television mini-series, but the NBC executives rejected the initial version, claiming it was too "cerebral" for the American viewer. To make the script more marketable, the American fascists were re-cast as man-eating extraterrestrials. The new, re-cast story was the mini-series V, which premiered on May 3, 1983.

When he was a young struggling writer, Sinclair Lewis, a member of Upton Sinclair's Helicon Home Colony, a socialist community at Eaglewood, sold the plot of a novel, "The Assassination Bureau", to Jack London. The story is about a secret assassination agency based in the United States. London wrote 20,000 words before dying leaving the novel unfinished.

In 1963, Robert L. Fish, decided to complete London's novel. However, he made a few changes, including moving the Assassination Bureau to the Soviet Union. The plot follows Ivan Dragomiloff, who, in a twist of fate, finds himself pitted against the secret assassination agency he founded.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Jsinclair.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JlondonJ.htm

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I'd very much like to read the incomplete Lewis/Jack London novel. It would be an interesting artifact of America's turn-of-the-century rise. As I understand it, the plot turns on the US exploiting the 18th-century European trend of anarchist assassinations of heads of state. (That pigeonhole into which Oswald was forced.)

It might stand alongside another political artifact, Joseph Conrad's 1907 The Secret Agent, a fictionalization of the 1894 Greenwich Park bombing, in which a czarist/anarchist double agent attempts to explode the Observatory. It's analagous to the WTC situation in more than one way, including Conrad's handling of the investigation. The book is brief, the prose is modern, and everybody here would get something out of reading it.

Interesting, too, that the publisher of the 1962 Robert L. Fish reanimation of The Assassination Bureau, Ltd. would have preferred a bureau set in Russia - as, of course, that couldn't happen here.

Edited by David Andrews
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.....When he was a young struggling writer, Sinclair Lewis, a member of Upton Sinclair's Helicon Home Colony, a socialist community at Eaglewood, sold the plot of a novel, "The Assassination Bureau", to Jack London. The story is about a secret assassination agency based in the United States. London wrote 20,000 words before dying leaving the novel unfinished.

In 1963, Robert L. Fish, decided to complete London's novel. However, he made a few changes, including moving the Assassination Bureau to the Soviet Union. The plot follows Ivan Dragomiloff, who, in a twist of fate, finds himself pitted against the secret assassination agency he founded.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Jsinclair.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JlondonJ.htm

http://books.google.com/books?id=BPyWX_fit...p;q&f=false

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