Back to 1930s nationalism? Historians battle over comparison

A demonstrator holds a placard showing a picture of US President-elect Donald Trump modified to add a swastika and an Adolf Hitler-style moustache during a protest outside the US Embassy in LondonEight decades later, the satirical piece of fiction by Sinclair Lewis has gained a new lease of life, becoming a bestseller online following Donald Trump’s stunning victory in the US election. Observing Windrip at a presidential campaign event, a journalist describes him as “almost illiterate, a public liar easily detected, and in his ‘ideas’ almost idiotic”. Written as virulent nationalism spread disastrously in Europe, and to a lesser extent in America, the book’s revival reflects a surge of interest in one of the 20th century’s darkest decades.

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