Prequel: An American Fight Against Fascism by Rachel Maddow

Brief Summary Book of Prequel: An American Fight Against Fascism

Rachel Maddow takes us on a historical journey, tracing the fight to safeguard American democracy back to World War II. During that tumultuous era, a small group of dedicated public servants and courageous citizens thwarted far-right plotters attempting to steer the nation towards an alliance with the Nazis.

Drawing inspiration from her research for the popular podcast Ultra, Maddow sheds light on the rise of a distinct strain of authoritarianism in America that has lurked on the fringes of our politics for nearly a century. Even before and during World War II, a covert network spread disinformation throughout the country, aiming to undermine the U.S. war effort and convince Americans that an alliance with the Axis powers was natural, rather than opposing them. This sophisticated and well-funded campaign sought to erode faith in democratic institutions, fuel antisemitism, and shake citizens’ confidence in their elected leaders, with the ultimate goal of toppling the U.S. government and establishing an authoritarian rule.

This nefarious plan worked in tandem with an ultra-right paramilitary movement, armed with bombs and weapons, training for violent insurrection and mass murder.

However, amidst this sinister landscape, a handful of exceptional activists and journalists were diligently tracking the scheme, exposing it as it unfolded. In 1941, the U.S. Department of Justice launched a decisive attack, identifying key plotters, tracing their supporters, and prosecuting numerous individuals in federal court.

Yet, the story did not unfold as expected.

While history may have remembered this plot as the work of fringe elements, in reality, it involved a significant number of influential elected officials, whose interference in law enforcement efforts showcased the rule of law bending and buckling under political intimidation.

This failure in the legal system left lasting consequences, with the tendrils of that unvanquished threat stretching into the subsequent decades of American history. Nevertheless, the heroic efforts of those activists, journalists, prosecutors, and ordinary citizens who sought to expose the insurrectionists create a deeply resonant and relevant tale, particularly in our own unsettling times.

 

Review Book Of Prequel: An American Fight Against Fascism

Rachel Maddow’s upcoming book delves into the world of right-wing extremism in the United States, unearthing a historical plot to overthrow the government during the onset of World War II.

Titled “Prequel: An American Fight Against Fascism,” the book is set to be published on October 17 by Crown, an imprint of Penguin Random House. This work expands upon the extensive research conducted for Maddow’s podcast “Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra,” which has already caught the attention of Steven Spielberg, who acquired the film rights.

Known for her analytical approach to news events, the Emmy-winning MSNBC host expressed her motivation behind the book, stating, “Just as I like to dive into the backstory and deep origins of any particular news event, I also find it helpful to know if we’ve previously contended with something like what we’re seeing in today’s news.” Maddow acknowledges the disconcerting trend of a substantial portion of Americans seemingly willing to forsake real elections in favor of rule by force. However, she takes solace in the knowledge that this isn’t an entirely new challenge, as a similar sentiment prevailed among a significant segment of Americans leading up to World War II.

In “Prequel,” Maddow skillfully weaves a narrative that uncovers anti-government activities involving a Nazi agent, over 20 members of Congress, and the anti-Semitic America First Committee. These elements culminated in a 1944 sedition trial, which ended in a mistrial.

Rachel Maddow’s past literary works include “Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth” and “Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power.” With “Prequel,” she continues her mission to shed light on critical historical events that resonate with the present day, providing readers with profound insights into the challenges faced by the nation throughout its history.

Brief Summary Book of Prequel: An American Fight Against Fascism Rachel Maddow takes us on a historical journey, tracing the fight to safeguard American democracy back to World War II. During that tumultuous era, a small group of dedicated public servants and courageous citizens thwarted far-right plotters attempting to steer the nation towards an alliance…