HBO's Trailer for Adaptation of Philip Roth's 'Plot Against America' Shows U.S. Swept by anti-Semitism

Miniseries is based on alternate history novel in which a fascistic, Jew-hating Charles Lindbergh becomes president

Still from trailer for HBO's 'The Plot Against America.'
HBO

The first trailer for HBO’s adaptation of the Philip Roth novel “The Plot Against America” was released on Thursday.

The series, co-created by David Simon and based on Roth’s 2004 novel of the same name, premieres on March 16. It stars John Turturro (as a rabbi), Winona Ryder, Zoe Kazan and Morgan Spector (best known for his role on “Homeland,” the American adaptation of the Israeli series “Hatufim”).

Fans of the Roth novel should be excited, as the trailer shows that the miniseries is faithful to the book’s plot. In the novel’s alternate history, Charles Lindbergh, the aviator-turned-anti-Semitic-populist, becomes president and stokes anti-Jewish fear throughout the U.S.

“There’s a lot of hate out there, and he knows how to tap into it,” Spector’s character Herman says of Lindbergh in the trailer. 

Roth, the author of over 30 books, died at the age of 85 in 2018. 

Although his novels often explored the Jewish experience in America, Roth, who said he was an atheist, rejected being labeled a Jewish-American writer.

“It’s not a question that interests me. I know exactly what it means to be Jewish and it’s really not interesting,” he told the Guardian newspaper in 2005. “I’m an American.”

Lindbergh, the American national hero who was the first man to fly non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean, spoke favorably of the Nazis and published widely read opinion pieces saying that the German military conquest of Europe was inevitable and that America should stay out of the war. 

Lindbergh espoused anti-Semitic views in his speeches, including a September 1941 rally for the America First Committee in Des Moines, Iowa.

“The British and the Jewish races, for reasons which are not American, wish to involve us in the war,” he said. “Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government.”

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.