It Can’t Happen Here | Sinclair Lewis


Originally published in October 1935, this novel describes the rise of a demagogic populist politician named Berzelius (“Buzz”) Windrip who is elected president of the United States and establishes a dictatorship to save the country from welfare cheats, sex, crime, and a liberal press. Written shortly after Hitler’s rise to power, the title is deliberately ironic. The author — the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature — was clearly trying to warn Americans that fascism could in fact come to the U.S.A.

Chris Mahin is the manager of Barbara's Bookstore on State Street located in the Lower Level of Macy's in downtown Chicago. Prior to this, he was co-manager for several years at Barbara's Bookstore in Glenview, also called The Book Market. Chris began working for Barbara's in 1997 at the old Navy Pier store. He has worked in bookselling—on and off—since 1979. The first bookstore at which he worked was The Midnight Special Bookstore in Venice, California, then, at Guild Books in Chicago during the Harold Washington years.