What Are You Reading? Rabbi Eugene Levy

Rabbi Levy lives in Little Rock with his wife of almost 50 years, Bobbye Waltzer Levy.  Rabbi Levy was educated at the University of Texas and Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was ordained in 1972.  He has held many rabbinical positions in locations as diverse as Wisconsin, Louisiana, Indiana, Oklahoma, Texas, and, finally, Arkansas.  He retired as Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Israel in Little Rock in October of 2011.


Do you have a book to recommend, Rabbi Levy?

Recently, I reread Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America. Though written in 2004, the book seems to presage the rise of President Trump, as it gives us the picture of a demagogic-type President of the United States, (in this case a fictional picture of Charles Lindbergh). The book seems both to propose and answer the question, “How could such a person ever be elected to the highest office of the land–this is the US, and it can’t happen here, or can it…?”

The plot imagines that in 1940, world famous aviator and “America Firster” Charles Lindbergh defeats President Franklin Roosevelt. What follows is the plan to totally transform the idea and ideal of United States democracy. Had all of us read Roth’s book when it appeared during the administration of Bush II, we might have reacted differently to–and been more prepared for– the Trump candidacy and presidency.

The book makes for an excellent Book Club discussion.