HBO has picked the cast for its six-part miniseries based on Philip Roth’s 2004 novel “The Plot Against America.”
Roth’s alternative history novel takes place in an America in which Franklin D. Roosevelt was defeated in the presidential election of 1940 by pilot and Nazi sympathizer Charles Lindbergh. The novel follows the fortunes of the Roth family during the Lindbergh presidency, as anti-Semitism becomes more accepted in America and Jewish-American families like the Roths are persecuted.
The narrator and central character in the novel is the young Philip, and the detailed and honest depiction of his confusion and terror make the novel more about the Roth’s own boyhood than American politics.
The novel imagines an America in which Lindbergh’s isolationist ideas have become the national agenda, and are impacting Jewish life in Newark, New Jersey. The novel depicts the Weequahic section of Newark, which includes Roth’s Weequahic High School, from which graduated.
The main cast includes John Turturro, Winona Ryder, Zoe Kazan, Morgan Spector, Anthony Boyle, Azhy Robertson, and Caleb Malis.
Turturro portrays Rabbi Lionel Bengelsdorf, a conservative rabbi hailing from Charleston, S.C., who became a key figure in the Lindbergh administration, which he helps deal with the growing Jewish opposition to the president.